Taiki / たいき
Can I say "I envy you"?

When my friend have something I want but cannot get, can I say "I envy you"?

Or is there any other good expression for it?

Thank you! 

Oct 2, 2016 10:18 AM
Comments · 10

This reminds me with an English poem that starts with these two lines:

"I envy the sand that met his feet
I’m jealous of honey he tasted sweet"

Thank you. 

 

October 2, 2016
Camilo:

Here are dictionary definitions of jealous (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/jealous):

​1:
upset and angry because someone that you love seems interested in another person:
“a jealous husband/wife”
“Anna says she feels jealous every time another woman looks at her boyfriend.”


2: unhappy and angry because someone has something that you want:
“He had always been very jealous of his brother's good looks.”

So when you’re jealous you don’t only envy someone something, you also have negative feelings about the fact that they have something you don’t have.
October 2, 2016
Thank you for comments and useful explanations!
October 4, 2016

Yes, you can say "I envy you." I sometimes say it.

You have to be careful to make sure it is understood to be a joke, because, strictly speaking, "envy" is a strong and not a nice emotion--it means you feel resentful of your friend's having something.

It is best if you are talking about something fairly small and unimportant--"I envy you for your curly hair," or "Oh, a new car! How I envy you!" so that it's clear that it is not serious. If you and someone else are rivals for promotion at work, and the other person is promoted, it would be unwise to say "I envy you for getting that promotion!"

October 2, 2016
Yes that is correct. Envy is the correct word in that context. Well done. 
October 4, 2016
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Taiki / たいき
Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language
English