Despite being an emotion that is worth staying away from, there may come a time when you need to express anger in Spanish. And I want you to be prepared.
This includes knowing how to express anger without using profanity.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a person that is easily upset, this vocabulary will be useful, if only for the fact you recognise when someone is expressing anger in Spanish towards you.
So, what is the best way to express anger in Spanish?
Or, what should you be listening out for as you make your way through a bustling Spanish city?
In this post, you will learn a few key verbs, nouns and adjectives for expressing anger. You will also learn a couple of nuances for the use of prepositions around anger adjectives.
Emotions in Spanish and false friends
One of the reasons Spanish is a great language to learn if you are an English native is the long list of Spanish-English cognates. Cognates are words that mean the same thing in both languages and are spelt almost identically.
But, the flip side and the danger of learning Spanish from English is assuming certain words mean the same thing but are actually entirely different. These types of words are called false friends.
It turns out that between English and Spanish there are a lot of false friends around emotions.
For anger there are two, in particular, you should pay attention to:
Both of these Spanish words are very useful for expressing anger or disappointment and mean completely different things in English, so take note and get used to using them as soon as you can.
Anger prepositions: Are you annoyed with or annoyed about?
Before introducing some of the vocabulary for expressing anger, I want to draw your attention to a critical decision you have to make with the constructions below.
The question is: are you angry with someone or angry about something?
If you are annoyed with someone, including yourself, then you’ll need to use the Spanish preposition con. The exception to this rule occurs with adjectives that are followed by de, in which case they are always constructed with de.
On the other hand, if you are annoyed ‘about’ something then you will need to use the preposition por, unless, again, the adjective is followed by de.
So as you read through the examples below pay particular attention to whether the adjective is followed by por or de.
Anger adjectives: How to express anger in Spanish with the verb ‘to be’
If you want to express anger in Spanish, you have four main adjectives to choose from.
But, before we look at these angry adjectives, the first decision you’ll need to make is whether to use them with ser or estar.
Fortunately, when it comes to expressing emotions in Spanish, the choice is straightforward, you should always use estar.
Each anger adjective below carries a slightly different weight. The translation from English will give you a helpful guide of which to use and when.
English: I’m fed up.
Español: Estoy harto.
English: I’m annoyed.
Español: Estoy molesto.
English: I’m angry.
Español: Estoy enfadado.
English: I’m furious.
Español: Estoy furioso.
Next, let’s look at how these constructions are used in combination with prepositions to form full sentences.
English: I’m fed up with this weather.
Español: Estoy harto de este clima.
English: I’m fed up with your friend.
Español: Estoy harto de tu amigo.
Notice the use of de with these first two example sentences.
English: I’m annoyed because we arrived on time and there is no one here.
Español: Estoy molesto porque hemos llegado a tiempo y aquí no hay nadie.
English: He is annoyed with himself.
Español: Él está molesto consigo mismo.
English: I’m angry about it.
Español: Estoy enfadado por ello.
English: I’m angry with you for your bad behaviour from last night.
Español: Estoy enfadado contigo por tu mal comportamiento anoche.
English: I am furious about how our government spends money.
Español: Estoy furioso por cómo gasta el dinero nuestro gobierno.
English: I’m angry with my boss for his decision.
Español: Estoy furioso con mi jefe por su decisión.
Hopefully, you will have noticed from these last few examples that, apart from harto, when you are angry about something, you should follow the adjective with the preposition por. And, in addition, for all of these cases, por can easily be substituted with porque to change the idea to ‘because’.
Anger sentences: 7 verb constructions for expressing anger in Spanish
In this section, you’ll learn how to express anger by using a few important constructions with angry Spanish verbs.
The following three verbs adopt the same sentence structure as verbs like gustar.
English: It annoys me.
Español: Me molesta.
English: It bothers me.
Español: Me fastidia.
English: It angers me.
Español: Me enfada.
You have to be careful with combining these three verbs with the conjunction que. When you do this, you will need to use the subjective mood which, if you aren’t yet ready for, can be avoided.
Instead of constructing a sentence like this:
English: It annoys me that…
Español: Me molesta que…
You can either bring the second part of the sentence forward like this:
English: What you have done annoys me.
Español: Lo que has hecho me molesta.
Or you can try to reconstruct the second part of the sentence (instead of the que) by using a verb in its infinitive form:
English: It annoys me to see him so happy.
Español: Me molesta verlo tan feliz.
Before wrapping up, here are a few more constructions that are worth practicing.
Instead of putting together a sentence by using an anger verb that is formed like gustar, you can use the same few verbs above in a simpler sentence structure as follows:
English: If you arrive late, you will anger my parents.
Español: Si llegas tarde, enfadarás a mis padres.
English: I don’t want to annoy my girlfriend again.
Español: No quiero molestar a mi novia de nuevo.
If you are trying to plan something, such as a catchup with a friend, and the person keeps putting it off or agreeing to a time and changing at the last minute, you should use fastidiar in the negative imperative command form:
English: Don’t mess me around!
Español: ¡No me fastidies!
In another sentence construction, you can use the noun enojo (anger) with the verb causar (to cause):
English: It causes me anger.
Español: Me causa enojo.
And the last example uses the Spanish reflexive verb llevarse, which roughly translates to ‘take away’ or ‘bring away’. The meaning will hopefully make sense through context with the following example:
English: I was disappointed with my trip.
Español: Me llevé una decepción en mi viaje.
Normally, I wouldn’t encourage anybody to get angry. But, in this instance, it is in the name of education!
If you want these phrases to stick in your long term memory, you’ll have to use them at least once.
Of course, you don’t actually have to be angry with someone, you could simply talk about these sentences with a Spanish friend and ask how they would use them. Or, you could use them with a little tongue in cheek (depending on what you can get away with).
How else can you express anger in Spanish?