Sentir vs. sentirse

Sentir vs. sentirse


What is the difference between "sentir" and "sentirse" ? I've looked it up in the dictionary but I'm still unsure when to use which over the other.

updated FEB 8, 2016
posted by thaibean06

3 Answers


I found this description that seems quite helpful smile

HOW do you feel (sentirse)

No me siento bien.

WHAT do you feel (sentir)

Siento mucho dolor en el estómago.

No me siento alegre. How do you feel? No siento alegría. What do you feel?


I remember the difference by rhyming 'what' with 'not' - I just say to myself:

"how you feel is reflexive - what is not' :)

updated FEB 8, 2016
posted by Kiwi-Girl
very helpful and easy to remember! - maleine, JUL 14, 2010
Excellent, thanks a bunch! - MattM, JUL 14, 2010
Terrific - thanks a lot Maria - patch, JUL 14, 2010
este es muy útil kiwi girl... gracais - t8805jg, FEB 8, 2016

Difficult isn´t it. I sometimes have the same problem. In general I would say that sentir is dealing with emotion, sensation or pain, such as,

De repente he sentido frío - I suddenly felt cold

No siento la pierna - I can´t feel my leg

Empezó a sentir los efectos del alcohol - He began to feel the effects of the alcohol

Sentirse is a pronominal verb and can be used to indicate a state you are in or a situation,

¿cómo te sientes? - How do you feel?

No me siento con ánimos para eso - I don´t feel up to it.

These examples obviously do not cover all situations but I trust they make it a little clearer.

updated OCT 15, 2015
posted by Eddy
De repente sentí frío - 005faa61, MAR 23, 2010
I am talking about an instant after having a cold wind hit you. Sentí appears to be talking about the distant past. - Eddy, MAR 24, 2010
but you've used the present perfect - I have felt cold - Kiwi-Girl, JUL 14, 2010
kiwi girl - your answer here & above , in the orginal post, seems "perfect"! - t8805jg, FEB 10, 2013

Sentir = to feel

Sentirse = to feel oneself


updated OCT 16, 2015
posted by chileno
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