Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?

  • I certainly wouldn't attempt an answer here and the UK is probably sleeping, but the phrase comes out of American and African-American slang. – Michael Owen Sartin Dec 30 '13 at 2:26
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    I don't know about "slangy", but it sounds somewhat mawkish/trite to me. And given that what most people say is either "I feel for you" (I sympathise with your plight) or "I hear you" (I understand [and often, accept] your position), I think it sounds more like something either an inexperienced or non-native speaker would say. – FumbleFingers Dec 30 '13 at 3:59
  • @FumbleFingers + 1 upvoter (who?) No, I don't think the Q is about the phrase with a for, which is a different expression than I understand what you feel/say. – Kris Dec 30 '13 at 5:12

Though 'I feel you' would actually suit a casual conversation, I think you're safer using 'I can totally/completely relate' in the same situation.


No, it doesn't sound too "slangy". However, unless you happen to be making a fun remark that befits a reference to pop-culture (American pop-culture to be specific), or you happen to be a proponent of said culture, or you're so inundated and surrounded by this "culture" that in some situations you deem it easier to just get along rather than fight the current, then it may convey an identity crisis! Asking for other people's opinions regarding this specific issue might further suggest the presence of an identity crisis. Having said that, identity crises are known to occur and recur in humans roughly between the ages of 0 and 110, so it's nothing to brag about! Cheers.

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