When you meet family and friends, even strangers at times, they will ask about your well being. It’s a polite thing to do. When talking about your well being, you may not only discuss your physical condition, but also your emotional state of mind. There are hundreds of words that are used to describe or identify emotional states. Look at some of the more common ones below.
At times we all get upset or angry at someone or something. It’s only human. If you happen to interact with someone that appears upset there are a number of expressions that can be used to ask the person what the problem is. Look at the examples below.
|What’s wrong with you?||I’m very upset with you for not telling me mom was sick.|
|Are you OK?||No, I’m really ticked off that you dated my girlfriend.|
|What’s the problem?||I’m fit to be tied. How could you approve the Jameson
account without my approval?
|You look upset. Is any thing wrong?||Yes, I’m really annoyed that you did not come to my
Sometimes when people are upset they say and do things that they later regret. The polite thing to do in those situations is to apologize for your behavior. Apologies are appropriate not only for things you may have said or done to offend others, but also for things that may happen that are out of your control or things that happened by accident. Look at the expressions below that can be used in those situations.
|Please forgive me, ( … I didn’t mean to imply that you
|I apologize for ( …calling your father fat).||That’s OK, I forgive you.|
|Will you ever forgive me?||Of course I forgive you.|
|I’m so sorry ( … I spilt the milk on your new carpet).||Don’t worry about it.|
|I’m sorry for ( … being late).||Think nothing of it.|
Students should work together in pairs and read the following dialogue, one student reading one part, the other student reading the other. Note the expressions used in the dialogue and the progression of the conversation. The dialogue can be used as a model to have similar conversations.
Kevin: How’s your new job going Gertrude?
Gertrude: Well, it could be better.
Kevin: Why, what’s the problem?
Gertrude: One of my subordinates isn’t very nice. He seems to think that he should have got the job instead of
me so he has a big chip on his shoulder. How are things in your life?
Kevin: Couldn’t be better. My wife Mary just got a promotion, our daughter was accepted into Harvard, and I just
made a killing in the stock market.
Gertrude: That’s great.
After reading, close your book and tell your partner a summary of the dialogue. Then switch and have your partner tell his or her summary. Start like this: This dialogue is about two people who meet…This may seem silly, since you both already know what the dialogue is about, but the purpose is to practice using your English, not to give information or test your reading skills.
1. Pair work- discussion
When did you last experience some of the emotions listed above? Tell your partner about it, using some of the
ideas for discussion below. Your partner should ask questions to get more information.
- when it was
- where it was
- who you were with
- what caused you to feel that way
- what you did to overcome that feeling (if it was a negative feeling)
2. Pair work- discussion
Have you done something recently that you regretted and later apologized for? Tell your partner about it, using
some of the ideas for discussion below. Your partner should ask questions to get more information.
- when and where it was
- what did you do
- who was involved
- why you regretted it
- what you did or said to apologize
- was your apology accepted
3. Pair work- Role Play
The situation: The three emotions below
Working with a partner, role play the situation, using the information below
The roles: See below
|A. Anger You are a college student and your partner is your parent. You
want to go to the beach for a one week vacation with some
Your parents are adamant that you stay home and study English.
|● need a break||● need to be fluent if going to study abroad|
|● have not had a vacation in 5 years||● need to get very high scores on English
|● got A’s in English last semester so don’t need
|● afraid you might get in trouble if|
|● your friend will pay for everything||● don’t like the people you are going with (they
are bad influences)
|● need to recharge your batteries so you will not
|● you can’t swim and are afraid you will drown|
|● have worked hard all semester and
deserve a reward
|B. Fear You are afraid of heights and your partner is trying to convince you to look over the edge
of the Grand Canyon.
Person 1 ideas
Person 2 ideas
|● you will fall over the edge and die||● the railing will protect you|
|● you can see well enough where you are||● you should over come your phobia|
|● you will have nightmares if you look||● you will regret it forever if you don’t look|
|● you will buy a post card for the memory||● young children will laugh at you and make
fun of you
|● you will get sick and throw up if you look over
|● don’t be a chicken
|C. Greed You are an eight year old child and your partner is your friend. You are at a candy
store and you have lots of money, but your friend has none. You buy a big bag of
candy, but refuse to
share with your friend
Child 1 ideas
Child 2 ideas
|● you bought it, so you will eat it all||● if he/she doesn’t share, you won’t like your
|● you are very hungry||● you are very hungry too|
|● if you share, your friend will get fat||● your friend will get fat|
|● if you share, it will ruin your friend’s teeth||● will ruin your friend’s teeth|
|● your friend didn’t share her ice cream the day
|● you will tell his or her mommy|
|● will tell all their friends that she or he is
greedy and mean