When someone asks how you are, how do you reply? If you stop to think a little about this, there are a wide range of human emotions which escape our understanding. Confining them to a single word is almost impossible. In fact, emotions and feelings are the salt and pepper of life and each language has not only words but also diverse idiomatic expressions to try to define the different moods that can be found in the complex and fascinating world of feelings.
The ability to express your emotions is one of the first competencies you learn when studying another language. This allows us to express ourselves, find new friends, and strengthen ties. What about in English? How many idioms do you know to describe your humour in this language?
In English, the word that corresponds to your humour is your mood. It is a word that is widely used in various contexts. If we ask someone “What is your mood today?” we are asking how their mood is at that moment. On the other hand, if we exclaim “I am not in the mood!” this means that we are not in a position to do a certain thing. For example, the phrase “I am not in the mood to study this morning” can be translated as “I do not feel like studying this morning.”
Let’s look at some idiomatic expressions to describe your humour that you can use when someone asks “How are you?” Some may be the same as in your native tongue, while others can be found only in the English language. Learn them to enrich your vocabulary and to make it more expressive.
On cloud nine
If you are “in the clouds”, this indicates extreme happiness.
The bride was on cloud nine.
On pins and needles
Literally meaning on pins and needles, this indicates a state of suspense and tension.
Please, tell me what happened. I am on pins and needles.
This expression literally means what it says. It conveys a condition in which there are diverse feelings happening at the same time which can contradict each other.
I don’t know how I feel about moving. I have mixed feelings. I am happy, but at the same time, I feel sad and anxious.
This phrasal verb indicates a condition of frustration in relation to a situation that has truly become untenable.
I am fed up with the situation at work.
Chip on his shoulder
This metaphorical expression is used to describe a behaviour that denotes the discomfort and anger of someone who has been treated unjustly.
Martin came back very upset from school because of the mark he received. He acted as if he had a chip on his shoulder.
Go to pieces
If you go to pieces, you fall apart. This phrase indicates deep pain.
Mary went to pieces when she heard the news.
This phrase means you are shocked. It indicates the dazed feeling after strong, unforeseen, or unexpected news.
I feel a bit shaken up after having heard about the accident.
Feeling under the weather
This expression is linked to the British climate and the seasonal diseases that winter can bring. It indicates a state of general malaise and can be translated as not feeling good. Mentioning the weather brings to mind the seasonal discomfort and cold that a humid and rainy climate carries with it.
Sorry that you are feeling under the weather.
These are some English expressions used to indicate moods and their different facets. English is a very expressive language rich in idiomatic expressions which make it vivacious and varied. If you want to speak English with expertise and a wide vocabulary, why not take an online English course? ABA English offers 144 free video classes and the same number of videos which will prepare you to speak English fluently and correctly. What are you waiting for?