feelings in German

Feelings, Moods, and Emotions in German

Let’s take an emotional roller coaster today. However, in German! Yes, you guessed right.

I am going to explain how to express feelings in German. Just get comfortable & start conveying your feelings, emotions & moods in German. I’ll take you along the way.

I have collected some basic German vocab for your emotions, feelings & moods to help you get started as you learn adjectives in German. We will now look at how to express your feelings in the German language.

Let’s have a look at an essential list. I have differentiated this into two parts – positive & negative for simplicity.

15 Positive adjectives  in German

  • 🇩🇪 amüsiert – 🇺🇸 amused
  • 🇩🇪 zufrieden – 🇺🇸 satisfied
  • 🇩🇪 begeistert – 🇺🇸 excited
  • 🇩🇪 dankbar – 🇺🇸 thankful
  • 🇩🇪 erleichtert – 🇺🇸 relieved
  • 🇩🇪 froh – 🇺🇸 glad
  • 🇩🇪 glücklich – 🇺🇸 happy
  • 🇩🇪 hoffnungsvoll – 🇺🇸 hopeful
  • 🇩🇪 inspiriert – 🇺🇸 inspired
  • 🇩🇪 interessiert – 🇺🇸 interested
  • 🇩🇪 motiviert – 🇺🇸 motivated
  • 🇩🇪 nachdenklich – 🇺🇸 thoughtful
  • 🇩🇪 optimistisch – 🇺🇸 optimistic
  • 🇩🇪 ruhig – 🇺🇸 calm
  • 🇩🇪 hübsch – 🇺🇸 attractive

15 Negative adjectives in German

  • 🇩🇪 ängstlich – 🇺🇸 afraid
  • 🇩🇪 besorgt – 🇺🇸 worried
  • 🇩🇪 böse – 🇺🇸 angry
  • 🇩🇪 deprimiert – 🇺🇸 depressed
  • 🇩🇪 einsam – 🇺🇸 lonely
  • 🇩🇪 entmutigt – 🇺🇸 discouraged
  • 🇩🇪 enttäuscht – 🇺🇸 disappointed
  • 🇩🇪 erschrocken – 🇺🇸 shocked
  • 🇩🇪 frustriert – 🇺🇸 frustrated
  • 🇩🇪 hoffnungslos – 🇺🇸 hopeless
  • 🇩🇪 irritiert – 🇺🇸 confused
  • 🇩🇪 müde – 🇺🇸 tired
  • 🇩🇪 nervös – 🇺🇸 nervous
  • 🇩🇪 traurig – 🇺🇸 sad
  • 🇩🇪 wütend – 🇺🇸 angry

This list is just for basic level German. There are more shades to these emotions & feelings.

An interesting learning tip is that the adjectives, nouns & verbs in German are closely related. You will understand what I mean better when you look at the below table, which will further enhance your learning & make it simpler.

Sometimes tactics like these help you memorize things better. Let’s have a look at some examples of this learning tip to put things into context.

5 Examples for Noun-Adjective-Verb format:

NounAdjectiveVerb
die Verwirrung – confusionverwirrt / verwirrend – confused / confusingverwirren – to confuse
die Hoffnung – hopehoffnungslos – hopelesshoffnungsvoll – hopefulhoffen – to hope
das Interesse – interestinteressiert – interestedsich interessieren (sich is used when you use reflexive verbs in German which denotes “oneself” in English if translated one to one) – to be interested
die Enttäuschung – disappointmententtäuscht – disappointedenttäuschen – to disappoint
die Erleichterung – relieferleichtert – relievederleichtern – to relieve

Try recollecting what you learned with this trick. I hope it will be much easier for you to recall words like this.

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Ways to express yourself in German:

Now I will explain how to express your feelings in German, as there are different ways or phrases to do that. You need to learn which one to use in which context to be able to express yourself correctly.

The explanation below will guide you, so you don’t get into an embarrassing situation. Let’s have a look at the basic four ways to get into the emotional lane.

1. Ich bin…

The most common way to express an emotion in German, which is also very similar to English, is to use I am, which means ich bin in German. All you have to do is add an adjective after it! 

  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin glücklich. – 🇺🇸 I’m happy.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin traurig. – 🇺🇸 I’m sad.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin begeistert! – 🇺🇸 I’m excited!
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin böse. – 🇺🇸 I’m angry.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin erleichtert. – 🇺🇸 I’m relieved.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin müde. – 🇺🇸 I’m tired.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin optimistisch. – 🇺🇸 I’m optimistic.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin verwirrt. – 🇺🇸 I’m confused.

When you add the word “sehr” before your adjective, it means very. For example – Ich bin sehr glücklich (I’m very happy) or Ich bin sehr traurig (I’m very sad).

2. Mir ist…

Some feelings are expressed using Mir ist, not with Ich bin. This usage depends on the context or the phrases that you use.

The more you read and hear these phrases in context, the more intuitive they will become.

  • 🇩🇪 Mir ist langweilig. – 🇺🇸 I’m bored.
  • 🇩🇪 Mir ist übel. – 🇺🇸 I feel sick.
  • 🇩🇪 Mir ist warm. – 🇺🇸 I feel warm.

My tip: Be careful while using this kind of expression. Sometimes the difference between using Mir ist… or Ich bin… can make a difference & the meaning changes a lot!

For example, saying “Mir ist langweilig” means you are bored, while “Ich bin langweilig” means you’re a boring person. 

3. Ich fühle mich…

This means “I feel.” With this German expression, you also have to add adjectives after it. It might not sound very natural in English when you translate it word-to-word (I feel me..). But in German, it is crucial if you wish to talk about your state of mind! 

  • 🇩🇪 Ich fühle mich einsam. – 🇺🇸 I feel lonely.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich fühle mich elend. – 🇺🇸 I feel awful.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich fühle mich gut. – 🇺🇸 I feel good.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich fühle mich toll! – 🇺🇸 I feel great!

4. Mir geht’s… / Es geht mir…

Mir geht’s” is often used to talk about how you’re doing. When somebody asks you, “Wie geht’s / Wie geht es dir? which means what you’ve been up to or how you’ve been lately, you can reply using:

  • 🇩🇪 Mir geht’s gut. – 🇺🇸 I am doing well.
  • 🇩🇪 Mir geht’s super! – 🇺🇸 I am doing very well!
  • 🇩🇪 Mir geht es nicht sonderlich gut. – 🇺🇸 I am not particularly that well.
  • 🇩🇪 Es geht mir schlecht! – 🇺🇸 I am not doing well!

To make you more confident, I have listed some common German Emotion Phrases below:

  • 🇩🇪 Ich mag dich. – 🇺🇸 I like you.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich habe ein seltsames Gefühl. – 🇺🇸 I have a strange feeling.
  • 🇩🇪 Ich habe kein bisschen Hunger. – 🇺🇸 I am not hungry at all
  • 🇩🇪 Bist du beschäftigt? 🇺🇸 Are you busy?
  • 🇩🇪 Ich habe mich verspätet. – 🇺🇸 I am running late. 
  • 🇩🇪 Ich habe Angst! – 🇺🇸 I’m afraid.
  • 🇩🇪 Ist er sauer? – 🇺🇸 Is he angry?
  • 🇩🇪 Ich liebe dich.🇺🇸 I love you.
  • 🇩🇪 Warum bist du traurig? – 🇺🇸 Why are you sad?
  • 🇩🇪 Bist du glücklich mit ihr? – 🇺🇸 Are you happy with her?
  • 🇩🇪 Ich bin so unglücklich! – 🇺🇸 I am so unhappy.

I hope I have taken care of most of the essential words & ways to describe your state of mind. Even if you are bent out of shape or on cloud nine, this checklist can help you use the correct phrase.

Gefühle means emotions which are what make us more human! So start expressing yourself freely & boldly.

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Pooja Parekh

Pooja Parekh

Passionate about the German language & culture, she has taught German for several years. An avid reader, a linguist, a communicator & a wannabe author

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Over 100 hours of learning across 50+ lessons