English Lesson: I Envy you…NO!

Michael Uncategorized 13 Comments

Here is a type of conversation I hear quite often:

  • Jack: Jane, what are you doing this weekend?
  • Jane: I’m going to the Justin Bieber concert
  • Jack: Oh, I envy you.

Envy is used quite often by students in such situations, but native English speakers don’t use this word this way. Envy is a very strong, negative emotion, and shows your wish to get something that you do not have. Envy includes bad feelings towards the person who has it. If you envy someone, you have negative feelings for them because they have something that you do not have. Thus, envy includes a feeling of resentment towards the other person. Envy also includes distress and sadness. Does Jack really envy Jane? I don’t think so. Here is how a native English speaker might react to someone’s good news:

  • Jack: Jane, what are you doing this weekend?
  • Jane: I’m going to the Justin Bieber concert
  • Jack: Lucky you!

 

  • Jack: Jane, what are you doing this weekend?
  • Jane: I’m going to the Justin Bieber concert
  • Jack: You’re so lucky!

 

  • Jack: Jane, what are you doing this weekend?
  • Jane: I’m going to the Justin Bieber concert
  • Jack: I wish I could go!

Of course, everyone reacts in a different way, but please keep in mind that envy is a very strong, negative emotion that includes negative feelings towards the other person. If you really envy someone, you probably wouldn’t be their friend. Thanks for studying today. Feel free to leave a comment or question.

Comments

comments