In 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 instead of embarrassed:
awkward not feeling comfortable, relaxed or confident:
He stood there looking stiff and awkward in his uniform. ♦ She felt awkward about asking to borrow money.
uncomfortable feeling embarrassed or nervous, often because you are in a situation where you cannot relax:
I feel uncomfortable in large groups of people. ♦ The President is uncomfortable about the harshly negative tone of the campaign.
Uncomfortable is used to talk about things that make people feel embarrassed or nervous, and about situations in which people feel uncomfortable:
There was an uncomfortable silence. ♦ The incident was an uncomfortable reminder of the risks involved.
self-conscious feeling embarrassed or worried about how you look or about what other people think of you:
Knowing everyone was watching made me feel very self-conscious. ♦ He had always felt self-conscious about the size of his nose. ♦ She gave a self-consious laugh.
sheepish embarrassed about something you have done wrong, especially when this is not very serious:
He had the grace to look a little sheepish. ♦ She gave a sheepish grin.
Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘feeling embarrassed‘.
More language tips
Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.
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