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Language tip of the week: causing emotions

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips will explore the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at adjectives for describing things that make someone feel a certain emotion:



emotional causing strong emotions such as sadness or anger:
A funeral is always an emotional time for a family. It was so emotional for me to win this race.

emotive an emotive issue or question is one that people have strong feelings about; emotive language is designed to arouse strong feelings:
Abortion is an emotive issue. ♦ He uses the emotive word ‘indoctrination’.
moving making you feel emotions such as pity, sadness, or sympathy:
His letter was deeply moving. ♦ a moving film about the victims of war
sentimental making you feel emotions such as pity, sadness, or sympathy, often in a very obvious way that seems false:
Their songs are overblown, sentimental and melodramatic. ♦ His novels are so sentimental, I can’t bear them.
touching making you feel emotional and sympathetic, for example by being sad:
It was a touching story about a young brother and sister. ♦ The film is occasionally funny and at times oddly touching.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘causing strong feelings‘.

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Liz Potter

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