The audience was embarrassed?

Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2018 06:14 am
The words 'embarrassed', 'confused' and 'dumbfounded' are
almost the same when translated into Korean,
and I've also figured they are all pretty much the same.

However, an English teacher, a Korean, here in Korea said most English learners are misled, taking a sentence for an example.

"The audience was embarrassed that the singer didn't sing."

'Embarrassed' is more like 'shy' or 'guilty', according to what she said,
and therefore, 'embarrassed' in the sentence sounds very awkward.
The singer didn't sing for some reason, and why would it make the audience feel shy, she explained.

Without her explanation, I would have concluded there's totally nothing
wrong with the sentence, thinking I completely understood the meaning
of the sentence.

Do you also, native speakers, find the sentence above weird?
If so, it would be quite shocking.

I'd appreciate any comment. Thank you.

p.s. A person whose job is an English teacher, and whose nationality is
Korean. How can I call him/her? An Korean-English teacher?
Doesn't it sound like he/she is an expert on both the Korean language and the English language? Please help me know.

Thank you again.

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Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2018 07:19 am
The teacher is correct. It's an awkward formulation that doesn't make a lot of sense.

There aren't a lot of reasons why an audience could be embarrassed by the singer not singing.

looking at the synonyms for embarrass might help you understand

cause (someone) to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed.
"she wouldn't embarrass either of them by making a scene"
synonyms: mortify, shame, put someone to shame, humiliate, abash, chagrin, make uncomfortable, make self-conscious; discomfit, disconcert, discompose, upset, distress; informal show up, discombobulate
"his parents would show up drunk and embarrass him"

The audience was ashamed that the singer didn't sing.


The audience was humiliated that the singer didn't sing.



I'd refer to the teacher as a Korean English teacher. That has a different meaning than a Korean-English teacher, which suggests expertise in both languages/ability to teach both languages.
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Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2018 07:30 am
The word "embarrassed" in English is funny. This word doesn't have a direct translation in Spanish either (I use the word for shame... but it isn't really the same).

I would not say "I am embarrassed because the singer didn't sing". This is an awkward usage that doesn't sound right.

However, if I am tricked... I might say I am embarrassed (to have been so stupid). You can also be "embarrassed for someone", for example my friend got drunk and sang Abba badly in front of an everyone, I was embarrassed for him.

[By the way; I disagree with EhBeth. The best way to learn English is to talk to native English speakers in English. Assuming the goal is to operate completely in English, leaning on your native language is a step backwards.

You are doing the right thing.]

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Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2018 08:49 am
The singer was embarrassed when he forgot the words to the song.
The waiter was embarrassed when he spilled the drink on the table.
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