What is the best way to translate sentences like:

  • I'm so excited to see you next week!
  • He's really excited about graduation.
  • We're excited to have you come visit for Christmas.

Do emocionado and entusiasmado convey the same sentiment as excited, or are there subtle differences in meaning?

  • I miss an answer with the verb ansiar (or the noun ansias f.pl.), which seems to me like a less literal translation: ansío verte, ansía graduarse, esperamos con ansias que vengas para Navidad.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 16:07

4 Answers 4


"emocionado" sounds a little less formal, just a little. But they both have the same meaning when they are used to translate "excited to" or "exited about"

As long as you don't translate it as "estoy muy excitado de verte la siguiente semana" it should be fine XD

However, to express a strong feeling (or emotion) you can only use "emocionado". For example, you could say:

"la pelicula fué muy emocionante" or "La película me dejó emocionado"

but you can't say:

"la película fue muy entusiasmante" nor "la película me dejó entusiasmado" (it's correct but it doesn't make much sense)

  • I suggest you explain briefly why "excitado" should be avoided. E.g., "excitado" has a specific sexual meaning in Spanish. Commented May 3, 2018 at 13:29

I'll tell you one secret - at least from a linguistic point of view, Spaniards are really not likely to convey their emotions as directly as English speakers do.

Rather than

Estamos muy emocionados de que vengas por navidad

(which is absolutely correct Spanish), we would avoid words such as being emocionado, encantado, entusiasmado, or even estar deseando algo, and do some unconscious "workaround" instead, like:

¡A ver si nos vemos ya pronto, en Navidad!

¡Nos vemos la semana que viene!

This doesn't mean you can't use an affective intonation, of course :)

  • But Mexicans on the other hand are more likely to convey their emotions directly. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 16:49
  • In Colombia it's quite common to say "Que emoción que vengas para navidad"
    – DGaleano
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:08
  • The statement "... Spaniards are really not likely to convey their emotions as directly as English speakers do" sounds weird to me. I've never heard something like that, but just the opposite. Is there any fact to support such statement?
    – Ra_
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 15:32

Just to add another option, in Spanish (at least in Spain) you can use the word ilusión:

  1. f. Esperanza cuyo cumplimiento parece especialmente atractivo.

You can use it by saying that something te hace ilusión. So, taking your examples:

  • ¡Me hace ilusión verte la semana que viene!
  • La graduación le hace mucha ilusión.
  • ¡Qué ilusión nos hace que vengas a vernos en Navidad!

In English, one of the meanings of to excite is to cause feelings of enthusiasm in (someone). In Spanish, hacer ilusión means roughly the same. You can also say estar ilusionado, but the expression hacer ilusión sounds more natural for me.

Note that not every instance of excite can be translated this way. For instance, you can't use ilusión in the movie was very exciting. The problem with excite is that it implies "to arouse an emotional response", but that emotion can be any. The direct translation (excitar) carries a bit of a sexual meaning in Spain. So we try to translate it by using the particular feeling the original text refers to.

  • Not just Spain. Great answer. Commented May 3, 2018 at 13:31

I think emocionado is a internal feeling:

  • Estoy emocionado, no tengo palabras (I can't talk).

Entusiasmado is a feeling that you can't help but show:

  • Estoy entusiasmado, no puedo dejar de sonreir ( I can't stop smiling).

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