Character Types
Happiness, Sadness And Despair
Calmness, Nervousness, Anger And Fear
Doubt and Confusion


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Essere sereni e disinvolti

(to be) free and easy
Tom's a good teacher: he's free and easy with his students and they love him.
Pat has a free and easy social attitude and a way of acting that attracts many guys.
David was free and easy with his money... it was soon gone.


Essere determinati

To make a dead set
He's to be admired in being able to work all the night long to make a dead set at finishing the manuscript.

Andare diritti per la propria strada, non curarsi degli altri
To ride roughshod
She always did what she wanted to, riding roughshod over her friends' points of view.


Pensarla allo stesso modo, essere dello stesso avviso, della stessa opinione

(to be) at one with somebody
The teachers were at one with the dean over his decision to reduce the classes.


Pensarla sempre diversamente, essere il "bastian contrario"

To be bloody minded
The strange man was very bloody minded... he always refused any offer of help.


Essere pignoli, andare nei dettagli

To pick holes
Stop picking holes in my used computer: it's not the last model, but I bought it for very little money.

Essere abitudinari
To be set in one's ways
I can't believe how conservative she could be: she's really set in her ways.

Essere testardi
To dig one's heels in
He refused all the tips we gave him and firmly dug his heels in, refusing our hints.

Essere chiusi come ostriche
To shut up like a clam
John has a very introverted character... he frequently shuts up like a clam.

Essere diretti, "pane al pane e vino al vino"
To call a spade a spade
You know Marc: he made so many enemies because of his calling a spade a spade.

Essere indiretti, parlare con ipocrisia
To be mealy-mouthed
He's honest, but not very frank and outspoken... he's mealy-mouthed.

Credere ciecamente, ingenuamente
To take something as gospel
Mandy believes in supernatural events and every night she lights candles for the spirits: she takes it as gospel.


Comprendere, capire, rendersi conto (situazioni nuove o difficili)

To get to grips with something, to come to grips with something
Wendy…? She’s never really got to grips with the new software!


Essere rapidi di comprendonio, reagire velocemente

To be quick on the uptake (on the draw, off the mark)
I don't know if it's a matter of intuition or intelligence: she's so quick on the uptake (on the draw, off the mark) in reading your thoughts.

Essere lenti di comprendonio, reagire lentamente
To be slow on the uptake (on the draw, off the mark)
It's so frustrating when you've to explain something to him: he's so slow on the uptake (on the draw, off the mark) in catching the meaning of what you are talking about.

Essere mutevoli, cambiare facilmente idea
To change one's tune (to chop and change)
It's so difficult to understand her... she's shilly-shallies about everything, changing her tune at every step (chopping and changing).





Esser molto felici

To be as happy as the day is long (as happy as Larry, as happy as a sandboy)
He was as happy as the day is long (as Larry, as a sandboy) when he asked her to marry him and she said "yes".

Essere al settimo cielo
To be over the moon (on cloud nine)
He was over the moon (on cloud nine) when he realised he won the lottery.

Essere vistosamente contenti
To be like a dog with two tails (as happy as a clam)
Knowing that he passed the exam he was like a dog with two tails... jumping and singing (as happy as a clam).

Essere in uno stato di eccitazione
To be given a buzz
Even if she didn't like walking, the fact of having a stroll at the sunset with him gave her a real buzz.

Essere negativi, guastafeste
To be a wet blanket (to be a spoilsport)
They stopped calling him to go out with them because he was such a wet blanket (such a spoilsport).

Tenere il muso, avere la faccia cupa
To have a face (as long) as a wet weekend
What a sad expression! Why have you got a face like a wet weekend? What happened?

Vivere (qualcosa) in modo negativo
To wear a hair shirt
She really wears a hair shirt mentality... she's always punishing herself, to make herself feel bad.


Prendersela, offendersi, aversela a male

To take something amiss
I was worried that Fiona might take my suggestions amiss: it was to help her.

Essere veramente infelice

To be as miserable as sin
Since his girlfriend left him, Jim looks as miserable as sin.

Una persona (o una situazione) senza speranze
Hoping against hope
Having such a bad character, it's hoping against hope to think that Ed could get along well with anybody.

Riprendersi dall'angoscia
To take a load off one's mind
When she knew that nothing bad happened to them, it was a load off her mind.






To let one's hair down
Sit down, enjoy your tea and let your hair down!

Mantenere la calma, non perdere la pazienza

To be as cool as a cucumber (to keep one's shirt on)
It doesn't matter what Fred had gone through... he was never disturbed by anything: he always stayed cool as a cucumber, as if nothing ever affected him.

Concentrarsi, far funzionare il cervello
To get one's brain in gear
You really have to calm down and get your brain in gear for finishing your dissertation.

Prepararsi psicologicamente
To psych oneself up
Before the interview he spent ten minutes psyching himself up.

Per non avere dubbi, per andare sul sicuro

A safe bet
Are you looking for a reliable car? That runabout is a safe bet.


Avere un presentimento, sentirsi qualcosa, presentire

To feel something in one's bones
Don't worry, Lisa: you'll pass the exam... don't ask me how: I just feel it in my bones!


Aspettarsi qualcosa (in senso negativo)

To bargain for something
In planning the weekend we hadn't bargained such bad weather.
Jesus... Sandy's here! I hadn't bargained for her arrival!


Avere delle aspettative elevate, desiderare ancora di più

To want jam on something
You've already had a lot of credit, what do you want... jam on it?


Attendere nervosamente

To have butterflies in one's stomach (to be on tenterhooks)
He had butterflies in his stomach (was on tenterhooks) waiting to know the outcome of his job interview.

Essere impazienti
To be all steamed up (to champ at the bit)
The girl's dogs were all steamed up (champing at the bit), waiting to go to the park.

Essere così nervosi da non poter star fermi
To be like a cat on a hot tin roof
She'll call you, be calm! Stop acting like a cat on a hot tin roof, pacing up and down the corridor.

Essere preoccupati, stare sulle spine
To be hung up
After her sharp reply he remained in silence all the night, hung up about her real character.


Essere sulla difensiva, diffidenti

A siege mentality
Sally has persecutions feelings always doing everything she can to protect herself... she has a siege mentality!


Morire d'invidia

(to be) green with envy
Sally's going to Europe for winter break, so I remained alone and all green with envy.


Cercare di mantenere la faccia seria

To keep a straight face
Sean was keeping a straight face but he really wanted to laugh however, he couldn't because it was a serious situation.

Tenere duro, non mollare, non cambiare posizione

To hold fast, to stand fast
Demonstrators were standing fast in the middle of the street, refusing to go home.
Kim held fast to his principles: he firmly maintained the same opinion without changing position.


Essere iperreattivi

To shoot from the hip
He's too nervous and paranoid: shooting from the hip every time you talk about that maniac, in the campus.

Essere aggressivi
To get one's blood up
It got my blood up when we heard that they lost the reservation we made months ago.

Essere fumantini, arrabbiarsi facilmente
To be on a short fuse
The barman was on a short fuse and lost a lot of clients by arguing and shouting at them.

Aver le tasche piene di qualcosa
To have a bellyful of something
I really have had a bellyful of your impolite and rude manners!


Far arrabbiare, far incazzare

To drive someone nuts (to drive someone up the wall)
His bad manners drive me nuts (drive me up the wall).

Far diventare isterici

To screw somebody up
Her nasty attitude screwed me up for the whole day.

Non riuscire a mandare giù qualcosa

To have a bitter pill to swallow
The bitter pill to swallow was to go out with them after knowing what they had said behind our backs.


Perdere le staffe

To fly off the handle
He started flying off the handle when the policeman told him that that his new car was stolen just a few minutes before.


Scoppiare, esplodere iniziando a parlare con aggressività

To blow one's top (to blow a gasket, to blow a fuse)
When her hubby realised how much she'd spent he blew a gasket!
When Sheila told me she lost my dog on the beach I was not able to control myself anymore and I blew my top about how unreliable she was.


Arrabbiarsi, incavolarsi, partire con i nervi

To have a fit, to throw a fit
Ed, I’m afraid that Fiona'll throw a fit when she sees your pictures with Sandy.
I had a fit when I saw that Meg had an accident with my car: I started shouting and swearing at her!


Andare su tutte le furie, arrabbiarsi, incazzarsi

To blow a fuse (to go bananas, to make the air turn blue, to go up in the air, to hit the roof)
He was said to blow a fuse every time anyone leaned on the bonnet of his new car.

Andar via di testa
To freak out
After his girlfriend left him, he completely freaked out.


Perdere il controllo, uscire di testa

To get carried away
Hey Danil, don't get carried away, that's only a game!



To go mental
Going out all the time with that strange girl made him go mental.

Fumare dai nervi
To fume with rage (to breathe fire)
The elegant man was fuming with rage (breathing fire) over the receptionist's confession that he had lost his luggage.


Prendere posizione contro qualcuno

To give somebody a rough time (to put two fingers up at)
Stop giving me a rough time tonight (putting two fingers at me): I told you I was late because of the traffic!

Sfogare i nervi
To let off steam
I'm sorry for having told you that bad story: it was just to let off steam.

Sentirsi in colpa
To look sheepish
When his ex-wife saw him in the street with his new girlfriend, he immediately looked sheepish.

To go gaga
The old lady was put into a nursing home because she was going gaga.

Impaurire, mettere paura
To frighten the life out of someone
Scary! that stupid film frightened the life out of me... there were incredible hair-raising effects!

Tremare di paura
To be shaking in one's shoes
He was shaking in his shoes in the darkness of the woods.

Fare un salto per la paura
To jump out of one's skin
That was stupid! Your silly joke made me jump out of my skin!

Essere terrorizzato, uscire di testa dalla paura
To shit oneself
Horror films make Julie shit herself.

Impaurirsi a morte
To be scared stiff (to be scared out of one's wits, to get cold feet)
I confess that I was scared stiff during those twenty minutes I remained in the cavern without any light (I was scared out of my wits, I got cold feet).

Farsi coraggio
To whistle in the dark (to seize the nettle)
I had to whistle in the dark (to seize the nettle) on the way home last night, as I was waiting for the last train on the underground and no one else was around.




Comprendere, rendersi conto, capire qualcosa di nuovo o difficile

To get to grips with something, to come to grips with something
Wendy…? She’s never really got to grips with the new software!


Essere stupiti, sorpresi

To be bowled over
Their sudden arrival bowled him over.


Non riuscire a ragionare, a concentrarsi

Not to think straight
I feel nervous... I can't think straight even if the project needs a lot of concentration.

Non riuscire a raccapezzarsi

Not to make head nor tails of something
After all your interminable calls, I still can't make heads nor tails of how that bad accident happened.

Lasciare esterefatti, lasciare di stucco

To knock someone sideways (to knock for six)
What you told me about him knocked me sideways (for six).


Sentirsi confusi

To be (to feel) in a muddle
I always get in a muddle when I have to look for something in the chaos of the cellar.

Essere in uno stato di confusione

(to be) at sixes and sevens
We were at sixes and sevens after the operator announced that the tour was going to be interrupted.


Disorganizzato, confuso, incasinato

All over the shop
See your room, Mandy... your clothes are all over the shop!
I still feel sleepy... I'm all over the shop this morning


Far confondere

To do someone's head in
That crazy job is doing her head in.


Non aver capito nulla, esser fuori

To be off the beam
I think that Susan was off the beam when she said that we hate her!

Riprendersi, tornare a ragionare, far funzionare di nuovo il cervello

To come to one's senses
Ted's not a bad boy... I wish that he'd stop playing around and come to his senses.





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Character Types
Happiness, Sadness And Despair
Calmness, Nervousness, Anger And Fear
Doubt And Confusion


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