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Language tip of the week: feeling embarrassed and guilty

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 different ways to talk about emotions. This week’s tip looks at adjectives you can use to talk about feeling embarrassed and guilty:



ashamed feeling embarrassed and guilty because you have done something wrong, or have not reached a standard that people expect:
I regret the incident and am deeply ashamed. ♦ He is ashamed of his behaviour last night. ♦ You should be ashamed of yourselves, picking on a little child like that. ♦ I am ashamed that our government could have behaved in this way.
mortified feeling embarrassed or ashamed because you, or someone you are responsible for, has done something bad or stupid:
He started singing right there in the street and the kids were mortified. ♦ She was mortified by what she had done.
humiliated feeling very embarrassed, usually because you have failed publicly or someone has treated you badly in public:
I have never felt so humiliated in all my life.
Ashamed is never used before a noun, and mortified and humilated are rarely used before a noun.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘feeling embarrassed and guilty‘.

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Liz Potter

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