Chinese culture there are a lot of idioms which express people's
feelings or emotions. I have learnt a few English idioms, but I
do not know how to use them for specified occasions. I would appreciate
it very much if you could spare a second to give me some suggestions.
Petkova from Bulgaria writes:
be grateful if you could explain the exact meaning of words which
express human feelings. I'm trying to find a way to remember them.
If you could give me some examples of using the right word in the
right situation, I'd appreciate it.
have many idioms which express human emotions. An idiom is a fixed
expression, both grammatically and lexically. It is not possible to
replace any of the words in the idiom and retain the idiomatic meaning.
For example to let it all hang out means to have a very
good time. If you said: I'm going to allow it all to hang out,
this would change the meaning completely and you might be talking
about putting the washing out to dry.
Some idioms remain in fashion and contribute to the unique character
of a language over a long time. It is useful to know these. Some
idioms go out of fashion. New idioms come into fashion over a period
of the following idioms describing just one human emotion are currently
in use. Pay attention to meaning, but pay particular attention too
to the context in which they are used as this will help to clarify
when and how to use them.
degrees of anger (in increasing intensity)
to be / get steamed up - feel annoyed to be / get hot under the collar - feel irritated to be on the warpath - prepare to vent one's anger to be up in arms - protest strongly to be hopping mad - feel very angry to fly off the handle - suddenly lose one's temper to throw a wobbler - become suddenly angry with someone and
break down in tears to do one's nut - totally lose one's temper to hit the ceiling / roof - comprehensively lose one's temper to blow one's top / a fuse / a gasket - totally lose one's
temper to rant and rave - to argue loudly and energetically
When I failed to attend the first seminar, my tutor got
very steamed up about it.
Because I told him there's no more money to spend on entertaining
clients this month, he got a bit hot under the collar this
I've stained the white carpet in the living room, so my mother's
on the warpath.
The unions are up in arms since management declared
there would be only a 2 percent increase on basic wages this year.
He's hopping mad because his daughter has borrowed
his car for the weekend without first asking his permission.
I'm sorry. I shouldn't have flown off the handle like
that. Please forgive me.
When she learnt that Bill had been cheating on her, she threw
a wobbler and wouldn't stop crying.
My mother did her nut / hit the roof / blew her top
when I told her I was quitting university.
If you need to calm
somebody down, you could say:
Take it easy.
Or you might hear young people say:
to feel annoyed and disappointed
to be miffed
to be sick as a parrot
I was a bit miffed when I wasn't invited to Julie's
I was sick as a parrot at the way we lost the match
in the last minute.
to annoy someone
to rub someone up the wrong way
to make someone's blood boil
He certainly knows how to rub you up the wrong way
and he's only four years old.
It made my blood boil when I saw that he had taken
all the credit for the work I'd done.
There are, of course, many emotions (and related idioms) apart
from anger, but I will save these for future occasions. Otherwise
this reply would be too long.
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