English phrases for expressing disappointment

5 natural ways to say you are disappointed!

We all hope that when we visit a new city or read a new book or watch a new film that it will live up to our expectations or even exceed our expectations but unfortunately, of course, some things are just a great big fat disappointment! 🙂
So when someone asks you for your opinion on that city, book, film, etc you need some brilliant English phrases to express disappointment!

Katya and Alison are asking Tori about her weekend. She did not have a great time! Read their conversation below to find out why:

English phrases to express disappointment

K) Oh, you went to see the new Tom Cruise film on Friday, didn’t you? How was it? Everyone is saying it’s amazing!
T) Ugh, well don’t believe the hype*I found it really slow and predictable. It’s definitely not all it’s cracked up to be! 
K) Oh that’s a shame.
T) Yep, it was a total waste of money. I should have stayed at home and watched Netflix instead!
A) Well I hope your dinner out on Saturday night was better? Was it the new place on Bridge road? I’ve heard it’s lovely. I’m thinking of trying it next weekend.
T) I wouldn’t bother if I were you. Rude waiters, microwaved food, dirty toilets. Definitely nothing to write home about!
A) Oh no, what a let-down!
T) Yep. I was pretty fed up. But then we went to the zoo on Sunday and that was great so it made up for the rest of the weekend.
K) Well that’s something at least!

(*hype is when everybody exaggerates how good something is)

From their conversation, you can see that Tori did not enjoy the film – sorry Tom cruise fans! – or the restaurant. She uses 5 English phrases to express disappointment (highlighted in orange). The great thing about these phrases is you don’t need to change a word and you don’t need to analyse the grammar, you just learn them exactly as they are and say them like that to sound like a natural English speaker!

Test yourself on these 5 English phrases to express disappointment:

D________ b________ the h________!
It’s definitely n________ all it’s c________ u________ to be!
It was a t________ w________ of m________!
I w________ b________ if I w________ you!
Definitely n________ to w________ h________ a________!

Listen to check your answers and pronunciation:

Pause after each expression and try to repeat it.


Extend your English vocabulary:

Look through this post again and notice all the vocabulary and phrases in bold. Do you know the meanings? You should be able to work it out from context but, if not, try your dictionary. Then record any useful new language in your notebook.

Super quick writing practice!

When was the last time you were really disappointed by an experience?? Scroll down and leave me a comment about your experience to practise your writing….and give me something to read 😉 


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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

2 thoughts on “5 natural ways to say you are disappointed!

  1. I went in the theatre recently. The play was very long and boring. It was a total waste of money and a letdown!

    1. Great use of the disappointment phrases Lou! That’s a brilliant example (just a little correction ‘go+to+a place’ e.g. I went TO the theatre) Thanks for your comment, Nicki 🙂

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