Useful Expressions: Describing Emotions (Part 1)

Useful Expression for IELTS Speaking is a document that summarizes the most used phrases in the IELTS Speaking section (note that these phrases can only be used in spoken language). 

Happiness and Excitement

  1. (to be) full of beans
    Meaning: to be feeling lively, energetic, and excited or enthusiastic about something
    Example: I was full of beans this morning because I thought it was the weekend, then I realised it was only Friday.
  2. (to be) as happy as Larry
    Meaning: to be feeling very happy, content, or pleased
    Example: I woke up this morning feeling as happy as Larry, then I remembered I had an important exam to do that day.
  3. (to be) as happy as a lark
    Meaning: to be feeling very happy, content, or pleased (similar to as happy as Larry)
    Example: She was as happy as a lark when I saw her in the morning, I don’t know what happened because now she’s really down in the dumps.
  4. (to) jump for joy
    Meaning: to be feeling very happy or joyful about something (but not necessarily literally jumping)
    Example: I was jumping for joy when I received my scholarship acceptance letter, I was so happy
  5. (to be) on cloud nine
    Meaning: to be feeling extremely happy
    Example: I was on cloud nine after receiving my examination results, I thought I was going to fail most of my classes but I managed to pass them all.
  6. (to be) on top of the world
    Meaning: to be feeling extremely happy (similar to on cloud nine)
    Example: After graduating from university and getting my dream job I felt on top of the world.
  7. (to be) as pleased as punch
    Meaning: to be feeling very happy, content, or pleased (similar to as happy as Larry)
    Example: I was as pleased as punch after receiving an award for being the top student in my class
  8. (to be) over the moon
    Meaning: to be feeling extremely happy (similar to on cloud nine)
    Example: I was over the moon when my parents bought me a new iPhone X after graduating high school.
  9. (to be) raring to go
    Meaning: to be full of energy and enthusiasm to get started doing something in particular
    Example: Everybody slept in late on the day we were supposed to leave for our trip. I woke up at 5am and was raring to go!
  10. (to be) tickled pink
    Meaning: to be feeling very happy, content, or pleased about something (similar to as happy as Larry)
    Example: I was tickled pink when I got selected to play in my college football team. I didn’t think I would make the team this year because I haven’t been training much.

Sadness and Emotional pain

  1. (to be) down in the dumps
    Meaning: to be feeling depressed or sad
    Example: I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been feeling really down in the dumps
  2. (to be) feeling down|blue
    Meaning: to be feeling depressed or sad (same as down in the dumps)
    Example: I’ve been feeling really blue ever since my Grandma past away last month

Anger, Frustration, and Being annoyed

  1. (to be) at your wit’s end
    Meaning: to be angry, worried, or upset by something and not know what to do next about the situation
    Example: I’ve been trying to calculate the answer to this math problem and I just can’t get
    the correct answer. I’m really at my wit’s end!
  2. (to) reach the end of your tether
    Meaning: when you have no energy or patience left to deal with a certain situation
    Example: I’m really at the end of my tether trying to deal with all these mistakes that my
    work colleagues have made in this report.
  3. (to be) sick and tired of something|someone
    Meaning: to be annoyed, angry, or upset about something or someone and you can’t tolerate it anymore
    Example: I’m so sick and tired of the neighbours next door singing karaoke all night long
    every weekend!
  4. (to) go bananas
    Meaning: to get very angry (also used when someone gets very excited)
    Example: My mother went bananas when she found out I had been skipping school.
  5. (to) flip your lid
    Meaning: to get very angry (similar to go bananas, and flip out)
    Example: The teacher flipped her lid when little Timmy wouldn’t stop talking in class.
  6. (to) flip out
    Meaning: to get very angry (similar to go bananas, and flip your lid)
    Example: My father flipped out when he realised that I scratched his new car.
  7. (to) hit the roof (similar to go bananas, and flip your lid)
    Meaning: to get very angry, and show your anger by yelling or screaming
    Example: My parents hit the roof when they found out that I dropped out of university.
  8. (to be) hot under the collar
    Meaning: to be angry or extremely annoyed by something
    Example: Be careful what you say to the boss, he’s a little hot under the collar today.
  9. (to) freak out
    Meaning: to be angry, worried, or scared by something
    Example: I was absolutely freaking out (worried) about my upcoming exam because I hadn’t prepared at all.
  10. (to) blow your top
    Meaning: to get very angry (similar to go bananas, and flip your lid)
    Example: The boss blew his top when he found out that sales were down by 50% this month,
    so we really need to work hard this month to catch up.
  11. (to) get on someone’s nerves
    Meaning: when something really irritates or annoys somebody
    Example: My little brother really gets on my nerves when he won’t help me do the house
  12. (to) make your blood boil
    Meaning: when something makes you angry or extremely annoyed (similar to get on your nerves but stronger)
    Example: The way people drive in this city really makes my blood boil sometimes!
  13. (to) drive someone crazy|mad
    Meaning: when someone is irritated or annoyed by someone or something
    Example: Getting stuck in traffic jams during rush hour really drives me crazy!
    It really drives my neighbours mad when I play my music loudly late at night.
  14. (to be) cheesed off
    Meaning: to be annoyed, irritated, or angry
    Example: I was so cheesed off when I received my examination results, because I studied so hard for them.
  15. (to have) a face like thunder
    Meaning: when someone has a very angry expression on their face
    Example: My father had a face like thunder when he saw the damage that I did to his car
  16. (to be) like a bear with a sore head
    Meaning: to be in a very bad, irritable, or grumpy mood, especially when someone is speaking to others in an angry or rude way
    Example: John was like a bear with a sore head this morning. I think he had a bad day
    yesterday and didn’t sleep well last night.
  17. (to) bite your tongue
    Meaning: to stop yourself from saying something that you really want to, because it might make a situation worse or might offend someone.
    Example: I had to bite my tongue during the meeting yesterday, otherwise I would have got myself into trouble.
  18. (to) fly off the handle
    Meaning: to get so angry that you lose control and start yelling and reacting in an angry manner
    Example: The school principal flew of the handle when he saw the children graffitiing on the school building
  19. (to) lose your head|cool|calm
    Meaning: when something causes you to get angry
    Example: I lost my cool yesterday when the waiter spilt the drinks all over my new dress
  20. (to) see red
    Meaning: to become very angry
    Example: I was seeing red last night when my neighbours were singing karaoke until 2am!

Useful Expressions: Describing Emotions (Part 2)

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