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Sentir Se sentir Ressentir

Sentir Se sentir Ressentir ?

Sentir Se sentir Ressentir are similar but are used in very different ways. They have the same conjugation, but that doesn’t mean that they are synonyms. Each one of them is used to explain a different feeling or sensation.

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Sentir Se sentir Ressentir

Sentir - To smell - To feel - To sense

Sentir explains a physical effect, such as a touch or a smell, but it can also be translated to To sense.
It’s usually followed by

  • an adjective 
  • an object
  • but it can also be followed by que

Sentir as To smell

Ça sent bon ici. 
It smells good here.

Elle aime sentir l’odeur de la pluie.
She likes to smell the smell of rain.

Sentir as To feel - To touch

On sent que ce tissu est de bonne qualité. 
We feel that this fabric is of good quality.

Je sens qu’elle a des boutons sous la peau. 
I feel that she has pimples under her skin.

Sentir as To sense - To have a feeling

Je sens que cela va mal finir.
I have a feeling this is going to end badly.

On pouvait sentir la tension entre eux.
You could feel the tension between them.

Se sentir as To feel

Se sentir is a reflexive verb and is used to talk about internal feelings a person can have.  
Se sentir is usually followed by an adjective or an adverb.

Je me sens mieux depuis que j’ai mangé.
I feel better since I ate.

Comment est-ce que tu te sens ?
How do you feel?

Elle se sentait nerveuse avant de passer son permis de conduire.
She felt nervous before taking her driver’s license.

Ressentir as To feel

Ressentir could be understood as feeling again, but it’s not quite that. Ressentir is all about perceptions, about deep feelings. It’s also used to insist on something strong. It’s usually followed by an object = ressentir quelque chose.

J’ai ressenti beaucoup de peine après notre dispute.
I felt a lot of sadness after our fight.

Il a ressenti une douleur intense dans le pied.
He felt severe pain in his foot.

Qu’est-ce que tu ressens ?
What do you feel?

Conjugation of Sentir, Se sentir, Ressentir

In the next tables, we will look at the conjugation of sentir, se sentir, ressentir starting with the present tense, followed by the passé composé, the imparfait, the future and the conditional.

I hope you now understand better how to use sentir, se sentir, and ressentir in French. Keep practicing and don’t hesitate to leave a comment with an example to try. I will correct you if you want me to.

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    6 Responses

    1. Merci Dylane. Pour expliquer l’usage de “ressentir”, je me demande si c’est similaire au verbe “to experience” en anglais? Par exemple: Après la fausse couche, elle ressentais une tristesse immense .

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    About Dylane

    Dylane is the owner & founder of “The perfect French with Dylane”, a YouTube channel and website where she teaches students from all around the world all the aspects of the French language.

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