Chinese words for feelings

By Sujanti Djuanda – Chinese teacher at

Chinese Words for Feelings: 感情(gǎnqíng= affection, feeling) and 感觉(gǎnjué=feeling, to feel)

The noun “感情(gǎn​qíng=feeling, affection)” is a deep loving feeling for people or things. It needs a long time to produce it (a long-term feeling process).

The noun感觉(gǎn​jué=feeling) is the simple feeling for people or things (a short-term feeling).

Chinese words for feelings

Example 1a:

When we met at first time, we totally didn’t have any feelings. We are just friends. (a short term feeling)


Compare with Example 1b: We are together for 5 years, our affection is very deep. (a long-term feeling process).

我们(wǒmen=we)在一起(zài​yī​qǐ=together)5(wǔ=five)年(nián​=year)了(le),感情(gǎn​qíng)很(hěn=very)深(shēn= deep)了(le)。

Example 2a:

I have a very good affection for China, because over the last three years I have made a lot of friends. (a long-term feeling process).

我(wǒ=I)对(duì​=towards)中国(Zhōng​guó=China)感情(gǎn​qíng=affection, feeling)很(hěn​=very)好(hǎo​=good),因为(yīn​wèi=because)三年来(sānnián​lái=over the last three years)我(wǒ=I)交(​jiāo=to make friends)了(le)很(hěn=very)多(duō​=a lot)朋友(péng​you=friend)。

Compare with example 2b:

Though I just went to China 2 times, but I have a good feeling with it. (a short-term feeling).

虽然(suī​rán=though)我(wǒ=I)才(cái=just)两(liǎng​)次(cì=time)去(qù=go)中国(Zhōngguó=China),但是(dàn​shì=but)我(wǒ=I)对(duì= towards)中国(Zhōngguó=China)感觉(gǎn​jué=feeling) 很(hěn=very)好(hǎo=good)。

Example 3:

I don’t want to hurt his affection.


II. 感觉(gǎn​jué) can be used as a verb but 感情(gǎn​qíng) cannot.

Example 1:

How did you feel after eating the medicine?

Subject + Verb1 + 了(le) + Object + Verb2 + How?

你(nǐ=you)吃(chī=to eat)了(le)药(yào=medicine)感觉(gǎnjué=to feel)(or 觉得(jué​de=to feel))怎么样(zěn​me​yang=how)?


As a verb, 感觉(gǎnjué=to feel) and 觉得(juéde=to feel) are often interchangeable.

You cannot say: 你(nǐ=you)吃(chī=to eat)了(le)药(yào=medicine) 感情(gǎnqíng=feeling)怎么样(zěn​me​yang=how)?(感情(gǎn​qíng) cannot used as a verb).

Example 2:

I feel much better now.

我(wǒ​=I)感觉(gǎn​jué=to feel)(or 觉得(juéde=to feel)好多(hǎo​duō=much better)了(le)。

You cannot say: 我(wǒ=I)感情(gǎnqíng=feeling)好多(hǎo​duō=much better)了(le)。(感情(gǎn​qíng) cannot used as a verb)

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