Which one is right to say?

  • He felt embarrassed


  • He felt embarrassment

Is there any difference between them?


Normally the first. The verb "feel" can have an adjective complement, and as we are describing someone's feelings, the adjective works well. Compare

He feels happy. (Normal)

He feels happiness (Rare)

The noun form might used rarely, for example:

John felt something he had not experienced for a long time, embarrassment, even guilt.

Here a noun is required, as it has to be "something..."

  • Nice answer, even more your sentence. What does embarrassment act in your sentence, appositive modifier? – Stevan Slewa Jan 27 '18 at 20:40
  • 1
    I hadn't thought about it, but, yes appositive I think. You could say "... namely embarrassment" with no change in meaning. You could even swap the order "... felt embarrasment, something he had not...." – James K Jan 27 '18 at 20:54
  • How about Stop exercising if you feel any pain.? Where pain is a noun word. – dan Jan 28 '18 at 0:40
  • @dan, indeed, as there is no corresponding adjective to "pain". – James K Jan 28 '18 at 7:40
  • @JamesK is painful an adjective? – dan Jan 28 '18 at 9:25

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