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  1. Key Member
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    "to feel" vs "to sense"


    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".


  2. stuartnz's Avatar
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    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. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
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    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'.

    *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!'

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