On this page, we will look at some of the important vocabulary for talking about happiness in English.
- ecstatic (extremely happy)
- over the moon (an idiom with the same meaning as ecstatic)
- overwhelmed (be careful with this word – it can also mean ‘too much of something – e.g. ‘overwhelmed with work’)
- in high spirits (an idiom meaning to be in a good mood)
- on cloud nine (an idiom meaning extremely happy)
- euphoric (intense excitement / happiness, almost like a drug)
- exhilarated (something that causes someone to be very happy)
- exuberant (to be full of cheerfulness, excitement and energy)
The main problem with a lot of English vocabulary is the meanings are often very similar, so here are some examples of when to use (and not use) some of the vocabulary above.
|John just found out that he’s won five million on the lottery! He’s very pleased.||Pleased is not the right word because it is not very strong. Finding out you’ve won the lottery would make you much happier than this!|
|John just found out that he’s won five million on the lottery! He’s ecstatic!||This is a good example|
|Dear Ms Johnson. We are on cloud nine about being able to offer you the position as Assistant Manager and look forward to welcoming you to the company next Monday.||On cloud nine is an idiom so it doesn’t suit a formal situation like this.|
|Dear Ms Johnson. We are delighted to offer you the position as Assistant Manager and look forward to welcoming you to the company next Monday.||This is a good example|
|He was wonderful when she told him she was pregnant!||The construction if this sentence is not correct. You cannot ‘be wonderful’ about something (you can feel wonderful)|
|He was overjoyed when she told him she was pregnant!||This is a good example|
|Jane exhilarated everyone at the party with her acrobatics – it looked so dangerous but was a lot of fun!
||You can be exhilarated by something, but not someone
|Jane thrilled everyone at the party with her acrobatics – it looked so dangerous but was a lot of fun!||This is a good example|
|The boy was elated that he’d finished his homework.
||Although it is technically possible, being elated is a little too strong just because he’d finished his homework.|
|The boy was in high spirits because he’d finished his homework.||This is a good example|
We hope you found this vocabulary for talking about happiness in English useful! Now move on to the next page, where we look at vocabulary related to unhappiness.