Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Vocabulary & Idiom Questions
Anonymous:"Envy is coveting something (or someone) that somebody else has; jealousy is wanting something (or someone) that somebody else has but you think belongs to you. It's the feeling of being dispossessed."
I happened to find this in a psychology book, not a dictionary.
For me the explanation is very understandable and makes it easier to grasp the difference.
What do think about the explanation?
Anonymous:Envy is wanting that which belongs to another but you can only be jealous of that which is rightfully yours.
The Bible says that God is jealous. (Exodus 20v5)
Anonymous:yes, those are the correct definitions, in my school days it was explained as, jealousy is a negative feeling while envy is a positive one... when i feel jealous of something it means i have a negative feeling that "he/she has that thing or quality but not me, and I should kill them to get that" but envy is something positive, "he/she has that thing or quality, but not me, if I try I can get that"
In a passage of Booker T. Washington it was written "I was envious of his ability to read but I knew if I try I could also read as well" and he was not jealous but just envious, envy has a positive connotation.
If it was jealousy the sentence (I suppose) would have been "I was jealous of his ability to read and I tried to avoid him or I tried to throw a stone at him...etc" (these are my imaginary words to explain the difference in meaning)
Anonymous:My father explained it this way: A friend of yours has a boat.
Envy - I want a boat too
Jealousy - I want your boat
It's a very bare-bones explanation, but it works.
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