Emotions in Spanish

Colorful. That is the first word that comes to mind when we want to describe how emotions are expressed in Spanish. Generally speaking, this romance language offers a rather remarkable variety of ways to talk about emotions and feelings. From one-liners to completely structured sentences, there are so many options to choose from. While many phrases are related to particular situational contexts and are deeply rooted in culture, we can find some interesting and useful phrases to talk about emotions that can give any Spanish learner a smooth head start.

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Vocabulary Words for Emotions

Here are some of the most commonly used words to describe emotions and moods in Spanish. As in English, words to describe emotions are usually adjectives.


Feliz or Contento (m)/ Contenta (f)

Happy

Asustado (m)/ Asustada (f)

Scared

Preocupado (m) /Preocupada (f)

Worried

Avergonzado (m) / Avergonzada (f)

Embarrassed

Molesto (m) /Molesta (f)

Angry

Deprimido (m) /Deprimida (f)

Depressed

Confundido (m)/Confundida (f)

Confused

Sorprendido (m) /Sorprendida (f)

Surprised

Penoso (m)/ Penosa (f) or Tímido (m)/Tímida (f)

Shy

Triste

Sad

Cansado (m) /Cansada (f)

Tired

Emocionado (m) /Emocionada (f)

Excited

Nervioso (m) /Nerviosa (f)

Nervous

Ansioso (m)/Ansiosa (f)

Anxious

Enamorado (m) /Enamorada (f)

In love

Amargado (m) /Amargada (f)

Grumpy

Malhumorado (m) /Malhumorada (f)

Moody/ Bad-tempered

Desesperado (m) /Desesperada (f)

Desperate

Fascinado (m) / Fascinada (f)

Fascinated

Apasionado (m) /Apasionada (f)

Passionate

Exhausto (m) /Exhausta (f)

Exhausted

Talking About Emotions in Spanish

Sometimes, you want to converse with someone about their emotions. If you want to ask someone how he/she feels, you can use any of these questions:


¿Cómo te sientes?

How do you feel?

¿Cómo estás?

How are you?

¿Cómo andas?

How are you doing?

¿Te sientes cansado?

Do you feel tired?

¿Qué te pasa? ¿Qué te sucede?

What’s wrong?

No me pasa nada

(Nothing is wrong)

Me siento mal

(I feel bad)

In addition, it is also possible to ask questions such as:

¿Estás enojado(a)? - Are you angry?

Sí, si estoy molesto - Yes, I am angry.
No, no estoy molesto - No, I am not angry.

¿Estás asustado(a)? Are you scared?

You can use this format for almost any emotion:

¿Estás _____ ?

Sí, si estoy ______
No, no estoy ______

All of these expressions are appreciated among native Spanish speakers so using them will help you sound more like a native. In addition, you will likely receive fairly honest answers to these common, natural questions.

Sentir for Expressing Feelings

The verb sentir, meaning to feel, is also often used for expressing feelings or emotions in Spanish. For instance:


me siento feliz

I feel happy

me siento triste

I feel sad

me siento preocupado

I am worried

me siento cansado

I feel tired

me siento frustrado

I feel frustrated

Note the use of a reflexive pronoun (me) plus an emotion/feeling. These expressions can also be maximized or minimized by adding adverbs of quantity.
Me siento muy (very) deprimido- I feel very depressed / Me siento un poco (a bit) deprimido- I feel a bit depressed.

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Most Common Emotion Words

Happiness in Spanish

Happiness is one of the most commonly discussed emotions in Spanish, as it is in other languages. Life often gives us reasons to be happy – you might be happy about a job promotion, a recent purchase or plans to see a special person. Some other positive emotions similar to happiness include excitement, hope, and fascination.
Here are some examples using these terms:


Estoy muy feliz/ Estoy muy contento

I am really happy

Estoy emocionado por verte

I am excited to see you

Estoy esperanzado

I am hopeful

Estoy fascinado

I am fascinated

Try using some of the words from the list above to create your own sentences:
Estoy ________ (cansado, asustado, preocupado)

Anger, Sadness and Upset in Spanish

Of course, Spanish also has some less positive emotions. When life goes wrong, it is very common for someone to express that they are angry, sad, or upset. Spanish speakers also may indicate they feel depressed, but they often use it to indicate a temporary state of mind versus clinical depression, although the same word is used for both in Spanish, as in English.
Here are a few sentences to illustrate how to use these terms:


Estoy molesto / Estoy enojado

I am angry/ I am upset

Estoy triste/ Estoy deprimido

I am sad/ I am depressed.

Discussing Fear in Spanish

In Spanish, it is very common to say “I am scared.” People also use the term aterrorizado to indicate when they are terrified or paralyzed by fear.
For instance:


Estoy asustado

I am scared

Estoy aterrorizado / Estoy aterrado

I am terrified

Tengo pánico/ Tengo terror de/ Tengo pánico de

I am terrified

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Using Tener to Express Feelings

Note the use of the verb tener, also used to talk about feelings in Spanish.


Tengo sueño

I am sleepy

tengo calor

I am hot

tengo hambre

I am hungry

Tengo miedo

Tengo miedo

All of these sentences express feelings, but do not contain the verb ser/estar (to be); instead they use tener. Note that this is similar to the phrase Tengo una confusión (I am confused), but which can also be uttered as Estoy confundido.

Reviewing Spanish Emotions

As a Spanish learner, you will never run out of ways to express your feelings and emotions at any given time. Spanish offers plenty of options to convey how you are feeling. Always make sure you understand this: the verb to be (ser-estar) will always be accompanied by an adjective, the verb to have (tener) will always be followed by a noun, and if you happen to be using the verb to feel (sentir), do not forget to add a reflexive pronoun and an adjective.