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Vocabulary 29 - Words that Express Emotions
A smile is what you will see from someone who is feeling the emotion of 'happiness'.

Vocabulary 29 - Words that Express Emotions

Emotions and feelings are a part of daily life and we have a range of emotions that we display. We have read about them in books and we experience them in real life, whether at school, at home or among friends. We are also influenced by seeing movies, watching theatre, watching TV, reading newspapers and listening to radio. All these things shape our emotions and we begin to express them.

We sometimes want to be like our mothers, our fathers, our teachers or our heroes. We may want to follow past heroes, like Gandhi, Churchill or anyone else we admire. Admiration is an emotion.

From our experiences we can recognise emotions as separate ones, such as happiness, fear, anger and hurt. We are able to put emotions into categories of positive and negative.

Since emotions are not strictly compartmentalised to either this or that category we can have a graded range of emotions. I can feel strongly, moderately or lightly. Often it is difficult to distinguish between emotions and feelings. One way to distinguish is to remember that feelings are triggered by external stimuli and can include physical sensations in addition to thoughts that occur as a result of the state of our mind. However, emotions are sensations triggered by a state of mind and generally occur from internal thoughts. Another distinguishing factor is the fact that feelings can last as long as the stimuli lasts whereas emotions tend to stay much longer as they stem from the mind. Love, hate, joy, sorrow and fear are emotions that stay for longer times.

English has many words that describe feelings and emotions and it is good to put these words into our vocabulary bank. Take the quiz that follows and understand how feelings and emotions can be expressed with different words.
1.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is moderately angry?
Friendly
Annoyed
Indignant
Resentful
'Friendly' is not the feeling or emotion expressed by a person who is moderately angry! The words in the other options are associated with a person's anger
2.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is confronted with moderate fear?
Alert
Annoyed
Hesitant
Insecure
'Annoyed' is associated with mild anger. You could become 'alert', 'hesitant' or 'insecure' when you are confronted with moderate fear
3.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is intensely sad?
Suspicious
Inconsolable
Bereaved
Heartbroken
'Suspicious' is associated with jealousy or curiosity. The words in the other options are associated with intense sadness
4.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is just happy?
Smiling
Jovial
Cheerful
Withdrawn
'Withdrawn' is associated with shame and also with shyness or sadness. When you are mildly happy you might be 'smiling', 'jovial' and 'cheerful'
5.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is very angry?
Hostile
Livid
Vicious
Disappointed
You are not 'disappointed' when you are angry but 'hostile' or livid and you might turn 'vicious'
6.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is mildly sad?
Gloomy
Disappointed
Regretful
Speechless
'Speechless' is associated with surprise. The words in the other options are expressions associated with mild sadness
7.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is ashamed?
Flushed
Awkward
Mournful
Self-conscious
'Mournful' is associated with sadness. 'Flushed', 'awkward' and 'self-conscious' are associated with shame but also with shyness
8.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is confronted with acute fear?
Petrified
Paralysed
Upbeat
Terrified
'Upbeat' is associated with happiness rather than fear. When you face acute fear you might be 'petrified', 'terrified' or 'paralysed'
9.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is extremely happy?
Terrorised
Exhilarated
Radiant
Euphoric
'Terrorised' is associated with extreme fear. The words in other options are all associated with extreme happiness
10.
What is the reaction you don't expect from a person who is subjected to intense shame?
Humiliated
Aggressive
Ashamed
Degraded
'Aggressive' is associated with anger. When a person is badly shamed he is 'degraded', 'ashamed' or 'humiliated'
Author:  V T Narendra

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