Friday, 28 October 2011

Objective Proficiency p 28. Feelings and Emotions. Extra Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

When I say manage emotions, I only mean the really distressing, incapacitating emotions. Feeling emotions is what makes life rich. You need your passions.
- Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence-

How many of us are suppressing the emotions that make us human? Why are they so crucial in our lives? Do they motivate us to act in order to change a given situation? Do they inform us? Do anger outbursts arise to help us see that there is something we think is unfair about a situation? Do emotions help us to communicate with others more effectively? Will others empathise with us better if they can recognize how we feel and therefore act in an emotionally appropriate way, such as consoling you when you're feeling under the weather? How do you respond when someone you know flies into a rage, feels edgy or seems a bit subdued? Do you like to share with others whatever staggers you?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.


In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.




1.  Comment on the pictures and relate them to the topic of feelings and emotions.  

2. What makes you bristle with rage?

3. How do you keep your spirits up when you go through tough times? 

4. When was the last time you witnessed somebody being given a rapturous welcome?

5. What would you do to enliven our lessons

6. Why are people so uptight in society these days? How can we get a grip on our stress, when life is heavy and hard to take?

7. Are there times when you get easily flustered?

8. What news leaves you dumbfounded? 




Blow your top:  




(British English) (North American English blow your stack) (informal) to get very angry. 



Blow up (at somebody)




(informal) to get angry with somebody. Lose your temper. E.g. I'm sorry I blew up at you.



Flip your lid 




(informal) to become very angry and lose control of what you are saying or doing. Go mad. E.g. She'll flip her lid when she finds out.



Flip (out) 




(informal) to become very angry, excited or unable to think clearly. E.g. She finally flipped under the pressure. He completely flipped when he saw the mess in the kitchen. 



Go off the deep end:




(informal) to suddenly become very angry or emotional



Hit the ceiling/roof




(informal) to suddenly become very angry.



Boil over 




(informal) to become very angry.



Lose your cool 




(informal) to become angry or excited. E.g. I lost my cool and shouted at them.

Keep your cool 

 (informal) to remain calm in a difficult situation. E.g. He kept his cool on the convention floor when he was heckled by a young Republican.



Fly into a rage, temper, etc. 




to become suddenly very angry.



Fly off the handle 




(informal) to suddenly become very angry. E.g. He seems to fly off the handle about the slightest thing these days.



Go ballistic 




(informal) to become very angry. E.g. He went ballistic when I told him.







/bəˈzɜːk/ very angry, often in a violent or uncontrolled way. E.g. He went berserk when he found out where I'd been.



Bristle (with something) (at something)  




/ˈbrɪsl/ to suddenly become very annoyed or offended at what somebody says or does. E.g. His lies made her bristle with rage.




have somebody’s guts for garters
(British English, informal) to be very angry with somebody and punish them severely for something they have done. E.g. She’ll have your guts for garters if she ever finds out.
garter: a band, usually made of elastic, that is worn around the leg to keep up a sock or stocking

come over:  
suddenly feel sth. If a feeling comes over you, it suddenly affects you in a strong way. E.g. A wave of anger came over him. A wave of fury came over her.

be/feel hard done by  
to be or feel unfairly treated. E.g. She has every right to feel hard done by—her parents have given her nothing. I'm feeling hard done-by because I've been taking care of the kids all week and Steve's been out every night.




Rant and rave 




(disapproving) to show that you are angry by shouting or complaining loudly for a long time.



Roast somebody 




(informal or humorous) to be very angry with somebody; to criticize somebody strongly. E.g. if you waste his time he’ll roast you.




give somebody a piece of your mind
(informal) to tell somebody that you disapprove of their behaviour or are angry with them. To speak angrily to someone about something they have done wrong. E.g. I'm going to give that mechanic a piece of my mind if the car's not fixed this time.







/ˌækrɪˈməʊniəs/ (adj) (of an argument, etc.) angry and full of strong bitter feelings and words. Bitter. E.g. His parents went through an acrimonious divorce. The split-up was not acrimonious and Adam spent time with both his mother and father.



Heckle (somebody) 




 to interrupt a speaker at a public meeting by shouting out questions or rude remarks. E.g. He was booed and heckled throughout his speech.



let off steam 




(informal) to get rid of your energy, anger or strong emotions by doing something active or noisy. E.g. I went for a long walk to let off steam. The kids can let off steam in the gardens while mum and dad have a relaxing drink.




On cloud nine 




(old-fashioned, informal) extremely happy.



Over the moon 




(informal, especially British English) extremely happy and excited. E.g. They're over the moon about their trip to Japan.



In seventh heaven  




extremely happy. E.g. Now that he's been promoted he's in seventh heaven. 







/ iˈleɪtɪd/ (at/by something) very happy and excited because of something good that has happened, or will happen. E.g. They were elated at the result. I was elated by the prospect of the new job ahead.







/ ɪkˈstætɪk / very happy, excited and enthusiastic; feeling or showing great enthusiasm. E.g. Sally was ecstatic about her new job.



Brimming with excitement 







 to be full of something; to fill something. E.g. Tears brimmed in her eyes.  Her eyes brimmed with tears. The team were brimming with confidence before the game. On my first day at school I was brimming with excitement.







/ˈbʌbli/ (informal) (of a person) always cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic. E.g. Julie's bright, bubbly personality. She is a lovely bright bubbly girl.







 /ˌefəˈvesnt/ (of people and their behaviour) excited, enthusiastic and full of energy. Bubbly. E.g. a warm effervescent personality. Effervescent young people.







/vɪˈveɪʃəs/ (especially of a woman) having a lively, attractive personality. E.g. He had three pretty, vivacious daughters. Her vivacious and elegant mother. She was dark-haired and vivacious. A vivacious personality.







very lively and active. E.g. a high-spirited child. High-spirited behaviour.



Spirits [plural] 




 a person's feelings or state of mind. E.g. to be in high/ low spirits. You must try and keep your spirits up (= stay cheerful). My spirits sank at the prospect of starting all over again. The team returned in high spirits (lively and cheerful)







/ˈbɔɪstərəs/ noisy, energetic, and cheerful. E.g. a group of boisterous lads. It was a challenge, keeping ten boisterous seven-year-olds amused. The children and the dogs raced out of the house to give me a boisterous welcome. A boisterous crowd.







/ɪɡˈzjuːbərənt/ full of energy, excitement and happiness. Sp desbordante de vida y entusiasmo. E.g. She gave an exuberant performance. An exuberant personality/ imagination. A picture painted in exuberant reds and yellows.







/ɪˈbʌliənt/ /ɪˈbʊliənt/ full of confidence, energy and good humour. Sp. lleno de vida. E.g. The Prime Minister was in ebullient mood. He was accompanied by an ebullient, talkative blonde. The ebullient Mr Clarke was not to be discouraged.







/ˈræptʃərəs/ expressing extreme pleasure or enthusiasm for somebody/something. E.g. He was greeted with rapturous applause. The Olympic team was given a rapturous welcome. 







/ɪɡˈzɪləreɪtɪd/ happy and excited, especially after physical activity. E.g.  She felt exhilarated with the speed. I felt exhilarated after a morning of skiing.







/ˌʌpˈlɪftɪd/ [not before noun] feeling happy and full of hope. E.g. Everyone left the meeting feeling uplifted.








/ˌʌpˈlɪftɪŋ/ making you feel happier or giving you more hope. E.g. an uplifting experience/ speech.







/ɪnˈspaɪərɪŋ/exciting and encouraging you to do or feel something. E.g. an inspiring teacher.







 /ˌʌnɪnˈspaɪərɪŋ/ not making people interested or excited. E.g. The view from the window was uninspiring.







/ɪnˈtaɪsɪŋ/ something that is enticing is so attractive and interesting that you want to have it or know more about it. Sp. tentador, atractivo. E.g. The offer was too enticing to refuse. An enticing smell came from the kitchen. The idea of two weeks in the sun sounds very enticing.







/ˈkæptɪveɪtɪŋ/ taking all your attention; very attractive and interesting. Enchanting. E.g.
He found her captivating. We spent a week relaxing on the captivating island of Capri.







 /ˈpleʒərəbl/ giving pleasure. enjoyable. E.g. a pleasurable experience. We do everything we can to make your trip pleasurable.








/ɪnˈdʒɔɪəbl/ giving pleasure. E.g. an enjoyable weekend/experience. highly/really/thoroughly/very enjoyable.






/ɪnˈlaɪvn/ to make something more interesting or more fun. To make someone more cheerful or animated. E.g. the wartime routine was enlivened by a series of concerts. The visit had clearly enlivened my mother.







/ˈkʌmfətɪŋ/ making you feel calmer and less worried or unhappy. E:g. her comforting words. It's comforting to know that you'll be there. Hearing all the familiar sounds around the house was strangely comforting.



Subdued (of a person)  




/səbˈdjuːd/ unusually quiet, and possibly unhappy. Sp. apagado. E.g. He seemed a bit subdued to me. She was in a subdued mood. The reception was a subdued affair.







/ˈdaʊnkɑːst/ (of a person or an expression) sad or depressed. Dejected. Sp. abatido, apesadumbrado, desalentado. E.g. A group of downcast men stood waiting for food. You mustn’t be downcast.







/dɪˈspɒndənt/ (about something) sad, without much hope. Dejected. Sp. abatido, descorazonado. E.g. She was becoming increasingly despondent about the way things were going. There are times when it is hard not to feel despondent. She grew more and more despondent.







/dɪˈdʒektɪd/ unhappy and disappointed. Despondent. Sp. abatido, desalentado. E.g. She looked so dejected when she lost the game. He stood in the street looking dejected.







/dɪˈspɪrɪtɪd/ having no hope or enthusiasm. Sp. desanimado, abatido. E.g. She looked tired and dispirited. She was determined to appear unworried in front of her dispirited family.







/dɪsˈhɑːtn/ to make somebody lose hope or confidence. Discourage. E.g. Don't let this defeat dishearten you. Disheartened (adj) E.g. a disheartened team.







 /ˈkrestfɔːlən/ sad and disappointed because you have failed and you did not expect to. E.g. he came back empty-handed and crestfallen.



Deflate somebody/ something 




 /dɪˈfleɪt/ to make somebody feel less confident; to make somebody/ something feel or seem less important. E.g. All the criticism had left her feeling totally deflated.








/dɪˈstrest/ upset and anxious. E.g. He was too distressed and confused to answer their questions.




Distraught: /dɪˈstrɔːt/




extremely upset and anxious so that you cannot think clearly. E.g. She’s still too distraught to speak about the tragedy. The child’s distraught parents pleaded for witnesses to contact the police.







/ˌʌpˈtaɪt/ (about something) (informal) anxious and/ or angry about something. E.g. Relax! You're getting too uptight about it.



Get/ take a grip (on yourself) 




to improve your behaviour or control your emotions after being afraid, upset or angry. E.g. I have to take a grip on myself, he told himself firmly. Get a grip! (= make an effort to control your emotions.







/ˌæprɪˈhensɪv/ worried or frightened that something unpleasant may happen. E.g. an apprehensive face/ glance/ look. E.g. I was a little apprehensive about the effects of what I had said.You have no reason to be apprehensive of the future. She was deeply apprehensive that something might go wrong.



Be on edge  




to be nervous, excited or bad-tempered. E.g. She was always on edge before an interview.







/ˈedʒi/ nervous, especially about what might happen. E.g. She's been very edgy lately. After the recent unrest there is an edgy calm in the capital. I'm feeling a bit edgy about the exam tomorrow. 



(be) on tenterhooks 




 (North American English also be on pins and needles) (to be) very anxious or excited while you are waiting to find out something or see what will happen. E.g. I've been on tenterhooks all week waiting for the results. 




be brimming with trepidation





/ˌtrepɪˈdeɪʃn/ great worry or fear about something unpleasant that may happen. E.g. He knocked on the door with some trepidation. 







 to be full of something; to fill something. E.g. Tears brimmed in her eyes.  Her eyes brimmed with tears. The team were brimming with confidence before the game. On my first day at school I was brimming with excitement.



making you feel very excited or anxious because you do not know what is going to happen. E.g. a nail-biting finish. It's been a nail-biting couple of weeks waiting for my results.

nerve-racking: (also nerve-wracking) /ˈnɜːv rækɪŋ/

making you feel very nervous and worried. E.g. It was a nerve-racking drive up the mountain. My wedding was the most nerve-racking thing I've ever experienced.  It was a nerve racking moment as we weren't sure what to do.

scared/ worried stiff


(adv) 1 (informal) very much; to an extreme degree. E.g. be bored/ scared/ worried stiff. 2 frozen stiff (of wet material) very cold and hard because the water has become ice. E.g. The clothes on the washing line were frozen stiff. I came home from the game frozen stiff (= very cold).







(informal) anxious and nervous. E.g.  All this talk of job losses was making him jittery. I felt jittery before going on stage.



Get (yourself)/ be in a stew (about/ over something) 




(informal) to become/ feel very anxious or upset about something. E.g. There's no point getting in a stew about it. 



Gnaw at somebody: 




/nɔː/ to make somebody feel anxious, frightened or uncomfortable over a long period of time. Sp. roer, carcomer. E.g. The problem had been gnawing at him for months. Fear gnawed at her soul. The old woman's warning gnawed at me. Sp. La advertencia de la vieja anciana me carcomió.


gnawed by doubts/hunger Sp. atormentado por las dudas/el hambre







/ˈnɔːɪŋ/ making you feel worried over a period of time. E.g. gnawing doubts.




/nɔː/ to keep biting something or chewing it hard, so that it gradually disappears gnaw something The dog was gnawing a bone. 



Fluster somebody




/ˈflʌstə(r)/ to make somebody nervous and/ or confused, especially by giving them a lot to do or by making them hurry. E.g. Don't fluster me or I'll never be ready. He was flustered by all the attention. You need to be able to work under pressure and not get flustered.



Weigh somebody down: 




to make somebody feel worried or anxious. Burden. Sp. ahogar. E.g. The responsibilities of the job are weighing her down. He is weighed down with guilt.



Burden /ˈbɜːdn/ somebody/yourself (with something) 




 to give somebody a duty, responsibility, etc. that causes worry, difficulty or hard work. Sp. cargar, preocupar, agobiar. E.g. They have burdened themselves with a high mortgage. I don't want to burden you with my worries. To be burdened by high taxation. They were not yet burdened with adult responsibility.







/pəˈfekʃənɪst/ E.g. he was a perfectionist who worked slowly.







calm and relaxed; seeming not to worry about anything. Easy-going. Sp. tranquilo, relajado, despreocupado. E.g. a laid-back attitude to life. She's very laid-back about her exams. He was being very laid-back about it all. She's always so laid-back about everything.







 relaxed and happy to accept things without worrying or getting angry. E.g. I wish I had such easy-going parents!







/ˈslæpdæʃ/ done, or doing something, too quickly and carelessly. Sp. descuidado, chapucero. E.g. She has a very slapdash approach to keeping accounts. A slapdash piece of writing. He gave a slapdash performance. She's a bit slapdash. He has a slapdash approach to work. 



botch something (up)  




(informal) to spoil something by doing it badly. E.g. He completely botched up the interview. The work they did on the house was a botched job.








/ˈstɑːtl/ to surprise somebody suddenly in a way that slightly shocks or frightens them. Startle somebody/something I didn't mean to startle you. The explosion startled the horse. I was startled by her question. It startles somebody to do something It startled me to find her sitting in my office. A startling discovery. Startling revelations in the Sunday papers.



Stun somebody  




to surprise or shock somebody so much that they cannot think clearly or speak. Astound. E.g. Her words stunned me—I had no idea she felt that way. He suffered a stunning defeat in the election.







/əˈstɒnɪʃ/ to surprise somebody very much. Amaze. E.g. The news astonished everyone. She astonished us by saying she was leaving. It astonishes me (that) he could be so thoughtless. She ran 100m in an astonishing 10.6 seconds.I find it absolutely astonishing that you didn't like it.







/əˈstaʊnd/ to surprise or shock somebody very much. E.g. His arrogance astounded her.She was astounded by his arrogance. Astounding: /əˈstaʊndɪŋ/ so surprising that it is difficult to believe. E.g. There was an astounding 20% increase in sales.



Take somebody aback




 [usually passive] to shock or surprise somebody very much. E.g. We were rather taken aback by her hostile reaction.







/ˈflæbəɡɑːstɪd/extremely surprised and/or shocked. E.g. Friends were flabbergasted by the news that they'd split up. She was too flabbergasted to speak.







/dʌmˈfaʊndɪd/ unable to speak because of surprise. E.g. The news left her dumbfounded.



Bowl somebody over: 




 to surprise or impress somebody a lot.







 to shock or surprise somebody very much. E.g. Her remarks staggered me. It staggers me that the government is doing nothing about it.



Staggered (at/by something)| staggered (to hear, learn, see, etc.)  




very surprised and shocked at something you are told or at something that happens. E.g. I was staggered at the amount of money the ring cost.







so great, shocking or surprising that it is difficult to believe. E.g. They paid a staggering £5 million for the house.







 /kəˈməʊʃn/ sudden noisy confusion or excitement. E.g. I heard a commotion and went to see what was happening. The crowd waiting outside was causing a commotion.







 excitement, anger or shock that is felt by a number of people.  Commotion. Sp. causar revuelo. E.g. Her resignation caused quite a stir. The event caused quite a stir.



set (or rock) someone back on their heels




astonish or disconcert someone. E.g. she said something that rocked me back on my heels. He was rocked back on his heels. 


/ˈθʌndəstrʌk/ extremely surprised and shocked. E.g. they were thunderstruck by this revelation.


 /ˈɔːstrʌk/ feeling very impressed by something. E.g. People were awestruck by the pictures the satellite sent back to Earth.

puzzle somebody 

/ˈpʌzl/ to make somebody feel confused because they do not understand something. Baffle. E.g. What puzzles me is why he left the country without telling anyone.


/ˈbæfl/ to confuse somebody completely; to be too difficult or strange for somebody to understand or explain. E.g. baffle somebody His behaviour baffles me. be baffled (as to) why, how, where, etc… I'm baffled as to why she hasn't called. I'm baffled why she hasn't called. 



that should make you feel ashamed. E.g. shameful behaviour. It was shameful the way she was treated. There is nothing shameful about being poor.


 causing somebody to feel ashamed. E.g. a shaming defeat by a less experienced team 


/ˌɪɡnəˈmɪniəs/ that makes, or should make, you feel ashamed. E.g.  an ignominious defeat. He made one mistake and his career came to an ignominious end. an ignominious failure/retreat.


very bad or unacceptable; that people should feel ashamed about. E.g.  His behaviour was absolutely disgraceful! It's disgraceful that none of the family tried to help her. a disgraceful waste of money.


/ʌnˈkɒnʃənəbl/ (of an action, etc.) so bad, immoral, etc. that it should make you feel ashamed. E.g. It would be unconscionable for her to keep the money. To make people feel shame or guilt for being ill is unconscionable. This unconscionable policy will cause great suffering.


/ˈɔːkwəd/ making you feel embarrassed. E.g. There was an awkward silence. I felt awkward because they obviously wanted to be alone.


/əˈbæʃt/ embarrassed and ashamed because of something that you have done. E.g. He glanced at Juliet accusingly and she looked suitably abashed.


/ˈbæʃfl/ shy and easily embarrassed. E.g. He was too bashful to talk about sex. She looked bashful when he asked her what she wanted. When we asked her if she had a boyfriend, she came over all bashful and wouldn’t say a thing. 


 to become red in the face because you are embarrassed or ashamed. E.g. blush (with something) (at something) to blush with embarrassment/shame. She blushed furiously at the memory of the conversation. He looked away, blushing. + adj./noun He blushed scarlet at the thought. 


(of a person or their face) to become red, especially because you are embarrassed, angry or hot. E.g. She flushed with anger. Sam felt her cheeks flush red. flush something A rosy blush flushed her cheeks. 

go red

(of the face) bright red or pink, especially because you are angry, embarrassed or ashamed. E.g. He stammered something and went very red in the face. (British English) She went red as a beetroot. (North American English) She went red as a beet. 


 with a red face, especially because you are embarrassed or angry. E.g. A red-faced Mr Jones was led away by police. The band were left red-faced with embarrassment.

cringey: also cringy

/ˈkrɪn.dʒi/ embarrassing or making you feel uncomfortable. E.g. It was a bit cringey when he got her name wrong. cringy old school photos


to feel very embarrassed and uncomfortable about something. E.g. I cringe when I think of the poems I wrote then. She felt herself cringe with embarrassment at the memory. The very idea made him cringe inside.

cringeworthy: (also cringe-making)  

making you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. E.g. It was a cringeworthy performance from start to finish.


to make somebody feel very ashamed or embarrassed. E.g. She was mortified to realize he had heard every word she said. I was mortified when I realized I had forgotten our lunch date.

discomfit somebody 

 /dɪsˈkʌmfɪt/ to make somebody feel confused or embarrassed. E.g. He was not noticeably discomfited by the request. 

tease (somebody) 

to laugh at somebody and make jokes about them, either in a friendly way or in order to annoy or embarrass them. E.g.  Don't get upset—I was only teasing. I used to get teased about my name. 

make a monkey (out) of somebody

to make somebody seem stupid. E.g. They made a monkey out of him.

have/be left with egg on/all over your face

(informal) to be made to look stupid. E.g. They were left with egg on their faces when only ten people showed up.

lose face

to be less respected or look stupid because of something you have done. E.g. Many leaders don't want to lose face by admitting failures. Also, asking for clarification may indicate lack of expertise and people don't want to lose face in doing that. 

blot your copybook  

to do something to spoil the opinion that other people have of you. E.g. The local councillor blotted his copy book when it came to light that he had accepted bribes to allow unregulated development projects to go ahead. I really blotted my copy book when I spilled my drink on the visiting dignitary last night.  You can also say that there is a blot on your copybook. E.g. In fact, just about the only blot on his copybook so far was a missed penalty against Arsenal 10 days ago. Note: In the past, schoolchildren had `copybooks'. These were books of examples of handwriting, with spaces for the children to copy it.

a hangdog look/ expression

if a person has a hangdog look, they look sad or ashamed especially because of feeling guilty.


feeling or looking ashamed because you have done something bad or stupid. E.g. a shamefaced smile. She looked shamefaced. a shamefaced explanation.


/ˈʃiːpɪʃ/ looking or feeling embarrassed because you have done something silly or wrong. E.g.
Mary gave her a sheepish grin. He came into the room looking distinctly sheepish. They were obviously a little bit sheepish about the misunderstanding.



live something down 




to be able to make people forget about something embarrassing you have done. E.g. She felt so stupid. She'd never be able to live it down. 




redeem sth/ yourself  



to do something to improve the opinion that people have of you, especially after you have done something bad. E.g. He has a chance to redeem himself after last week's mistakes. Everyone thought badly of Alan when he was caught stealing from his employer, but he mended his ways and eventually redeemed his reputation. Tess got off to a bad start with her parents-in-law, but she redeemed herself by offering to do the washing up.

clear your name:

to prove that someone did not do something that they were accused of. E.g. The men say they have been falsely accused and are determined to clear their names.


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