From happy to sad and everything in between - Don't be afraid to express your feelings in French

Elinor Zucchet

Elinor Zucchet

Expressing one’s feelings can be difficult, and even more so in another language. Mais ne vous inquiétez pas: we have you covered! From “happy” to “stressed” in French, you’ll be able to express your feelings in any situation.

And if you want to check on your francophone friends or say hello, here are a few useful phrases:

  • Comment ça va ?
  • Comment tu vas ?
  • Ça va ?
  • La forme ?

Got it? Then let’s dig into expressing emotions in French!

How to talk about feelings and emotions in French

Knowing how to express your feelings in French can come in handy in a variety of situations:

  • When somebody asks you how you are.
  • When you want to express your enthusiasm when visiting a tourist attraction or trying French cuisine.
  • When you feel blue or stressed and need a little pick-me-up.
  • When you want to warn somebody about something scary, for example a movie.
  • When you want to express your happiness to your other-half — and here is how to express your love.

Note: French people will easily express their dissatisfaction or stress, but they are not so skilled at expressing their enthusiasm. The BBC even wrote an article on it! And we also explain it in this article on compliments in French.

Also, while it’s customary to ask “Comment ça va“ when meeting someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean a thorough and honest answer is expected.

Couple meet to express there feelings in French.

How to say happy in French

Learn how to pronounce “Heureux” — the most common translation for “happy” — in this video!

You’re now ready to scare French people with your enthusiasm!

Tip: Québécois are a lot more receptive. Take it from a very enthusiastic French who never felt understood until she went to North America!

By the way, a “party pooper” is a “rabat-joie”.

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m happyJe suis heureux/heureuseʒə sɥi (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøzə
You’re happyVous êtes heureux/heureuse
OR
Tu es heureux/heureuse
vuz‿ ɛtə (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøz
OR
tyɛ (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøzə
He’s happyIl est heureuxilɛ (ø)ɾø
She’s happyElle est heureuseɛlɛ (ø)ɾøzə
They’re happyIls/Elles sont heureux/heureusesils/ɛlə sõ (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøzə
We’re happyNous sommes heureux/heureusesnu sɔmə (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøzə
Happy Birthday!Joyeux anniversaire !ʒwajøx‿ anivɛɾsɛɾə !
Happy Anniversary!Bon anniversaire !bõn‿ anivɛɾsɛɾə !
Happy New Year!Bonne année !bɔn aneə !
Happy Friday!Bon vendredi !bõ vɑ̃dɾədi !
Happy holidays!
(Only for winter holidays, Christmas & New Year)
Joyeuses fêtes !ʒwajøzə fɛtə !
Have a happy vacation!Bonnes vacancesbɔnə vakɑ̃sə
I’m so happy for you!Je suis très heureux/heureuse pour vous/toi !ʒə sɥi tɾe (ø)ɾ(ø)ks/(ø)ɾøzə puɾ vus/twa !

Synonyms for happy in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m thrilledJe suis ravi(e)ʒə sɥi ɾavi(ɛ)
I’m overjoyed!Je suis fou/folle de joie !ʒə sɥi fu/fɔlə də ʒwaə !
What joy!Quelle joie !kɛlə ʒwaə !
He’s delightedIl est enchantéilɛt‿ ɑ̃ʃɑ̃te
She’s over the moonElle est aux angesɛlɛt‿ ox‿ ɑ̃ʒə
He’s ecstaticIl est en extaseilɛt‿ɑ̃n‿ ɛkstazə
I’m very enthusiasticJe suis très enthousiasteʒə sɥi tɾɛz‿ ɑ̃tuzjastə
That’s great news!C'est une grande nouvelle !sɛt‿ ynə gɾɑ̃də nuvɛlə !
That’s wonderful!C'est merveilleux !sɛ mɛɾvɛjø !
I’m pleasedJe suis content(e)ʒə sɥi kõtɑ̃t(ɛ)

Example sentences using “happy” in French.

  • I’m so happy because I just got a promotion.
    French translation: Je suis ravi(e), je viens d’obtenir une promotion.
  • Glad to hear that, I’m so happy for you!
    French translation: Je suis ravi(e) de l’entendre, je suis trop content(e) pour toi !
  • He is so content because his girlfriend is here.
    French translation: Il est trop content que sa copine soit là.

How to say peaceful in French

Who doesn’t need some peace in these troubled times? Below are a few ways to say “peaceful” in French. Om….

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m so peacefulJe suis très calmeʒə sɥi tɾe kalmə
You’re so peacefulVous êtes très calme OR Tu es très calmevuz‿ ɛtə tɾe kalm OR tyɛ tɾe kalmə
He’s peacefulIl est calmeilɛ kalmə
It’s peacefulC’est paisiblekɛ p(e)ziblə
They are at peaceIls sont en paixil sõt‿ɑ̃ pɛks
We are at peaceNous sommes en paixnu sɔməz‿ɑ̃ pɛks
Peace be with you!Que la paix soit avec vous !kə la pɛks swat‿ avɛk vu !
International Day of PeaceJournée internationale de la paixʒuɾne ɛ̃tɛɾnatjɔnalə də la pɛks

Synonyms for peaceful in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
It’s so sereneC’est très sereinkɛ tɾe səɾɛ̃
It’s so calmC’est très calmekɛ tɾe kalmə
What tranquility!Quelle tranquillité !kɛlə tɾɑ̃kijite !
It’s so quietC’est très silencieuxkɛ tɾe silɑ̃sjø

Example sentences using “peaceful” in French.

  • I’m peaceful, the sea always calms me down!
    French translation: Je suis serein(e), la mer me calme toujours !
  • He's been so peaceful since he started meditating.
    French translation: Il est très calme depuis qu’il a commencé la méditation.
  • This scenery is so peaceful, I can only hear the birds!
    French translation: Ce paysage est si serein, je n’entends que les oiseaux !

How to say sad in French

As mentioned below, French people are not the best at expressing positive emotions. However, the French language includes a variety of words to express sadness, like the infamous spleen described by poet Charles Baudelaire. Ah, la mélancolie !

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m sadJe suis triste.ʒə sɥi tɾistə.
You’re sadVous êtes triste OR Tu es triste.vuz‿ ɛtə tɾist ɔɾ tyɛ tɾistə.
She is sadElle est tristeɛlɛ tɾistə
It’s sadC'est triste.sɛ tɾistə.
He’s sadIl est triste.ilɛ tɾistə.
We’re sadNous sommes tristesnu sɔmə tɾistə
They’re sadIls/Elles sont tristes.ils/ɛlə sõ tɾistə.

Synonyms for sad in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
It’s so depressingC’est déprimantkɛ depɾimɑ̃
He is unhappyIl est malheureuxilɛ mal(ø)ɾø
She is in low spiritsElle n’a pas le moralɛlə na pa lə mɔɾal
She’s downElle est dépriméeɛlɛ depɾimeə
It’s desperatingC’est désespérantkɛ dezɛspeɾɑ̃
It’s dishearteningC’est démoralisantkɛ demɔɾalizɑ̃

Example sentences using “sad” in French.

  • I’m so sad, my boyfriend just left me.
    French translation: Je suis si triste, mon copain m’a quitté(e).
  • He is sad because he hasn’t seen his family for a while.
    French translation: Il est triste car il n’a pas vu sa famille depuis longtemps.
  • That movie was so sad.
    French translation: Ce film était déprimant.

How to say angry in French

Even the best of us get angry at times. If that happens to you, at least, say it in French!

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m angryJe suis en colèreʒə sɥiz‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə
You’re angryVous êtes en colère OR Tu es en colèrevuz‿ ɛtəz‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾ ɔɾ tyɛz‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə
She is angryElle est en colèreɛlɛt‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə
He is angryIl est en colèreilɛt‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə
We’re angryNous sommes en colèrenu sɔməz‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə
They’re angryIls/Elles sont en colèreils/ɛlə sõt‿ɑ̃ kɔlɛɾə

Synonyms for angry in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
It’s infuriatingC’est exaspérantkɛt‿ ɛgzaspeɾɑ̃
I’m so madJe suis en rageʒə sɥiz‿ɑ̃ ɾaʒə
I’m furiousJe suis furieux/furieuseʒə sɥi fyɾjœks/fyɾjøzə

Example sentences using “angry” in French.

  • I’m so angry, this guy was really not nice!
    French translation: Je suis furieux/furieuse, ce mec n’était vraiment pas sympa !
  • He is angry because his bag was stolen.
    French translation: Il est en colère car on lui a volé son sac.
  • That article made me angry.
    French translation: Cet article m’a ennervé(e).

How to say relaxed in French

Take a deep breath… Time to learn how to say “relaxed” in French!

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m relaxedJe suis détendu(e)ʒə sɥi detɑ̃dy(ɛ)
You are relaxedVous êtes détendu(e) OR Tu es détendu(e)vuz‿ ɛtə detɑ̃dy(ɛ) ɔɾ tyɛ detɑ̃dy(ɛ)
He’s relaxedIl est détenduilɛ detɑ̃dy
She’s relaxedElle est détendueɛlɛ detɑ̃dɥə
We’re relaxedNous sommes détendusnu sɔmə detɑ̃dy
They’re relaxedIls/Elles sont détendus/détenduesils/ɛlə sõ detɑ̃dys/detɑ̃dœ

Synonyms for relaxed in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
It’s chillC’est coolkɛ koɔl
It’s casualC’est décontractékɛ dekõtɾakte
It’s zenC’est zenkɛ zɛ̃

Example sentences using “relaxed” in French.

  • I’m so relaxed, I just had the greatest massage!
    French translation: Je suis super détendu(e), je viens d’avoir un massage génial !
  • He is relaxed when he is on vacation.
    French translation: Il est détendu quand il est en vacances.
  • That warm bath helped me relax.
    French translation: Ce bain chaud m’a aidé(e) à me détendre.

How to say afraid / scared in French

In some situations, it might be very helpful to know how to express fear in French. After all, the French accent can be scary

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m afraid / scaredJ'ai peur / je suis effrayé(e)ʒe pœɾ / ʒə sɥiz‿ ɛfɾ(e)e(ɛ)
You are afraid / scaredVous avez peur / vous êtes effrayé(e) OR Tu as peur / tu es effrayé(e)vuz‿ ave pœɾ / vuz‿ ɛtəz‿ ɛfɾ(e)e(ɛ) OR ty a pœɾ / tyɛz‿ ɛfɾ(e)e(ɛ)
He’s afraid / scaredIl a peur / Il est effrayéil a pœɾ / ilɛt‿ ɛfɾ(e)e
She’s afraid / scaredElle a peur / elle est effrayéeɛl a pœɾ / ɛlɛt‿ ɛfɾ(e)eə
We’re afraid / scaredNous avons peur / Nous sommes effrayés/effrayéesnuz‿ avõ pœɾ / nu sɔməz‿ ɛfɾ(e)es/ɛfɾ(e)eə
They’re afraid / scaredIls/Elles ont peur / sont effrayés/effrayéesils/ɛləz‿ õ pœɾ / sõt‿ ɛfɾ(e)es/ɛfɾ(e)eə

Synonyms for afraid / scared in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
It’s terrifyingC'est terrifiantsɛ tɛrifjɑ̃
It’s worryingC'est inquiétantsɛt‿ ɛ̃kjetɑ̃
It’s concerningC'est préocupantsɛ pɾeɔkypɑ̃
It’s frighteningC'est effrayantsɛt‿ ɛfɾɛjɑ̃
It’s freaking me out (Slang)Ça fait flippersa fe flipe

Example sentences using “afraid” in French.

  • I’m so afraid, I think this house is haunted.
    French translation: J’ai trop peur, je crois que cette maison est hantée.
  • He is scared because he might miss his flight.
    French translation: Il a peur de rater son vol.
  • That scene was scary.
    French translation: Cette scène faisait peur.

How to say surprised in French

Your francophone friends arranged a surprise party for your birthday — and were not very good at hiding it? Come on, act surprised!

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m surprisedJe suis surpris(e) / étonné(e)ʒə sɥi syɾpɾis(ɛ) / etɔne(ɛ)
You’re surprisedVous êtes surpris(e) / étonné (e) OR Tu es surpris(e) / étonné(e)vuz‿ ɛtə syɾpɾis(ɛ) / etɔne (ɛ) OR tyɛ syɾpɾis(ɛ) / etɔne(ɛ)
She’s surprisedElle est surprise / étonnéeɛlɛ syɾpɾizə / etɔneə
He’s surprisedIl est surpris / étonnéilɛ syɾpɾi / etɔne
We’re surprisedNous sommes surpris/surprises / étonnés/étonnéesnu sɔmə syɾpɾis/syɾpɾizə / etɔnes/etɔneə
They’re surprisedIls/Elles sont surpris/surprises / étonnés/étonnéesils/ɛlə sõ syɾpɾis/syɾpɾizə / etɔnes/etɔneə
Happy Surprise Birthday Party!Joyeuse fête d'anniversaire surprise !ʒwajøzə fɛtə danivɛɾsɛɾə syɾpɾizə !
You surprised me!Tu m'as surpris(e) !ty ma syɾpɾis(ɛ) !
What a surprise!Quelle surprise !kɛlə syɾpɾizə !

Synonyms for surprised in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
What a shock!Quel choc !kɛl ʃɔk !
Are you joking!C'est une blague ? / Tu plaisantes ?sɛt‿ ynə blagə ? / ty plɛzɑ̃tə ?
Oh my goodness!Oh mon Dieu !o mõ djø !
Seriously? (casual)Sérieux ?seɾjø ?
No way!Non !nõ !
Are you messing with me?Tu te moques de moi ?ty tə mɔkə də mwa ?
Really?Vraiment ?vɾɛmə ?
I can’t believe itJe n'arrive pas à y croire / Je n’en reviens pasʒə narivə paz‿ a i kɾwaɾə / ʒə nɑ̃ ɾəvjɛ̃ pa

Example sentences using “surprised” in French.

  • I’m surprised to hear about your engagement!
    French translation: Je suis surpris(e) d’apprendre vos fiançailles !
  • He is so surprised because he never thought he could learn French so fast.
    French translation: Il est très étonné car il n’aurait jamais pensé apprendre le français si vite.
  • The news was surprising.
    French translation: Cette nouvelle est étonnante.

How say stressed in French

Between work, social and family life, workouts, etc. “la vie n’est pas toujours un long fleuve tranquille.” (French expression meaning “Life is not always a breeze”).

So, after learning how to say “stressed” in French, be sure to revisit the “peaceful” and “relaxed” tables!

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m stressedJe suis stressé(e)ʒə sɥi stɾɛse(ɛ)
You’re stressedVous êtes stressé(e) OR Tu es stressé(e)vuz‿ ɛtə stɾɛse(ɛ) OR tyɛ stɾɛse(ɛ)
He’s stressedIl est stresséilɛ stɾɛse
She’s stressedElle est stresséeɛlɛ stɾɛseə
We’re stressedNous sommes stressésnu sɔmə stɾɛse
They’re stressedIls sont stressésil sõ stɾɛse
What stress!Quel stress !kɛl stɾɛ !
That was stressful!C'était stressant !sete stɾɛsɑ̃ !
It was a close shave! (Slang)On a eu chaud !õn‿ ay ʃo !

Synonyms for stress in French

EnglishFrenchIPA
I’m under a lot of pressureJe suis sous pressionʒə sɥi su pɾɛsjõ
My shoulders are tenseMes épaules sont tenduesmez‿ epolə sõ tɑ̃dœ
I’m anxiousJe suis anxieuxʒə sɥiz‿ ɑ̃gzjø
I’m tenseJe suis tendu(e)ʒə sɥi tɑ̃dy(ɛ)

Example sentences using “stressed” in French.

  • I’m so stressed because of the exam tomorrow.
    French translation: Je suis stressé(e) à cause de l’examen de demain.
  • He is stressed because he worked too much this week.
    French translation: Il est stressé car il a trop travaillé cette semaine.
  • That meeting was stressful.
    French translation: Cette réunion était stressante.

Expressing emotions in French by text message

Man sends lol text message to a friend to express his feelings in French.

  • MDR (LOL)
  • PTDR (ROLF)
  • jam (I’m fed up)
  • nrv (I’m angry)
  • pde (Very emotional)

So, what are you feeling after reading this article? If you are super “heureux” to have learned some new vocab, you can continue learning on our French learning blog. And if you’re a bit “stressé(e)” with so many new words, this video is a fun way to remember them!

Share this

Find out more

Fill in the form below and we’ll contact you to discuss your learning options and answer any questions you may have.