Last year, I showed you a table of some basic feelings and emotions in English. Today, I have a new chart to help explore your feelings even further. It should help to develop your vocabulary, particularly as the diagram helps to grade the emotions.   Those towards the centre of the wheel are more intense, whereas those at the outside are more everyday.

As with the first table, the wheel is easy to learn because you can see each emotion and its opposite.

The Plutchik wheel is a result of psychotherapist Robert Plutchik’s research on emotions. He identified the 8 main emotions on the wheel – Joy, Trust, Anticipation, Surprise, and on the negative side, Disgust, Sadness, Fear, and Anger.

Plutchik’s theory was that humans had these feelings in common with other animals. This is because the feelings are all linked to the ‘fight or flight’ response to danger. The emotions are linked to how we adapt to our environment.

A final word – I wouldn’t advise using all of these words in response to a colleague who asks how you are feeling, but perhaps as you’re watching the news, or in your reading and writing, you’ll be surprised by how often they appear.


I hope that this helps!


Mairi : )