January 8

How to Talk About Feelings in C1 Speaking Part 2

How do you talk about feelings with confidence in the C1 speaking exam part 2? Let’s find out!



Hello, this is Kristian from Cambridge Advanced Speaking, how are you doing? I hope you’re in good spirits. It’s a pleasure to share another lesson with you today.    

If you didn’t know, I run the website Get Ready For Success, where you can find the audio, the lesson notes, and even the video of this episode.

I create and share all these materials, because I want to help you speak better English and get a high mark in your C1 Speaking Exam.

In today’s lesson, you will learn vocabulary and phrases to help you speak confidently about feelings in part 2 of the Speaking Exam.


C1 Speaking Part 2: An Introduction

Now, for the listeners who are not familiar with part 2 of the exam, let me give a quick overview: 

  1. In Part 2 you talk for about 1 minute. The interlocutor will not interrupt while you are speaking.
  2. You are given three photographs, which are all related to the same thing. The interlocutor will tell you what the theme is and you then choose any two of the photographs to talk about.
  3. The interlocutor will ask you to talk about two questions related to the photographs and the theme. These questions are also written above the photographs for you to refer to while you are talking. 

Here’s an example: 

In this part of the test, I’m going to give each of you three pictures. I’d like you to talk about two of them on your own for about a minute, and also to answer a question briefly about your partner’s picture. 


Candidate A, it’s your turn first. Here are your pictures. They show people doing things together. I’d like you to compare two of the pictures and say why the people might be doing these things together, and how the people might be feeling


Vocabulary: Expressing Feelings

Now, if you are following this lesson on my blog, you can see that I’ve put three pictures at the bottom of the lesson notes. You can use these to practise part 2. But before you start doing this, let’s have a look at some common adjectives you could use.

Adjectives to express feelings:

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Terrible
  • Excited  

Now, these words are maybe a bit too common. I mean to say, you should mix up your answer in the exam to show off your speaking flexibility.  

And to help you do that, I’m going to share some synonyms you could use in the exam:

He feels happy, because _____

  • Cheerful
  • Pleased
  • Content = very happy 
  • Elated = very happy

She is happy about / that _____

  • Glad
  • Pleased
  • Delighted = very happy
  • Thrilled (to bits) = very happy

They feel angry because / about _____ 

  • Cross (She seems to be very cross about something.) 
  • Irate  (The owner was so irate he almost threw me out of the place.) 
  • Vexed (vexed at the slow salesclerks / I’m very vexed with you.)

I feel sad if _____ 

  • Despondent (If you are despondent, you are very unhappy because you have been experiencing difficulties that you think you will not be able to overcome. He felt despondent after he was made redundant.)
  • Dejected (If you are dejected, you feel miserable or unhappy, especially because you have just been disappointed by something.)
  • Miserable 

I feel terrible when _____

  • Awful
  • Dreadful (I feel absolutely dreadful about what has happened.)

Now, another common adjective you could use to describe feelings is the word excited.

However, be careful: Excited can mean very happy or very worried

If you are excited, you are so happy that you cannot relax, especially because you are thinking about something pleasant that is going to happen to you. 


“I’m very excited about living in Madrid.”


If you are excited, you are very worried or angry about something, and so you are very alert and cannot relax.


“In my view there’s every reason to get excited about inflation”.

Okay, now you know plenty alternatives to show off your English when you need to talk about how people might be feeling.


Speculative language

Finally, last but not least, let me just point out one more thing. In part 2 you need to speculate. This means you need to be able to use words like:

  • Perhaps
  • Reckon
  • Seem
  • Make out
  • Suppose
  • Maybe
  • Looks like
  • Impression
  • Appears

So don’t forget to use these expressions when you practice this part of the exam!

It seems to be _____ / They seem + adjective _____ 

I think I can make out _____

I reckon / suppose /guess _____

It appears to be / looks like _____

My initial impression is that _____


Closing notes

That’s it! Lot’s of expressions, verbs, collocations and idioms to help you express your feelings in English and with confidence.

I hope you enjoyed this episode! If you did, please share it with someone who could benefit from it.

If you have any questions about this lesson, or any feedback, anything you would like me to add or clarify, then do get in touch with me. You can email me at: kristian@getreadyforsuccess.com – I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, go and check out my website, Get Ready For Success. If you’re preparing for Cambridge C1, it’s a great place, full of interesting stuff.

All right, that’s all from me. Take care of yourself, and each other.

Speak soon my friends


Extra practice

Finish the following phrases: 

I feel vexed when _____

I feel thrilled when _____ 

I feel despondent when _____

I feel dreadful when _____

About the Author

As a Dutch proficient speaker of English, Kristian not only holds a grade A Cambridge C2 certificate but is also CELTA qualified. His five years of experience as a teacher and ESL exam coach, specialising in Cambridge English C1, C2, and IELTS, has equipped him with a unique blend of skills to guide and support your English learning journey.

  • I love this episode concept! It’s very useful to add new vocabulary on specific topics. I can notice that my fluency and confidence boost after working with your podcast. Thank you!

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