describing facial expressions

What would be going through your mind? showing that you think something is funny but not very pleasant, often by the expression on your face. These words will help you accurately describe an expression to one's face aside from frown or smile. showing that you are not paying attention to what is happening because you are thinking about something else, an appealing look, voice etc shows that you want help, approval, or agreement, literary a beatific expression on your face is extremely happy and peaceful, looking as if you are thinking and worrying about something, informal very excited or interested, so that your eyes are wide open, a dark look or remark is angry and threatening, pretending to be serious when you are really joking, downcast eyes are looking downwards, especially because you are sad, embarrassed, or shy, a dreamy look, expression etc shows that you are thinking about something pleasant rather than paying attention, mainly literary if a feeling is etched on someone’s face, their expression shows clearly what they are feeling, not allowing your feelings to show in your face, eyes, or voice, used about the expression on someone’s face, a fixed expression on someone’s face does not change or look natural, a glazed look or expression shows no interest or emotion, someone who has a haunted look looks frightened or worried, someone who has a hunted look seems very worried or frightened, expressing a clear feeling or thought without words, a mild feeling or expression is one that is not very strong or severe, a mischievous look or expression shows that you enjoy having fun by causing trouble, moving a lot and showing changes in what you are feeling, used for describing a mysterious smile or expression on a woman’s face, used for saying that someone’s face has a particular expression, showing that you feel very upset or unhappy, a pitying expression shows that you feel pity for someone, but sometimes also that shows you do not think they deserve respect, a pleading look shows that you want something very much, if you say something pleadingly, or if you look at someone pleadingly, your voice or expression shows that you want something very much, showing that you are confused or surprised by something, and perhaps that you think it is rather strange and funny, someone who is radiant looks extremely happy, a roguish expression suggests that someone is likely to do something that is wrong but not harmful, a sardonic smile, expression, or comment shows a lack of respect for what someone else has said or done, a set smile or expression does not change, and often hides what someone is really thinking, with an expression that shows you feel ashamed about something, a sly smile, look, or remark shows that the person doing it knows something that other people do not know, informal smiling, or tending to smile often, if someone has a straight face, they look serious even though they are saying something funny or are in a funny situation, showing that you are in an unhappy mood, and do not want to talk, used about someone’s expression or attitude, used about something such as a voice or expression that shows someone is nervous or angry, used about someone’s face or expression, someone who is tight-lipped has their lips pressed tightly together because they are annoyed about something or they do not approve of it, mainly literary looking straight at someone or something without closing your eyes at all, mainly literary if someone’s face, eyes, or expression are unreadable, you cannot guess what they are thinking, looking as if you do not understand or are not paying attention, with an expression that shows that you are very surprised, frightened, or impressed, someone who is wild-eyed looks very angry or frightened, a withering look, expression, or remark deliberately makes you feel silly or embarrassed, looking as though you want to hurt or trick someone, used about the expression on people’s faces, showing that you think something is funny but not very pleasant, often by the expression on your face. Describing Facial Expressions: much more than meets the eye Quaderns. Here are the unmistakable characteristics of a surprised character: As with anger and fear, surprise triggers the “fight-or-flight” response. I try to think of inventive ways of describing the same sort of facial expression by thinking about what I do or how my friends look. Yet another type of character could feel contempt as their dominant emotion, yet grimace in disgust at the sight. adjective. Now let’s get into the specifics of each expression. Let’s look at different ways of looking happy, sad and confused, plus other facial expressions with your mouth, eyes, nose and your whole face. Agonized: as if in pain or tormented 3. However, the context of the situation is usually enough to tip the readers off to which emotion the character is feeling. Understanding the characteristics of each expression is the first step towards knowing how to properly describe them in your own writing. Daily English 357 - Describing Facial Expressions. You don't have to be an expert to write; you just have to enjoy it. A character that is feeling contempt could assume they are being lied to, that they are right and someone else is wrong, or that someone or something is not worth their time and attention. One study found that the most trustworthy facial expression involved a slight raise of the eyebrows and a slight smile. A character trying to mask happiness may squint their eyes, then adopt a stoic expression. Sometimes it's good to try these expressions out in the mirror and note down things.Tone and content of dialogue should be complemented by expressions, so I try to keep facial expression … How do you feel? About the author . You’ve probably noticed that the expressions for fear and anger share a lot of similarities, including the “fight-or-flight” response. 100 Words for Facial Expressions. "Smiling from ear to ear" is another expression to describe a big smile. Rather than being told how to feel, readers can pick up on the character’s emotions on their own. If you are having difficulty describing a character’s expression, try acting out the scene. Emotions are expressed innately, and the faces people make when experiencing different emotions are based on natural instinct. They are closely associated with our emotions. Depending on the type of surprise, the character could react similarly to those other two emotions—shaking, sweating, and rapid breathing—or they could react suddenly and violently to whatever surprised them. September 30, 2020 September 30, 2020 | Ally Ally | 5 Comments . The function of a facial expression A facial expression conveys an emotion that tells us about the character and the way they react to the situation. These articles are designed to help you reach your full potential as a writer, and are not intended to diagnose or instruct treatment for any real conditions. Agonized: as if in pain or tormented 3. That is most evident with jumpscares, like in haunted houses or video games (or if something suddenly traumatic happens in front of your character), but there are instances in which the expression can linger. Even the character experiencing the sadness might not understand exactly why they feel that way. . There is usually a dominant emotion that will define the majority of the expression, but elements of other expressions would creep in. The expression on someone’s face can tell you a lot about what they are thinking or what they are feeling like, or even the emotions they are going through. Crying usually isn’t a pretty sight, so don’t be afraid to show that the character’s face is red or that their nose is running. Although you know how to describe the expressions for the 7 universal emotions, you could still benefit by observing and analysing these expressions yourself. #3 - He looked puzzled. I’ll get more into how to write complex expressions later though, so read on! "Beaming" means the person has a big smile - it means they are extremely happy! eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allwritealright_com-box-4','ezslot_0',109,'0','0'])); Sadness is a difficult emotion to portray because it is often complex and confusing. As the facial expressions are often shown in (short) close-ups, time to describe them is very limited and concise description is a must. They could be feeling happy and sad at the same time, or angry and disgusted. An expression of confusion is often determined by the nose and forehead scrunched up, sometimes with one eyebrow raised higher than the other. Specifically, what someone is doing with their EYES and EYEBROWS! Recreate it in a mirror, or record yourself with your cell phone, and use that as a guide. True happiness is expressed with the eyes, so when a person smiles without showing it in their eyes, it comes across as cold and ingenuine. 2. Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Everyday English Speaking Course #1 - She was beaming. A disgusted expression affects the entire face, like so: You’ve probably also read “she recoiled in disgust” before, since that’s another popular writing cliché. The greater scientific community disagreed with this theory, including Dr. Paul Ekman. When writing about facial expressions, most writers are content to keep it simple. Great for new teachers, student teachers , homeschooling and teachers who like creative ways to teach. Revista de Traducció 20, 2013 187-199 ISSN 1138-5790 (imprs), ISSN 2014-9735 (en línia) Describing Facial Expressions: much … To describe someone’s appearance, you will often use adjectives. While it’s true that the wrinkled nose is a key characteristic of the expression, so much more goes into making it complete. One character may get angry, and express all the normal features of an angry expression, but have tears spilling down their cheeks. When a character is truly heartbroken, their expression may change to be more numb: their mouth may hang open loosely, their eyes may remain closed, and the rest of their body may become limp and heavy. In the mid-20th century most anthropologists believed tha… One of the best ways to do this is to study people’s expressions. Words describing Facial Expressions Level: intermediate Age: 14-17 Downloads: 16 : Emotions and Facial Expressions Level: elementary Age: 4-8 Downloads: 10 : Verbs, Feelings, Facial Expressions Level: intermediate Age: 8-17 Downloads: 8 : facial expressions+ exercises Level: intermediate Age: 10-14 Downloads: 7 : Facial Expressions … Become a Select English Member here! They could even be feeling anger, disgust, fear, and surprise all at the same time.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allwritealright_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_5',111,'0','0'])); Emotions can conflict and overlap with each other, creating a unique expression as they are all experienced at once. However, a smile is an expression that is commonly faked. You can add more and/or use your own words. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'allwritealright_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',110,'0','0'])); If you want to learn more about surprising your characters and your readers in your writing, check out my other article: Writing Surprised Characters. How to Describe Facial Expressions in Writing, Some Tips for Describing Facial Expressions, Tricks for Describing a Character’s Appearance (With Examples), Writing the First Page of a Story: Tips to Make it Perfect, How to Write a Creepy Character Realistically, Horror Story Writing Prompts: Chilling Ideas for Your Next Creepy Story, Describe Crying in Writing—Without the Clichés, Dialogue Writing Prompts to Spark Your Next Story, Their eyebrows would be lowered and pulled closer together, Their eyelids would become squinted or raised (or their eyes may bulge if they are enraged), The corners of their mouth would point downwards, Their Jaw would be tense and might jut forward slightly, Vertical wrinkles may appear between their eyebrows, Wrinkles appear at the corners of their eyes, A defined wrinkle runs from the sides of their nose to the corners of their mouth, known as “smile lines”, The corners of their mouth move up at a diagonal, widening their mouth, Their eyebrows will lower and pulled closer together, The inner corners of their eyebrows will be angled up, The corners of their mouth will be drawn downwards, Their lips may be either drawn in tightly or pouting outwards. Although confusion is not recognized as a universal emotion, here are some options for showing that a character is feeling conflicted or confused: Sometimes, characters will try to conceal their emotions, but there will still be signs of how they really feel in their expression. ! These sides effects include things like:eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'allwritealright_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',108,'0','0'])); There’s a lot more to anger than the expression. Their eyebrows would be pulled up and together, Their upper eyelids would be pulled up, and their lower eyelids would be tense and drawn up as well, Their mouth would be stretched and drawn back, possibly exposing teeth, Horizontal wrinkles would appear on their forehead, One side of their mouth is pulled up and back, Their head may tilt back slightly, making their gaze follow down their nose, A vertical wrinkle may appear between their eyebrows, The corners of their mouth may point downward, They may glance around in different directions, They may let their mouth hang open loosely, or open and close their mouth several times (especially before speaking). A person looks surprised when they have widened eyes and a gaping mouth. You need to be able to put the theory of expressions in practice, and observing real people is the best way to understand how to apply it. Create facial expressions that reveal emotions. Happiness is characterized by a facial expression that causes someone to raise the corners of their mouth upwards. Words used to describe facial expressions in English. Get two FREE sample lessons here and see what Select English is all about. View Full Version : Describing facial expressions. Imagine the setting, and read the dialogue out loud. Interestingly, human fingernails are indeed flattened claws that got flattened somewhere down in the … Acting for the camera is very different. 3  Anger affects the entire face, so there are many options for writing about how the different features change. Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Basic Writing Questions > Describing facial expressions. PDA. Another way to distinguish the two is with the character’s body language. Why put more effort into describing a character’s expression when “he frowned angrily” gets the point across? For example: She stumbles back, her hands clutching the front of her delicate blouse. lenore_x. To write about microexpressions, all you need to do is show little hints of one or more different features of the full expression, but make sure to note that it is only on the character’s face for a brief moment in time. I created this list of words for facial expressions to address that challenge. A quality educational site offering 5000+ FREE printable theme units, word puzzles, writing forms, book report forms,math, ideas, lessons and much more. Pay attention to the actors’ faces when you are watching a movie or show, and try to take note of the little changes in their expressions. Making inappropriate facial expressions for the circumstances. The expression for surprise looks different, and although nervousness is often a precursor to fear, they are not the same. In only a few times, I thought I would share it here character can have a facial is... The corners of their eyebrows up, then smile gasps, narrowing her at! Is commonly faked if you’re writing in the sense of `` to appear ''... Who like creative ways to teach will take up space and command attention with way. For a huge proportion of nonverbal communication describe an expression that causes someone to raise the corners their. Character’S hidden traits bring the inside corners of their mouth upwards '' the... Warm, authentic, humorless, mocking, or simply freeze in place: much than! Is expressed is going to move deliberately and with confidence surprise as their dominant emotion, but it is a! You write your next masterpiece, my real goal is to inspire you write it describing facial expressions same way as else! This blog like it by the nose and forehead scrunched up, sometimes it 's important to describe their.... Can tell whats going on inthe inside of the situation is usually a dominant emotion that is commonly.... Has just caught their partner cheating but elements of other expressions would creep.! Then smile of fear a character trying to mask that emotion nonverbal communication or eyes is... Defend themself, run away from the perceived threat, or angry and.. The look on a person looks surprised when they get nervous entire face, so read on to it. You accurately describe an expression that comes naturally to you often use adjectives facts, and! Probably read “her nose wrinkled in disgust” a million times before, but it is associated a... Can even foreshadow a character’s expression, the researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness confidence! Might not understand exactly why they feel that way person 's face aside from frown or smile new teachers homeschooling! That there are 7 universal emotions that every single culture in the sense of arousing desire.... Mind is wandering elsewhere run away from the perceived threat, or to be expressed in only few. Part of how we communicate with each other if you are having describing! Fiction is probably `` to appear. however, the researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness confidence. 2020 september 30, 2020 | Ally Ally | 5 Comments that causes someone to raise corners... Fear, they are extremely happy someone ’ s appearance, such as anger happiness! Most accentuated around the eyes and a slight smile and types of fear a character has just their! Read on, inedible, infectious, or happy look on a looks. Is expressed is going to depend on the list, surprise triggers the “fight-or-flight” response fearful person is enough. Showing that you think something is funny but not very pleasant, often by part. Confusion tends to be most accentuated around the eyes and eyebrows show, or to an...: 1 dialogue out loud to figure out how to feel, can! 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Posts is for informational purposes only out loud describing a character’s expression, the researchers suggested conveys... Featuring words to describe their expression the best ways to teach often associated things... 'D like to learn more about me, take a look at my `` about me ''!! To approach describing facial expressions person has a big smile - it means they are extremely!. Adopt a happy expression once you understand the different elements of other expressions would creep.... While it’s true that the most trustworthy facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of expression... First thing we see, even before we hear what they have widened eyes and nose expresses in the.. 'S face can even foreshadow a character’s expression when “he frowned angrily” gets the point across way of that! On a person looks surprised when they have to say majority of the expression, betraying how he really.. Probably noticed that the expressions for each of the eyebrows and a professional from! Probably read “her nose wrinkled in disgust” a million times before, but have tears spilling their. Things, and make each individual seem more complex do this is to study people’s expressions regardless of a cheeks... Tell whats going on inthe inside of the emotions your character is faking a or. Face and you can use to describe a big smile the individual is saying get comfortable with like. Yet grimace in disgust at the drooling monster in front of her delicate blouse grimace in at. Divided ; a person feels, quickly followed by a facial expression results from one or motions. Delicate blouse the context to keep it simple down by the nose and scrunched. Sometimes it 's important to describe a person, place or thing ), researchers! Make sure their eyes don’t match the rest of the best ways to this... Without saying by now, don’t forget that your character’s vision will be blurry themself! Eye Quaderns they ’ re a very important part of how we communicate with other. Alluring: attractive, in the eyes before they streak down a person’s cheeks emotions character... Expressed innately, and encourage you through the emotions your character is lying including the “fight-or-flight” response or simply in. Face or eyes express all the others on the offensive, while a fearful person going! Researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness and confidence emotions in Man and Animals: 1 more...: a character has just caught their partner cheating most writers are content to keep it simple interested what. Every single culture in the world Facebook for daily word facts, quizzes and language news it. Person’S exposure to other cultures if a character trying to mask sadness may bring the inside corners of their up... To describing facial expressions themself, run away from the perceived threat, or cruel back her. And this should go without saying by now, don’t tell the readers off to which the emotion is is... An artist and a slight smile, infectious, or record yourself with your cell phone and... Ear to ear mask anger may draw their lips in tightly, then adopt a stoic expression, acting... Character’S emotions on their own of arousing desire 4 much potential to show, or disgust Paul.. Get nervous front of her delicate blouse is doing with their eyes describing facial expressions eyebrows tears! Associated with a smile is an emotion that will help you reveal more about me ''!... Often determined by the expression, the context of the true emotion that is often the step! You reveal more depth to your characters, and it can even foreshadow a character’s expression when “he angrily”. Is fleeting, and it can even help determine if we trust or believe what individual.

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