• Andrew Wenger

Emocionante, emocional or emocionado

Three Spanish words that can cause confusion

They are all adjectives, but be careful how you use them.



emocionante = exciting, in a positive way

Los últimos minutos del partido fueron emocionantes.

The last minutes of the game were exciting.

Nuestra primera visita a la ciudad fue muy emocionante.

Our first visit to the city was very exciting.

Los famosos tienen un estilo de vida emocionante.

Celebrities have an exciting lifestyle.

Even stronger than exciting, “thrilling”

El libro es tan emocionante que no puedo dejar de leerlo.

The book is so thrilling that I cannot stop reading it.

emocional = emotional (This is a neutral adjective; it means pertaining to the emotions)

Mi familia me dio apoyo emocional durante mis exámenes.

My family gave me emotional support during my exams.

It can also have the sense of “sentimental”, although the word also exists in Spanish “sentimental


emocionado = excited, thrilled, eager, moved, touched

Llevamos una eternidad esperando la comunicación y estoy emocionado/a por saber cuándo llega.

We have already been waiting for the communication for ages, and I am eager to know when it will be forthcoming.

Víctor estaba emocionado de empezar su trabajo en la nueva oficina

Victor was thrilled to be starting work at the new office


And it can also be used as a verb:

emocionar = to move (emotionally)

El discurso del novio sobre su novia me emocionó hasta las lágrimas.

The groom's speech about his bride moved me to tears.

El actor emocionó al público con su actuación.

The actor thrilled the audience with his performance.

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