Jealousy and envy are two feelings that are quite similar, but the words are often used incorrectly. Let’s see what’s going on:
Jealous (verb & adjective) and jealousy (noun) describe the feeling when someone is afraid to lose something to someone else. It’s always used in negative situations.
- I’m jealous of your success, co-worker. I should have gotten that promotion!
- He’s a jealous partner – he won’t even allow his girlfriend to use the phone unless he can listen to the conversation too.
- Jealousy makes normal people act in strange ways, sometimes.
‘Jealously,’ used as an adverb, is possible, but very uncommon. Use ‘in a jealous manner’ instead.
- She watched jealously as he texted a friend. She watched in a jealous manner as he texted a friend.
Envy (noun & verb), envious (adjective), and enviously (adverb) describe the feeling when a person wants something that another person possesses. It can be positive, but is usually used in negative situations.
- I envy your success, co-worker. I will work hard so I can get the next promotion!
- They felt envy when they saw the lottery winner.
- She is envious of your education – she would have enjoyed going to your university.
- The silver medal winners watched enviously as the champions received their gold medals.