Sentir and sentirse in Spanish

Another two verbs that can get trick to grasp, but that they are easy to differentiate when you know a little trick

In todays blog we are talking abut sentir and sentirse in Spanish, which are two verbs that means the same (to feel) but they are used in a bit of a different way, and I often get asked when to use them and how to know when to use “sentir” and when to use “sentirse”.

I will take you through the meaning, the conjugation, when to use them and a cool little trick that can help you to differentiate when to use each one of them.


Let’s have a look to the conjugation first, only the present tense, the simple past and the imperfecto

“sentir” means to feel, and we use it is used for:

-emotions (emociones)

Siento alegría – I feel happiness

-sensations (sensaciones)

Siento frío – I feel cold

-pain (dolor)

Siento dolor en mi pierna – I feel pain in my leg

And as you can see we use “sentir” + noun


Let’s see the conjugation in the present tense, the simple past and the imperfecto too.

As you can see it is the same that the verb “sentir” but it needs the reflexive bit, “la partícula reflexiva”.

“sentirse” also means “to feel” .We use “sentirse” to express a state (estado)  or situation (situación), and we use “sentirse” + adjective or adverb.


-me siento cansado – I feel tired

-no me siento bien – I don’t feel good

Ok, all that being said let me tell you a trick. It is all about a question.

If the sentence or idea you want to come across answers the questions “What do you feel?” –> ¿qué sientes? We use the verb SENTIR

But if the sentence or idea answers the questions “how do you feel?” –>   ¿cómo te sientes? We should use SENTIRSE

And….That is all! Pretty straight forward, isn’t it? But something that if you don’t know can get quite tricky.

Now it is your turn, leave a comment below using “sentir”, “sentirse” or both in a sentence. If you prefer  this lesson in video format come over to my youtube channel and have a look

As usual I hope you enjoyed the blog and it helped you to understand the language a bit better.

¡Hasta la próxima!

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