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How to use sentir and sentirse in Spanish

How to use SENTIR and SENTIRSE in Spanish: Conjugation and Examples

Yo me siento de maravilla, y tú ¿cómo te sientes hoy? (I feel awesome, and you, how are you feeling today?)

Mis amigos, somos latino/as, nosotros sentimos demasiado (My friends, we’re Latinos, we feel too much). We’re passionate, it’s in our blood. So it is obvious that we use the verb sentir (to feel) a lot, because we use it in many contexts, also in a reflexive way as sentirse! If the verb has ever confused you, this is the video for you, because I’ll show you exactly how we use the verb sentir y sentirse in Spanish in real conversations!

Get ready to talk y sentirte como un verdadero latino (and feel like a real Latino), just like this:

Sentir

Let’s start with sentir. If you want to tell someone qué sientes (what you feel) then we use sentir.

¡Así de fácil! (That easy!).

Please be aware that the verb sentir es irregular (is irregular), that means that it is one of those verbs that you need to change a bit when you conjugate it. But let’s see how you will conjugate it, answering the question ¿Qué sientes? (What do you feel?)

  • Yo siento frío en este momento. (I feel cold at this moment.)
  • sientes mucha nostalgia cuando estás de viaje. (You feel very nostalgic when you are traveling.)
  • Él siente alivio de haber pasado el examen. (He feels relieved about having passed the exam.)
  • Nosotros sentimos amor por los perros. (We feel love for dogs.)
  • Ustedes sienten una alegría al vernos. (You feel joy to see us.)
  • Ellos sienten muchas ganas de besarse. (They really feel like kissing.)

Noticed something?

First: Sentir changes the “e” to “ie” but besides that the ending follows the same pattern as the regular verbs ending in -ir. 

Second: After the verb you would generally find a noun like frío, alivio, amor (cold, relieve, love) acting as a direct object which refers to the thing you feel. After all, you always feel something, right?

Third: That noun could be accompanied by an adjective or articles like: mucha nostalgia, muchas ganas, una alegría (a lot of nostalgia, a lot of desire, a joy).

Also, this same verb could be followed by the word “que” and a full sentence. Which in English would be: I feel that…

  • Yo siento que va a llover. (I feel that it will rain.)
  • Ellos sienten que no se aman. (They feel that they don’t love each other.)
  • Ella siente que dos días son suficientes para turistear. (She feels that 2 days are enough to travel as tourist.)

Is that clear so far? What happens though when we use the reflexive form of sentir.

Sentirse

Rather than what we feel, sentirse answers the question of HOW we feel.

In this case, we must use the reflexive pronouns: me, te, se, nos y se. So if someone asks you. 

¿Cómo te sientes? (How do you feel?) you may say:

  • Yo me siento super bien. (I feel super good.)
  • Tú te sientes increíble. (You feel incredible.)
  • Él se siente mal. (He feels bad.)
  • Nosotros nos sentimos enfermos. (We feel sick.)
  • Ustedes se sienten tranquilos después de la operación. (You feel calm after the surgery.)
  • Ellos se sienten asustados con la película. (They feel terrified about the movie.)

Did you identify the difference between sentir and sentirse?

First: Usually sentirse is followed by an adjective, rather than a noun, like enfermos, tranquilos, asustados (sick, calm, scared) describing how we feel. 

Second: You could also use an adverb such as, super bien, increíble, mal (really good, incredible, bad).

Third: Instead of using “siento que” which answers to WHAT you feel, we could use “siento como”  to state HOW you feel, like in the following chunks:

  • Me siento como tonta, al no entender matemáticas. (I feel dumb when not understanding math.)
  • Ellos se sienten como reyes cuando los voltean a ver. (They feel like kings when people notice them.)

Quiz

Now it’s your turn to practice. Fill in the blank with the right conjugation of sentir or sentirse.

  • Juan _________ bien esta mañana. (Juan feels good this morning.) Answer: se siente
  • Mariana y Paulísima _______ una emoción al verse. (Mariana and Paulisima feel excitement when seeing each other.) Answer: sienten
  • Nosotros __________ como idiotas si nos dices mentiras (We feel like idiots if you tell us lies.) Answer: nos sentimos
  • _______ que hoy será un gran día. (I feel like today will be a great day.) Answer: siento
  • Hoy __________ maravilloso, porque estoy aprendiendo español. (Today, I feel awesome, because I am learning Spanish) Answer: me siento.

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