Feeling Phrases in Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on Nov 17, 2016

Feeling words in Chinese


You may already found that unlike westerners Chinese people are more reserved for their feeling, but that doesn't mean people don't know how to express. This article gives you a list of words and phrases to say your feeling. Feel free to use them for the next time when your Chinese friends ask you '你好吗 Nǐ hǎo ma? -How are you?' with a new phrase!

1. Vocabulary for feelings and emotions:

Positive feeling

快乐 kuài lè - happy
开心 kāi xīn - happy
高兴 gāo xìng - happy
愉快 yú kuài - happy
幸福 xìng fú - happiness
感动 gǎn dòng - touching, moved
惊喜 jīng xǐ - surprised (in a good way)

Negative feeling

生气 shēng qì - angry
伤心 shāng xīn - sad
尴尬 gān gà - embarassed
害怕 hài pà - afraid, scared
敏感 mǐn gǎn - sensitive
无聊 wú liáo - bored
累 lèi - tired
痛苦 tòng kǔ - painful
惊讶 jīng yà - astonished

2. How to use these word?

Easy, all you have to do is to put the above words in this structure.

1)Subject + 很 hěn + Adjective for feeling, or
2)Subject + 有点儿 yǒu diǎnr + Adjective for only negative feeling

By using this structure, you can tell people how good/bad you feel, but be careful, you can only put negative feeling adjectives after 有点儿 yǒudiǎnr, which means a little bit. Also, the word 很 hěn should not be stressed and doesnt't really mean 'very'. People use the adverb 很 hěn because the adjective is used as predicate in the sentence, which needs a preceding adverb.

In addition, Chinese people only use a certain word for a certain phrase in a specific situation. Take the four 'happy' words in the list as example, they are normally used in these common phrases:

- 快乐 kuài lè:

To say I'm happy - Wǒ hěn kuàilè 我很快乐, and also specially for festival wishes, like Happy Birthday- Shēngrì kuàilè 生日快乐, Happy New Year - Xīnnián kuàilè新年快乐, Merry Christmas - Shèngdàn kuàilè 圣诞快乐, etc.

- 开心 kāi xīn:

To say I'm happy - Wǒ hěn kāixīn, and also for good wishes, like 'I wish you can be happy everyday' - wǒ xīwàng nǐ kěyǐ tiāntiān kāixī我希望你可以天天开心。

- 高兴 gāo xìng:

Except 'I'm happy - Wǒ hěn gāo xìng', this word is specially used to say 'Nice to meet you - Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ 很高兴认识你'.

- 愉快 yú kuài:

This word is specially used to say Happy Weekend - Zhōumò yúkuài 周末愉快.

3. Verbs related to feelings:

喜欢 xǐ huan - like
爱 ài - love
担心 dān xīn - worry
讨厌 tǎo yàn - hate

Same like the adjectives, we can also use the same structure:

Subject + 很 hěn + Verb + Object
Subject + 有点儿 yǒudiǎnr + Verb (only for negative feeling) + Object

4. Others:

I'm not in good mood. 我心情不好。 wǒ xīn qíng bù hǎo
I'm very upset. 我很烦。wǒ hěn fán

Now I bet you have learned some useful vocabulary about express one's feelings. If you want to learn more about it , you can attend our daily Chinese course. Book a free trial class now!

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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