26. Pleasure and displeasure

A. Pleasure

Pleasure is usually expressed in the form of an exclamation:

What a wonderful/ nice/ beautiful…!

How exciting/ thrilling/ interesting

(That’s) marvelous!

(That’s) terrific!

(That’s) fantastic!

(That’s) good!

(That’s) great! – more colloquial.

The most usual response to exclamations of pleasure about other people’s possessions, ideas, presents, etc, is agreement:

(Oh) yes, isn’t it - rather enthusiastic

Yes, rather. – less enthusiastic

Or disagreement:

Do you think so? - cold, formal or sarcastic

Is it (really)? – rather mild

Remember, though, that while it is quite all right to be enthusiastic about other people’s achievements or qualities, you have to be more reserved about yourself. So in most cases all you can say without being boastful will be:

Yes, it’s not bad, is it?

Do you like it?

I’m glad you like it.

B. Displeasure

Displeasure (annoyance and anger), as is nearly always the case with strong feelings, is usually expressed with exclamations:

Oh, no!

(Oh) really!


Oh dear!

Oh Heavens!

What a bore!

That IS a bore!

There/ there it is/ there you are!

Well, I like that!

(Oh), bother! – rather mild

How annoying! – semi-formal, informal

How very annoying! – semi-formal, informal

Isn’t that annoying/ infuriating/ maddening! – more colloquial

That’s the limit/ the last straw – colloquial

Mind what you are doing -colloquial, possibly rude

Rather rude:

Mind your own business!

Who do you think you are?

Who do you take me for?

Hell!/ Blast!/ Damn!

To hell with…

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