Use the word "envy" when somebody wants what another person has. This word is similar to "jealous," but "jealous" is an adjective and "envy" can be used as a verb and as a noun. (The word "jealousy" is a noun.)

In these sentences, "envy" is a verb:

  • All the girls envy Rhonda’s long, silky black hair. (They’re jealous of her beautiful hair.)
  • Nobody envies Bob. Despite all his wealth, he has to work 80 hours a week.
  • Kids at the high school envied Matt’s new Camaro so much that they spray painted graffiti on it.
  • You’re going on vacation to Hawaii? I really envy you.
  • You really shouldn’t envy other people’s good fortune.

In these sentences, "envy" is a noun:

  • Feelings of envy caused the two friends to fight.
  • Lottery winners experience a lot of envy.
  • When Mary saw her best friend wearing a new, expensive jacket, her envy was hard to contain.
  • Bill is a very well-adjusted person. He has never felt any kind of envy towards anyone.

To make the adjective form of this word, add "ous" to the end of "envy" and replace the "y" with an "i."

  • He’s very envious of his friends.
  • An envious neighbor ripped Gloria’s beautiful flowers to shreds.
  • They used to be envious of her, but now they realize how difficult her life is.

ringValerie’s husband bought her a diamond ring. Her friends are envious.

To envy someone is not a good thing; however, you will hear Americans use this word in regular, everyday speech:

  • I don’t envy you. (I’m glad I’m not in your position.)
  • You got that job you wanted? I really envy you. (But not really.)

Click here to learn more words.

August 15, 2013