We're trying to translate a psychological test and in its 30-some questions, there are three that are a little bit confusing, mainly because they translate to the same set of words according to our dictionaries. Since the original language of the test is English, I think they must make sense and difference to the native speaker.

We also found a few useful clues in the question titled Pleased and satisfied. What's the difference? and went on with a thesaurus, but we're still not confident enough.

So what's the actual difference here?

  • I feel pleased
  • I feel content
  • I feel satisfied

All within the same test.


Pleased -- more of an emotional state, an inner feeling of satisfaction, often relates to something recently accomplished .. as in pleased with the outcome or result of some act.

Content -- happy with my status quo, with things as they are, I don't need more or to do more. My present state is just fine.

Satisfied -- could be emotional or physical. Either way, I have enough, happy with the results. Might relate to something I've done or what others have done.

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  • That's completely clear, thanks. However we are going to have a hard time putting this into Hungarian! – Laszlo Tenki Nov 5 '16 at 21:36
  • Hello, Doug. Answers that are preferred on ELU have supporting evidence. Can you provide any? – Edwin Ashworth Nov 5 '16 at 22:55

The great Groucho Marx once gave a good funny example of the difference between satisfied and contented: Two man were arguing about the question: what's the difference between satisfied and contented?

One man said: "there is no difference".

The other man said: "well, there is". And he says: "Right now I am satisfied when my wife is at home with another man, but I'll be damned if I'm contented.

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