10 English phrases for extreme emotion

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300 Idioms Course

If you want to speak fluent English, it’s important to learn phrases and expressions – NOT just individual words. And this is especially important when studying idioms.


Because it’s often not possible to understand the meaning of the idiom by looking at the individual words; you must know the meaning of the entire idiomatic expression.

In today’s lesson about idioms, I’ll explain 10 expressions that are useful for describing strong emotions. I guarantee you’ll learn something new! If you’re interested in learning more idioms, I have a course that will teach you 300 idioms in 30 lessons. You can take a free sample from the idioms course by clicking here.

Ready to learn some English idioms? Here’s the first expression:

“My boss hit the ceiling when I told him I’d lost the documents.”

The idiomatic expression “hit the ceiling” means to get very angry and upset. Other expressions for sudden anger include “go ballistic” and “blow a fuse.”

“I’m dying to see the new movie.”

“Dying to” + verb means you want to do something very much. It does not mean you are literally going to die.

“Going to the World Cup Final was a dream come true.

If something is “a dream come true,” it means it was an experience that you really wanted it to happen – and then it happened.

“My heart sank when I saw my test grade – I got a 54.”

This expression means that you started to feel sad, disappointed, or discouraged.

“We were on pins and needles waiting to hear if we won the contest.”

If someone is “on pins and needles,” it means they are anxious and in suspense, usually waiting to know some important information.

I’m kicking myself for not booking the flight yesterday – the price just went up $200.”

If you do something you regret (you wish you had acted differently), you can say “I’m kicking myself for… (the action)” After this expression, we use the -ING form of the verb.

“I was shaking like a leaf after I heard an explosion on the train.”

We can say someone is shaking like a leaf if they are extremely afraid or nervous.

“I’m pumped about the concert this weekend – it’s gonna be awesome!”

If you are pumped, it means you are very excited for something (usually something in the future that you are really looking forward to).

“I was floored by all the help we received after our son was in a serious accident.”

To be “floored” means surprised and/or overwhelmed (usually in a good way).

“It drives me up the wall when people answer their cell phones in English class.”

“Drives me up the wall” is an idiomatic expression that means it makes you annoyed. Other expressions for annoying situations include “drives me crazy” or “drives me nuts.”

A fun & easy way to learn English idioms

10 English phrases for extreme emotion Espresso English

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