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Language tip of the week: looking or sounding sad

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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 that mean looking or sounding sad:

gloomy sad and having no hope that things will improve, and often showing this by your expression or the way your voice sounds:
Her gloomy face told them that the news was bad.

Gloomy is also used about places, situations and weather that are depressing and show no sign of improving:
The day was overcast and gloomy. ♦ Some are predicting a much gloomier outlook for the economy.

glum showing you are sad by the expression on your face. You often use glum when you are telling someone not to look so sad:
Don’t look so glum – we’ll come again soon.
downcast sad for a time, usually because something that you hoped for has not happened
:
He looked downcast as he left the meeting
.
down in the mouth looking unhappy, usually because you are disappointed about something:
I thought Jo seemed a bit down in the mouth this morning.

Down in the mouth is an informal phrase used mainly in spoken English.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to talk about ‘feeling sad‘.

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Liz Potter

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