the difference between words: satisfied and pleased


Today, I’d like to go over a pair of words which causes confusion for many of my students: “satisfied” and “pleased”. The word “satisfied” means that someone is content with something, but feels that it could be better. The word “pleased” means that someone is happy with something and probably doesn’t think it could be better. Therefore “pleased” is much more positive than “satisfied”. For example:

I’m satisfied with your work so far, but I think you can do an even better job if you try harder.

My boss told me he’s very pleased with my work on the ABC project. That made me feel really good.

I wouldn’t say I was pleased with the presentation, but I was satisfied with it.

A: I hope my dad was satisfied with the present I bought him for his birthday.

B: He told me he was more than satisfied with it. In fact, he was very pleased.

Many of my students think the word “satisfied” is very positive, so I hope this helps people to understand how to use these two words.



  1. alshaboti Said:

    Very helpful article.
    It’s clear now.
    I’m pleased with this explanation ^_^.

  2. hanane Said:

    very nice presentation of the information , illastrated by example , really nice , thanks !

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