Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Shame and Ashamed

Shame vs Ashamed

There are still quite a few people who become confused with the words ashamed and shame. Perhaps it’s because ashamed has the root word shame in it that makes it confusing. In reality, it’s the usage of both words that may appear complicated for some English users. This is often true when the word shame is used with the letter ‘d’ resulting to the term ‘shamed.’

Foremost, the two terms differ because they are two different word types. Shame is a noun while ashamed is an adjective. As a noun, shame is described as a painful feeling that may arise from the thought or the realization of something disgraceful, vile and detestable whether it be done by someone else or by oneself. Thus it is an emotion or an affect so to speak. An example of using shame in a sentence is ‘He has been filled with shame after killing those women.’

Shame can also be synonymous to disgrace as in the example, ‘You brought great shame upon the name of our family!’ Similarly, it can signify a very disgraceful state as in the case of, ‘The issue involving the company was a shame to all!’ The word shame can also become a transitive verb when converted to the terms ‘shamed, shames or shaming.’ In this instance, the meaning of the word will become more of forcing or driving something or someone into shame like, ‘She shamed him into going.’

One of the most common situations wherein someone will feel shame is when he or she gets caught lying. Thus, this word is somewhat similar to embarrassment although it is generally a more painful feeling than the latter. Shame is also considered to have a social aspect. It is a very broad term that can have many subtypes like genuine, false, toxic and vicarious shame.

Conversely, ashamed is generally used as an adjective. It is when one is feeling the guilt or shame. When this happens to a person, it is safe to describe him or her as being ashamed. A good example of using the word ashamed is seen in this sentence ‘“ ‘Is she not even ashamed for stealing her classmate’s stuffs at school?’

In summary, shame and ashamed are two very different words because of the following reasons:

1. Shame is generally used as a noun whereas ashamed is typically used as an adjective.

2. Shame is the actual feeling (an affect or emotion) which is considered to be a painful one while ashamed is feeling shame itself.

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  1. But how can we use ” shame ” with “feel”? What I know that “adj” have to follow the word “feel” grammatically !

  2. A long explanation, but you missed a key point. Which is correct? “It is a shame that….” or “It is ashame that….”

  3. I am not completely satisfied with the answer.

  4. When I first approached the subject of an action I had taken I said that I was ashamed, I was told then that statement was about ego and pride … I then rephrase my statement and said that I feel shame … I think for the emotion that I’m feeling it is shame and not ashamed …

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