50 Feelings and Emotions in Spanish: Expressions, Vocab, and Grammar
Enjoy this guide to expressing your feelings and emotions in Spanish!
Many of us think that “feelings” (los sentimientos) and “emotions” (las emociones) are the same, but they are actually different. Emotional experiences and physical sensations—like hunger, sadness, or surprise—cause feelings. Feelings are conscious experiences, while emotions can be either conscious or subconscious.
We experience emotions throughout life as a result of our behavior, culture, and experiences. Our emotions establish our initial attitudes toward things, people, places, and situations. In contrast, we develop our long-term attitudes through our feelings.
By learning this vocabulary, you can not only speak about your own feelings but also get to know native speakers better. Take your friendships with Spanish-speaking amigos to the next level.
While you’re here, download this FREE PDF to access our handy, alphabetized list of feelings and emotions in Spanish!
How to Express Emotions in Spanish
In Spanish, we often use the verb estar to express our current feelings or emotions.
Estoy feliz. – I’m happy.
Estoy aburrida. – I’m bored.
Estoy emocionado. – I’m excited.
Estoy nerviosa. – I’m nervous.
You can also use the verb sentirse, “to feel.”
¿Cómo te sientes? – How do you feel?
¡Me siento de maravilla! – I feel great!
Me siento animado. – I feel lively.
Me siento relajada. – I feel relaxed.
Me siento fatal. – I feel terrible.
If you’re feeling like something, add como to the phrase.
Me siento como una princesa. – I feel like a princess.
Me siento como un esclavo. – I feel like a slave.
Adjectives Must Agree
Emotions are adjectives, which means they change depending on the gender and number of the person or people who are feeling them.
Pablo está enojado. – Pablo is angry.
Luisa está enojada. – Luisa is angry.
Nosotras estamos contentas. – We are content.
Ellos están tranquilos. – They are calm.
Notice how the adjectives’ endings change. It’s -o for Pablo (male), -a for Luisa (female), -as for nosotras, and -os for ellos. (To learn more about this concept, check out our lesson on using adjectives with ser and estar.)
Finally, several emotions in Spanish use the verb tener (to have) along with a noun instead of an adjective. The good news is that you don’t need to change the end of the noun to agree with the gender or quantity. (Just pay attention to whether it’s tiene for a singular subject or tienen for a plural subject.)
Emma tiene ansiedad. – Emma is anxious.
Oscar tiene celos. – Oscar is jealous.
The girls tienen sueño. – The girls are sleepy.
My friends tienen miedo. – My friends are afraid.
The most common uses of tener to express feelings or emotions in Spanish include:
- tener miedo de – to be afraid of
- tener sueño – to be sleepy
- tener ansiedad – to be anxious
- tener celos – to be jealous
- tener vergüenza – to be embarrassed
- tener calma – to be calm
- tener esperanza – to have hope
- tener nervios – to be nervous
Feelings in Spanish: Vocabulary Words
Feelings are low-key and sustainable, while emotions are intense but temporary. Happiness, worry, love, and depression are feelings. Their corresponding emotions are joy, fear, lust, and sadness.
|la preocupación||concern, worry|
Emotions in Spanish: Vocabulary Lists
Angry and Fearful Emotions
Are You a Parent?
Are you looking for a simple, effective resource to teach your kids about feelings and emotions in Spanish? Sign up for a free class with Homeschool Spanish Academy. Our Spanish teachers bring the material to life for little ones. It’s fun, interactive, and a great way to make sure the information sticks. Find out how live classes can help your child learn Spanish!
Feelings and Emotions in Spanish: Fun Learning Activities
Learning to talk about feelings in Spanish is important. No one is feliz all the time. Children (and adults) need to be able to freely express their emotions and feelings. These activities teach the vocabulary for emotions in Spanish and help learners make connections between feelings and situations.
Practicing your new vocabulary words is the best way to commit them to memory. Check out these four activities to do on your own or in a group. The first two you can do on your own as an adult learner or as a parent teaching your kids, while the latter two are ideal for small groups.
1. Sing Songs
These Spanish feelings songs reinforce the vocabulary. They also help children learn to identify and label their emotions.
- Si estás feliz – This Spanish version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” is fun and easy to learn.
- ¿Puedes hacer una cara feliz? – This song is Halloween-themed and uses a simple jack-o-lantern animation for the emotions.
- 5 calabazas – Each pumpkin has a different emotion; this one is audio only.
2. Emotional Eggs
Hands-on learning engages kids with language. Get a bag of plastic Easter eggs and a few permanent markers. Draw eyes with different emotions on the upper half of the eggs and mouths expressing different emotions on the lower half of the eggs. For younger learners, you will have to make the eggs. Older kids can help you or make their own. Making the eggs provides a great opportunity to practice the vocabulary.
Use the eggs for learning in a variety of ways:
- Assemble the face and identify each egg’s emotion in Spanish
- Copy the expression on the egg with your face
- Give prompts for kids to show a specific expression such as alguien que está triste, alguien que está sorprendido, or alguien que está contento.
- Use the eggs as puppets and have them talk to each other. For example, Me llamo Julia. Estoy asustada. Tengo miedo de la oscuridad.
3. Tone of Voice
This activity is great for practicing vocabulary and for making kids aware of their tone of voice. Practice saying phrases together with different emotions. Then come up with a list of 12 emotions (number them from 1-12 on a sheet of paper) and write common Spanish phrases on index cards. Kids draw a phrase, roll the dice to get an emotion, and say the phrase using the tone of voice of that emotion.
Here are a few example phrases, but remember—you can use any sentence!
- Me llamo _____.
- Tengo que ir a la escuela.
- Quiero comer.
- ¿Me puedes abrir la puerta?
- Tengo mucha tarea.
4. Sorting Activities
Use categories to practice the vocabulary for feelings and emotions in Spanish. Picture flashcards are perfect for these activities. Have kids sort the cards into categories, such as:
- Positive and negative feelings
- Physical sensations and emotions
- Easy to talk about versus hard to talk about
- Easy to recognize in someone else versus hard to recognize in someone else
- Feelings that usually last versus feelings that usually pass quickly
¿Cómo Te Sientes Ahora?
How do you feel now? What are some other ways you could practice learning the feelings and emotions in Spanish? Leave a comment and let me know!
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