105 colorful ways to voice your feelings in Italian [from anger to joy]

Sometimes, expressing our emotions and talking about our feelings can be hard, even in our native language! However, we all know it is essential if we want to have honest conversations.

If you feel it’s time to start communicating your emotions and feelings in Italian, whether you need to talk to a friend about an important matter or you just want to chat to the barman while sipping an Aperol Spritz, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you will learn all the most common Italian words and expressions to talk about emotions and feelings, so that you won’t feel misunderstood ever again (at least not because of your Italian language skills!).

Why is it important to learn how to talk about feelings in Italian?

Learning to express emotions in Italian is essential if you want to connect and make friends with Italian people. As you’ve probably noticed, Italians aren’t subtle about their feelings, and whether they’re delighted or furious, they’ll make sure you know about it.

On the other hand, they’ll also expect you to manifest your moods, so that you’re all on the same page!

Below, you’ll learn how to ask someone how they’re feeling, how to answer, and a list of all the major emotions, as well as some expressions (and even some slang!) to talk about all types of feelings.

In the tables, we have also included the phonetic pronunciation of the Italian words, so that you can make sure you’re getting it right.

Let’s start!

How to talk about feelings and emotions in Italian

If you need to have a conversation about how someone is feeling, the best thing to do is to ask, and then just listen carefully.

If someone asks you about how you’re feeling, on the other hand, you will need some vocab to be able to express your emotions and mood. Let’s see some basic structures that you’ll be able to use with most of the words and expressions that we’ll look at today.

How to ask how someone is feeling in Italian

If you’ve studied Italian for a while, you probably know the easiest expression to ask someone how they are: Come stai? (How are you?).

This can be used in all occasions, from the casual encounter to a more intimate talk with a close friend or partner.

Other ways to inquire specifically about someone else’s emotional state are:

Italian

English

Come ti senti?

How do you feel?

Ti senti bene?

Are you feeling ok?

C’è qualcosa che non va?

Is there something wrong?

Va tutto bene?

Is everything ok?


As you can see, the first two are informal, singular constructions. To change them to formal or plural, just change the verb “sentire” to the appropriate person:

  • Come si sente? (formal)
  • Come vi sentite? (plural)

In Italian, you can feel an emotion, but you can also “try” it: yes, we can use the verbs “provare” or “sentire” to translate the english “feel” when talking about emotions and feelings in Italian.

  • Che cosa provi per lui?
    What do you feel for him?

How to say how you feel in Italian

To answer the question ‘Come stai?’ we can either use the construction: Sto… (with bene / benissimo, male / malissimo) or the verb essere (to be) with other expressions:

Italian

English

Sto bene, grazie.

I’m ok, thank you.

Oggi sto davvero malissimo.

Today I am really bad.

Sono felice!

I am happy!

Sono un po’ triste oggi. Tu invece come stai?

I am a bit sad today. And how are you?


To specify how we feel in Italian, we can also use the construction: Mi sento or provo.

Italian

English

Mi sento stanca in questi giorni, ma passerà.

I am feeling tired these days, but it will pass.

Provo* tristezza quando ci penso.

I feel sadness when I think about it.


*Provare must be used with feelings and emotions (tristezza, felicità, stanchezza) and not with the relative adjectives (triste, felice, stanco) like with the construction mi sento…

How to say “emotion”, “feeling” and “mood” in Italian

Le emozioni (singular: l’emozione) are emotions, and i sentimenti (singular il sentimento) are the feelings.

Sentimenti are usually what we feel for someone else, while emozioni describe the way we feel within.

We can also use the word sensazione (impression / feeling / sense) to talk about the way we feel.

When you’re in a good mood, you say di buon umore, while a bad mood can be cattivo umore or malumore.

Italian

English

I miei sentimenti per te sono sempre gli stessi.

My feelings for you are always the same.

A volte ha dei problemi nel controllare le proprie emozioni.

Sometimes he has trouble controlling his emotions.

La neve mi dà una sensazione di pace assoluta.

Snow gives me a sense of absolute peace.

Oggi siamo tutti di buon umore.

We’re all in a good mood today.

How to say happy in Italian

There are two main ways of saying ‘happy’ in Italian: felice and contento.

Felice does not change its ending between masculine and feminine, but it does with the plural. Contento, on the other hand, behaves like a regular adjective.

Both can be used with the constructions: Sono… / Mi sento…

The related nouns for the emotion described are felicità / contentezza (happiness).

Happy in Italian.

ItalianPronunciation
Masculine singularfelicefeh-lee-cheh
Feminine singularfelicefeh-lee-cheh
Masculine pluralfelicifeh-lee-chee
Feminine pluralfelicifeh-leeh-chee
Masculine singularcontentocon-ten-toh
Feminine singularcontentacon-ten-tah
Masculine pluralcontenticon-ten-tee
Feminine pluralcontentecon-ten-teh

Synonyms for happy in Italian

Here are some other words you will find useful when talking about positive emotions in Italian. Remember, most of these adjectives change their ending according to the gender and number of people they refer to.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
Cheerfulallegroahl-leh-groh
Joyfulgioiosojoh-yoh-zoh
Satisfiedsoddisfattosod-dee-sfah-ttoh
Delightedlietolyeh-toh
Excitedemozionatoeh-moh-tsyoh-nah-toh

Example sentences using “happy” in Italian.

  • Sono molto contenta perché ho ottenuto una promozione.
    I’m so happy because I just got a promotion.
  • È molto lieto che la sua ragazza sia qui.
    He is so content because his girlfriend is here.
  • Ho provato molta allegria nel guardare quel film perché mi ricordava della mia infanzia.
    I felt really happy watching that film because it reminded me of my childhood.
  • Siamo felicissimi che siate venuti alla mostra stasera.
    We are so happy you came to the exhibition tonight.

Non-verbal ways to express happiness in Italian.

Italians are famous for talking with their hands. Using body language is also a great way of expressing feelings and emotions.

In different parts of Italy, you might find different gestures, so look out for how people move their hands and body when they talk about positive emotions, and learn how to mimic them to speak like a real native!

How to say peaceful in Italian

To say peaceful in Italian you can use the word tranquillo or calmo. There is a difference between stare tranquillo / calmo and essere tranquillo / calmo.

In the first case, it is an invitation not to get agitated, while in the second it describes a quality of the person.

Calmarsi and tranquillizzarsi are also verbs.

Pacifico is also a translation for “peaceful”, but it is not as commonly used as the other two to describe moods. It is more common to describe a situation of peace (i.e. not war).

Peaceful in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
PeacefulTranquilloTran-kweel-loh
CalmCalmoCahl-moh
To stay calmStare tranquillo / calmoStah-reh tran-kweel-loh
To be peacefulEssere tranquillo / calmoEh-sseh-reh tran-kweel-loh
To calm downTranquillizzarsitran-kweel-lee-dzar-see
To calm downCalmarsicahl-mahr-see
PeacefulPacifico pah-chee-fee-koh

Synonyms for peaceful in Italian

Here are some other words that you might find useful to describe this kind of mood.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
Sereneserenoseh-reh-noh
Quietpacatopah-kah-toh
Placidplacidolah-chee-doh
Calm (noun)calmacahl-mah
Tranquilitytranquillitàtran-kweel-lee-tah

Example sentences using “peaceful” in Italian

  • Sei agitato per l’esame? No, sono tranquillo.
    Are you nervous about the exam? No, I’m calm.
  • Cerca di stare calma per favore, non sentirai niente.
    Try to stay calm please, you won’t feel anything.
  • Amo la tranquillità della montagna.
    I love the tranquility of mountains.
  • Le due nazioni hanno trovato un accordo in modo pacifico.
    The two nations found an agreement peacefully.

How to say sad in Italian

The word for “sad” in Italian is triste. This, like its opposite, felice, does not change in the masculine and feminine, but only in the singular and plural.

The emotion is tristezza.

How to say sad in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
I’m sadSono triste.Soh-noh tree-steh
Are you sad?Sei triste?Seh-y tree-steh?
She is sadLei è tristeLeh-y eh tree-steh
We are sadSiamo tristiSyah-moh tree-steeh
How sad!Che tristezza!Keh tree-steh-tsah!

Synonyms for sad in Italian

Here are some more expressions to talk about being sad in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
UnhappyInfeliceeen-feh-lee-cheh
UnhappyScontentoscon-ten-toh
It’s so depressingÈ deprimenteEh deh-pree-men-teh
He is depressedLui è depressoLoo-y eh deh-press-soh
She is in low spiritsÈ giù di moraleEh djooh dee moh-rah-leh

Example sentences using “sad” in Italian

  • Oggi sono davvero triste.
    I’m really sad today.
  • Che situazione deprimente!
    What a depressing situation!
  • Quel film era davvero tristissimo.
    That film was really sad.
  • Sei davvero così infelice?
    Are you really that unhappy?

How to say angry in Italian

Arrabbiato means angry in Italian. It comes from rabbia (anger) and it can be used in all kinds of situations. A slang word for the same feeling is incavolato or the slightly more rude incazzato.

If something ‘makes you angry’, use the construction “mi fa arrabbiare/incavolare/incazzare”.

Traffic jams make you angry in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
AngryArrabbiato arr-rah-byah-toh
Are you angry? (f)Sei arrabbiata?Seh-y arr-rah-byah-tah?
Angry (slang)Incavolatoeen-kah-voh-lah-toh
Pissed off (‘rude’ slang)Incazzatoeen-kah-tsah-toh
To get angryArrabbiarsiarr-rah-byahr-see
It makes me angryMi fa arrabbiareMee fah arr-rah-byah-reh

*Interesting fact*: Yes, the famous Italian dish penne all’arrabbiata is basically ‘angry pasta’… Why? Try it, it’s spicy!

Synonyms for angry in Italian

Here are some more ways of describing your bad mood if arrabbiato is not strong enough!

EnglishItalianPronunciation
FuriousFuriosofoo-ryoh-soh
FuriousInfuriatoeen-foo-ryah-toh
EnragedImbestialitoeem-bess-tyah-lee-toh
To be madAndare in bestiaAhn-dah-reh een bess-tyah

Example sentences using “angry” in Italian

  • Sono arrabbiata con mio fratello.
    I’m angry with my brother.
  • È andato in bestia per quel che gli ho detto.
    He was mad because of what I told him.
  • Che rabbia!
    It makes me angry!

How to say relaxed in Italian

Relaxed in Italian is simply rilassato. The English word relax as a noun, however, has become part of the Italian vocabulary as well. The verb, on the other hand, is rilassarsi.

Man very relaxed in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
RelaxedRilassato ree-lass-sah-toh
Are you relaxed?Sei rilassato?Seh-y ree-lass-sah-toh?
To relaxRilassarsiree-lass-sar-see
RelaxRelaxreh-laks

Synonyms for relaxed in Italian

EnglishItalianPronunciation
Tranquil / relaxedDisteso dee-steh-zoh
It’s casualCasual ca-zoo-al
SereneSerenoseh-reh-noh

Example sentences using “relaxed” in Italian

  • Oggi voglio andare in spiaggia e rilassarmi.
    Today I want to go to the beach to relax.
  • Mi sembra molto rilassata oggi.
    You seem very relaxed today (formal).
  • Durante le vacanze, voglio pensare solo al relax!
    During the holidays, I just want to think about relaxing!

How to say afraid / scared in Italian

To express fear (la paura), we can use two different constructions in Italian. One is with the verb avere (to have), and the other with the verb essere (to be).

The most common is:

  • Ho paura!
    I’m scared! (lit. I have fear!)
  • Hai paura?
    Are you afraid? (lit. Do you have fear?)

But you can also hear, in a more formal context or in writing:

  • Io sono impaurita.
    I am afraid / scared.
  • Noi siamo impauriti.
    We are scared.

Cliff diving makes you scared and afraid in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
To be afraid / scaredAvere pauraAh-veh-reh pah-ooh-rah
Afraid / scaredimpauritoeem-pah-ooh-ree-toh
He is afraid / scaredHa pauraah-pah-ooh-rah
He i’s afraid / scaredÈ impauritoEh ieem-pah-ooh-ree-toh
To scareSpaventarespa-venn-tah-reh
To scareFare paura a Fah-reh pa-ooh-rah ah

Synonyms for afraid / scared in Italian

What if you’re kind of scared, but not exactly? Here are some useful words to describe terror, worry, etc.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
TerrifiedTerrorizzatoterr-roh-ree-dza-toh
WorriedPreoccupatopreh-occ-cooh-pah-toh
FrightenedSpaventatospah-venn-tah-toh
AlarmedAllarmatoahl-lar-mah-toh

Example sentences using “afraid” in Italian

  • Sono terrorizzata dai serpenti.
    I am terrified of snakes.
  • Io non ho paura dei ragni
    Spiders don’t scare me.
  • I cuccioli sembravano impauriti.
    The puppies looked scared.
  • Non spaventarti, sto solo scherzando!
    Don’t get scared, I’m only joking!

How to say surprised in Italian

Sorpreso is the Italian word for surprised. A surprise is una sorpresa and the verb is sorprendere (to surprise). So straight forward it’s almost sorprendente (surprising)!

Surprised in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
SurprisedSorpreso sor-preh-zoh
To surpriseSorprenderesor-pren-deh-reh
SurpriseSorpresasor-preh-zah
SurprisingSorprendentesor-pren-den-teh
What a surprise!Che sorpresa!Keh sor-pre-zah

Synonyms for surprised in Italian

Here are some useful exclamations for when you’re surprised!

EnglishItalianPronunciation
I am shocked!Sono scioccatoSoh-noh shok-kah-toh
I am shocked!Sono sconvolto!Soh-noh skon-vol-toh
Are you joking?Stai scherzando?Sta-eeh sker-tsan-doh?
Oh my goodness!Oddio!Od-dee-oh
Really?Davvero?Dav-veh-roh?

Example sentences using “surprised” in Italian

  • Sono rimasta piacevolmente sorpresa dalla mostra.
    I was pleasantly surprised by the exhibition.
  • Loro hanno organizzato una festa di compleanno a sorpresa per Helen.
    They organized a surprise birthday party for Helen.
  • Quel film mi ha sconvolto!
    That film shocked me!

How to say stressed in Italian

The root of the word for stressed in Italian is exactly the same as in English: stressato.

Stress is stress, and the verb is stressare or stressarsi. Couldn’t be easier!

Stressed in Italian.

EnglishItalianPronunciation
StressedStressato stress-sah-toh
To stressStressare / stressarsistress-sah-reh
StressStress Stress
What stress!Che stress!Keh stress
That was stressful!È stato stressanteEh stah-toh stress-san-teh

Synonyms for stress in Italian

EnglishItalianPronunciation
I’m under a lot of pressureSono davvero sotto pressioneSoh-noh dav-veh-roh soht-toh press-syoh-neh
My shoulders are tenseLe mie spalle sono molto teseLe mee-eh spall-leh soh-noh mohl-toh teh-zeh
I’m anxiousHo l’ansiaOh- lan-syah
UnnervingSnervantesner-van-teh
ExhaustedEsaustoeh-sah-ooh-stoh
IrritableNervosonerr-voh-zoh

Example sentences using “stressed” in Italian

  • Questa settimana sono davvero stressato.
    I am really stressed this week.
  • Non stressarmi!
    Don’t stress me!
  • La riunione è stata estremamente stressante.
    The meeting was extremely stressful.
  • Il suo comportamento è snervante.
    His behaviour is unnerving.

Other common words to describe emotions in Italian

EnglishItalianPronunciation
AmazedColpitocoll-pee-toh
AnnoyedInfastiditoeen-fass-tee-dee-toh
EmbarrassedImbarazzatoeem-bah-rah-tsah-toh
FrustratedFrustratofroos-trah-toh
DisappointedDelusodeh-loo-zoh
ProudOrgogliosoorr-goh-llyoh-zoh
LonelySolosoh-loh
HopefulSperanzosospeh-ran-tsoh-zoh
HopelessDisperatodees-peh-rah-toh
IntriguedIntrigatoeen-tree-gah-toh

Useful Italian expressions and slang for feelings

Here are some more expressions that you might want to know when talking about your emotions and moods in Italian!

Negative feelings

Italian

English

Rimanerci male

To be disappointed

Farsi le paranoie

To overthink

Essere in para

To be in a loop

Farsi mille problemi

To create oneself a thousand problems

Mi dispiace che…*

I am sorry that…

Lascia perdere!

Get over it!

Che noia mortale!

So boring!

Che palle!

What a drag!


Positive feelings

Italian

English

Sto da dio!

I’m feeling great!

Che benessere!

How pleasant!

Che bello! / Che figata!

How beautiful! / How cool!

Mi fa piacere che*… 

I’m glad that…

**Fare piacere and dispiacere are impersonal constructions; so it must be conjugated in the same way you would conjugate the verb piacere:

  • Mi fa piacere / Mi dispiace
  • Ti fa piacere / Ti dispiace
  • Gli fa piacere / Gli dispiace
  • Ci fa piacere / Ci dispiace
  • Vi fa piacere / Vi dispiace
  • Gli fa piacere / Gli dispiace

And remember, after these expressions we always use the subjunctive mood:

  • Mi fa piacere che tu abbia passato l’esame! (I'm glad that you passed the exam!)

Relief

Italian

English

Grazie al cielo!

Thank goodness!

Meno male!

Thank God!

Per fortuna che…

Luckily…

And now… Express yourself!

With this article on how to talk about feelings and emotions in Italian, you'll be able to express everything that you feel with friends, family, and the people you love! And on that note, also remember to tell your Italian loved ones you love them with this guide.

Remember, Italians are often outgoing and open about what and how they feel, and are not scared of listening to your emotional story.

So, go out there and start practicing all the new vocab and expressions you just learned and if you need someone to practice with, take a look at our array of Italian course options.

Looking for more free, fun Italian vocabulary content? Check out the rest of our articles on our Italian language blog.

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