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feel confidence / feel hunger Options
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 11:04:12 PM
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Joined: 9/14/2017
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A. I feel confident.
B. I feel confidence.

C. I feel hungry.
D. I feel hunger.

I come across sentences which have the phrase 'feel confident' or the phrase 'feel hungry'.
But I haven’t come across sentences which have the phrase 'feel confidence' or the phrase 'feel hunger'.
Are they problematic in terms of collocation?

Thank you
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 3:27:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Not problematic . . .

There are three (probably more) ways to phrase these.

I'll use 'hunger', but there are similar (not always exactly the same) phrases for any other feeling (physical or mental feeling - tired, love, hate etc.)

a. I'm hungry.
b. I feel hunger.
c. I feel hungry.

(a) is really a simple statement about oneself. With some 'dramatisation' , whining and gestures, they can be made into a complaint "Mum, I'm huungryyee!" - or, it can just be a statement of how I am right now, but it is personal.

(b) is really a simple statement of one's condition. It is very plain and has no real emotional 'feeling' attached, as if one is looking at oneself in a detatched way and analysing one's own feelings.

(c) is more concerned with ones feelings (physical) than one's condition - not always a large difference, but it can be.
(c) can't really be used in an 'emotionally detached' manner.

EDITED to add:
I realised that the other noun/adjective pair may make it clearer.

a. I'm confident. This is how I am. As an emotional feeling, it is part of my (chronic or temporary) personality. It's very 'personal'. The object of discussion is 'me'.

b. I feel confidence. This is very analytical, unemotional.
It's "I" - the analytical, logical observer - looking at the emotions which "I" - the human 'spirit, mind plus body' - feels. Analysing the effects on me of the current situation and of the glands in my body. The object of discussion is 'the person's feelings' ('The person' just happens to be me.)

c. I feel confident. This is how I feel. It is emotional, personal.

EDITED again:
The usual, common, usage would be (a) or (c) - I don't know is there's a preference, but I think "I'm" is probably a little more common than "I feel", as it's quicker to say.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 3:34:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 19,194
Neurons: 77,473
'Feel' is more a verb of state. Like
I am confident.
He appears confident.
I seem confident.
You look confident.
I feel confident.
You sound confident.

These all describe a person using an adjective.

Of these, some can also be an active verb, with a completely different meaning:
The ghost appears at night.
The cat looks out of the window.

Some can be transitive with an object.
The driver sounds his car horn
I feel the sharp broken glass.

And 'feel' can be active and transitive with a noun, with a similar meaning to the state + adjective.
But you express that anyway with the adjective, so that alone is not enough to need a noun.
I feel afraid.
I feel hungry.

Using the noun is possible, but very rare. It is literary - you might use the unusual structure for dramatic impact, but you would be very unlikely to use it in normal speech.

When I turn into a werewolf I feel a hunger I cannot control.
When I heard that awful sound I felt fear and dread.

So it is about collocation.
You just don't commonly say feel + noun.
You say feel + adjective.

For most things you want to say, there is an adjective:
I feel happy and confident.

The main reason you would want to use a noun, apart from dramatic impact, is if there is no convenient adjective.
I feel pain.

Because there, the adjective 'painful' refers to the injury, so the meaning is different.
I feel pain.
My broken arm feels painful.

But there are times you might want to use nouns. For example if you are explaining what you felt, then thinking of a list of nouns might be easier than a list of adjectives.

What did I feel when the shooting started?
It might be more natural to describe the sensations:
I felt fear, and terror, and nausea, and coldness.
Instead of describing yourself at that point:
I felt scared, and terrified, and sick, and cold.

Posted same time as drago. Not disagreeing at all. I have just approached it from a slightly different angle.

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