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How to Express Your Emotions in Chinese Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Byki Lists, Culture, grammar, Vocabulary

Talking about your emotions/feelings is an important and tricky part of learning a language. Some words translate well between languages, while others don’t at all. There are tons of English words for describing emotions that simply can’t be translated into Chinese, and it’s the same the other way around. To help you out a little, here are 25 common Chinese words for expressing emotions/feelings that translate into English and be used all the time:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 1.18.50 PM

 

Choose a few words from the list to express her feelings.

Choose a few words from the list to express her feelings.

Learning the words is great and all, but how do you use them? Here are some useful sentence structures that you can use:

I’m a little…

To say “I’m a little…” plus your emotion/feeling in Chinese, you say:

我有一点… (wǒ yǒu yī diǎn) + feeling/emotion

In this sentence, the 有 (yǒu) is optional – you don’t really need to use it. Use the words above and try to translate these three examples:

  1. 我一点生气.

  2. 我有一点哦.

  3. 我一点冷.

I’m very…

This is quite useful, as you’ll hear it all the time. It’s also super easy. Here’s how you say it in Chinese:

我很… (wǒ hěn) + feeling/emotion

Again, translate these examples from Chinese to English using the words above:

  1. 我很高兴.

  2. 我很热.

  3. 我很紧张.

I’m too/so…

Sometimes it’s just not enough to say “I’m very happy” – you need to express a slightly stronger emotion. This expression will help you do just that:

我太 + feeling/emotion + 了 (wǒ tài… le)

Translate three more examples and try to use this expression yourself:

  1. 我太累了!

  2. 我太忙了!

  3. 我太兴奋了!

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, there are some words that just don’t translate between languages. Check out this interesting article to learn a few Chinese words for feelings/emotions that can’t really translate directly to English. For even more vocabulary, this article gives 222 English emotions in Chinese. That should keep you busy!

This funny video from Learn Chinese Now will help you talk about your emotions. Keep in mind they’re using traditional characters.

Here are the answers for the above expressions:

  • I’m a little angry.
  • I’m a little hungry.
  • I’m a little cold.
  • I’m very happy.
  • I’m very hot.
  • I’m very nervous.
  • I’m so tired!
  • I’m so busy!
  • I’m so excited!
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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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