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Feelings, Moods and Emotions in Spanish – Useful Vocabulary With 49 Examples

Talking about one’s feelings is an inseparable part of our daily communication.

How are you? 

How’ve you been?

What’s up?

We get asked these questions all the time, don’t we?

Spanish is no different.

Therefore, today we are going to see some useful Spanish vocabulary related to feelings, moods and emotions. Hopefully it will help you with your everyday conversations in this language. 

Common expressions to talk about feelings in Spanish. 

  • 🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te sientes?
    🇬🇧 How do you feel?
  • 🇪🇸 Estoy un poco triste.
    🇬🇧 I’m a little sad.
  • 🇪🇸 María se siente muy deprimida
    🇬🇧 Maria feels very depressed
  • 🇪🇸 Carlos se enojó mucho cuando supo la verdad.
    🇬🇧 Carlos got very angry when he learned the truth
  • 🇪🇸 Me da miedo la oscuridad.
    🇬🇧 I’m afraid of the dark.
  • 🇪🇸 Siento mucha alegría por mi viaje.
    🇬🇧 I am very happy about my trip.

The 2 most common verbs when talking about feelings

ESTAR / SENTIRSE + ADJECTIVE

These 2 verbs are the most common when we want to talk about feelings in Spanish. 

Actually, it is quite similar to English: TO BE and TO FEEL. 

I am happy

I feel sad

What other adjectives express emotions in Spanish?

😊😔
alegre
joyful
triste
sad
contento/feliz
happy
avergonzado
ashamed, embarrassed
orgulloso
proud
enojado
angry
emocionado
excited, moved
furioso
furious
asombrado
amazed
decepcionado
disappointed
sorprendido
surprised
nervioso
nervous
deprimido
depressed
aburrido
bored
cansado
tired

Remember:

  • All the adjectives can be pluralized by adding “S”
  • The adjectives finishing in “O” are masculine. If you need feminine form, replace “O” with “A”. 
  • The remaining adjectives from the list don’t distinguish between feminine and masculine form.

Now, let’s try to make some sentences:

🇪🇸 Me siento muy contento hoy.
🇬🇧 I’m feeling very happy today.

🇪🇸 ¿Por qué estás triste?
🇬🇧 Why are you sad?

🇪🇸 Ayer María estuvo muy enojada conmigo.
🇬🇧 María was very angry at me yesterday.

🇪🇸 ¿Estuviste nervioso por tu exámen de matemática?
🇬🇧 Were you nervous because of your maths exam?

🇪🇸 Nos sentimos muy orgullosos de tus logros. 
🇬🇧 We feel very proud of your achievements.

Expressing feelings and emotions with the verb “tener”

Tener literally means to have

Take a look:

🇪🇸 Tengo miedo.
🇬🇧 I’m scared.

I know, it seems a little confusing at first. In English you wouldn’t use the verb to have in a sentence like this, would you?

Besides, the noun miedo doesn’t even translate as a noun!

It translates as an adjective!

I see your point, but remember, literal translation is one of the most common mistakes in Spanish. 

So, instead of questioning whether it makes sense to use the verb TENER, I suggest you learn the most common nouns that accompany it. 

🇪🇸 ¿Tienes hambre?
🇬🇧 Are you hungry?

🇪🇸 El niño tiene mucho sueño.
🇬🇧 The child is very sleepy.

🇪🇸 Tengo un poco de sed.
🇬🇧 I’m a little thirsty.

🇪🇸 Deberías tener vergüenza por todo lo que has hecho.
🇬🇧 You should be ashamed for all you’ve done.

🇪🇸 Carlos tiene mucha rabia con su vecino.
🇬🇧 Carlos is furious with his neighbor. 

🇪🇸 No me tengas envidia.
🇬🇧 Don’t be envious with me. 

The difference between using the verb sentirse and sentir

This structure is another way to talk about emotions and feelings in Spanish.

First of all, let me explain the difference between the verb SENTIRSE and SENTIR.

Even though they both translate the same (TO FEEL), they are used quite differently in Spanish. 

SENTIRSE is a reflexive verb that requires the use of an adjective, just like in the first section of this post. It responds to the question: ¿Cómo? – How?

SENTIR, on the other hand is accompanied by a noun and it answers the question: ¿Qué? – What?

In case you need a slight reminder about how to conjugate reflexive verbs, let’s review it:

(yo) me siento(nosotros) nos sentimos
(tú) te sientes(vosotros) os senteis
(él, ella, usted) se siente(ellos, ellas, ustedes) se sienten

Having clarified that, let’s take a look at the following examples:

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te sientes?
🇬🇧 How do you feel?

🇪🇸 Me siento bastante feliz.
🇬🇧 I feel quite happy.

🇪🇸 ¿Qué sientes?
🇬🇧 What do you feel?

🇪🇸 Siento mucha tristeza.
🇬🇧 I feel a lot of sadness. 

Tristeza is a “concept” noun, which means it refers to something abstract. In this case, a feeling.

Here are some other nouns like this:

🇪🇸 alegría
🇬🇧 happiness

🇪🇸 verguenza
🇬🇧 shame

🇪🇸 orgullo
🇬🇧 pride

🇪🇸 enojo
🇬🇧 anger

🇪🇸 decepción
🇬🇧 disappointment (don’t confuse it with deception, it is a false cognate)

🇪🇸 cansancio
🇬🇧 tiredness

🇪🇸 agotamiento
🇬🇧 exhaustion

🇪🇸 celos
🇬🇧 jealousy

🇪🇸 envidia
🇬🇧 envy

Check out these sample sentences:

🇪🇸 Después del partido los jugadores sienten mucho cansancio.
🇬🇧 After the game the players feel very tired (literally: feel a lot of tiredness)

🇪🇸 Mi novio siente celos cada vez que salgo con mis amigos.
🇬🇧 My boyfriend feels jealous every time I go out with my friends. (literally: feels jealousy)

What to say when you “get” a certain emotion in Spanish

The verb ponerse is an excellent equivalent to the English get

People can get angry, right?

Or they can get tired.

If you want to express this kind of feelings in Spanish, the verb ponerse is your best friend.

Check out these examples:

🇪🇸 Me puse muy enojado cuando supe la verdad.
🇬🇧 I got very angry when I found out the truth.

🇪🇸 No te pongas celoso. Sabes que te amo.
🇬🇧 Don’t get jealous. You know I love you.

🇪🇸 Mi abuela se pone super contenta cada vez que la visito.
🇬🇧 My grandma gets super happy every time I visit her.

🇪🇸 Juan corrió muy bien los primeros 10 kilómetros, pero después se puso muy
ansado.
🇬🇧 Juan ran very well the first 10 kilometers, but then he got very tired. 

Feelings as reflexive verbs

A similar idea of “getting” a certain feeling, can be obtained in Spanish with the use of reflexive verbs. 

Here is  a list of the most common “emotion” verbs:

🇪🇸 alegrarse
🇬🇧 to get happy

🇪🇸 entristecerse
🇬🇧 to get sad

🇪🇸 enojarse
🇬🇧 to get angry

🇪🇸 cansarse
🇬🇧 to get tired

🇪🇸 emocionarse
🇬🇧 to get excited

🇪🇸 estresarse
🇬🇧 to get stressed

🇪🇸 enfurecerse
🇬🇧 to get furious

Let’s see how these verbs can be used in sentences. Remember to conjugate them accordingly!

🇪🇸 Me alegro mucho cada vez que te veo.
🇬🇧 I get very happy whenever I see you.

🇪🇸 Pablo se enfurece cuando no le hacen caso.
🇬🇧 Pablo gets angry when they don’t do as he says.

🇪🇸 La mamá se va a emocionar mucho cuando vea estas flores.
🇬🇧 Mom is going to get very excited when she sees these flowers.

🇪🇸 Antes me estresaba mucho, pero he aprendido a relajarme.
🇬🇧 I used to get stressed a lot, but I’ve learned to relax.

Exclamations – Let’s practise them

Another common way of expressing moods, feelings and emotions in Spanish is using the exclamative mode ¡QUÉ! accompanied by a concept noun.

Have a look:

🇪🇸 !Qué alegría verte!
🇬🇧 So happy to see you!

🇪🇸 ¡Qué cansancio! Ya no puedo más.
🇬🇧 I’m so tired! Can’t go on. 

🇪🇸 !Qué rabia! He perdido otra vez!
🇬🇧 I’m so angry! I’ve lost again!

🇪🇸 !Qué pena que no pueden venir a la fiesta!
🇬🇧 It’s such a shame you can’t come to the party!

🇪🇸 Qué orgullo ver a mis hijos tan grandes.
🇬🇧 I’m so proud to see my kids so grown-up.

Modifiers – How to Put a Degree to Your Feelings

The last thing I’d like to draw your attention to is how feelings can have different intensity.

In English you can say: very happy, quite nervous, a little sad.

These little words are called MODIFIERS and here’s what they look like in Spanish: 

🇪🇸 ¿Qué tan enojado estás?
🇬🇧 How angry are you?

🇪🇸 demasiado enojado
🇬🇧 too angry

🇪🇸 extremadamente enojado
🇬🇧 extremely angry

🇪🇸 muy enojado
🇬🇧 very angry

🇪🇸 bastante enojado
🇬🇧 quite angry

🇪🇸 un poco enojado
🇬🇧 a little angry

And what if we use nouns? TRISTEZA (SADNESS) for instance?

In this case, you can have or feel:

🇪🇸 demasiada tristeza
🇬🇧 too much sadness

🇪🇸 mucha tristeza
🇬🇧 a lot of sadness

🇪🇸 bastante tristeza
🇬🇧 quite a lot of sadness

🇪🇸 un poco de tristeza
🇬🇧 a little sadness

Tristeza is a feminine noun, which is why we say demasiada and mucha

In case of ENOJO (ANGER) it would be demasiado and mucho

***

That’s all about feelings in Spanish, folks. 

Remember, questions like:

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estás?
🇬🇧 How are you?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te sientes hoy?
🇬🇧 How are you feeling today?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estás de ánimo?
🇬🇧 What mood are you in?

All these make for excellent Spanish conversation starters, so DO learn how to ask and answer them.

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Joanna Lupa

Joanna Lupa

Polish by birth, Chilean by the turns of life. Has spent 20 years in that beautiful South American country working as a language teacher and translator. Has taught Spanish and English to students of all proficiency levels. Passionate about languages, books, and traveling. A mother of 2 trilingual teenagers.