Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    jctgf is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Tuvalu
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default "to feel" vs "to sense"

    Hi,

    I would like to know what's the difference between these verbs.
    Can I say that "feel" is more often used to humans and "sense" is more appropriate to animals and machines?

    "Bats are able to sense the echoes of the sound waves that they emit."
    "I feel cold."
    "The system senses minimal particles of smoke in the air and activates the sprinklers when necessary".

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    stuartnz's Avatar
    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "to feel" vs "to sense"

    It's not quite that sharply defined. "Sense" is often used of human mental activity. For example, you will likely often hear expressions like "I'm sensing some hostility (or sarcasm, or whatever)" used when someone is replying to the tone of someone else's words rather than simply to the words themselves. The respondent has "sensed" the emotional content of the words.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,666
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "to feel" vs "to sense"

    - although jtcgf was right to restrict machines to sensing rather than feeling*. In fact, some automated systems have a thing called a 'sensor'.

    b
    *Except in the exceptional jocular usage ("anthropomorphism": 'The printer's on the blink. I think it's feeling a bit frail after doing that report yesterday!'

Similar Threads

  1. "to use" vs "to take"
    By jctgf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2008, 22:44
  2. "to make a call" or "to have made a call"
    By sakura-saku in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2007, 14:58
  3. "to lie" and "to lay"
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-Mar-2007, 20:23
  4. "To understand" vs "To understanding"
    By msv1 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 21-Nov-2005, 12:52
  5. "To gone" or "to done"
    By MasterT in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Apr-2005, 10:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •