To Feel in French = Sentir [Explanation + 18 Examples]

to feel in french

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In this grammar lesson, you will learn how to express to feel in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • sentir conjugation in the present tense
  • how to feel in French has 3 usages
  • sentir = to smell
  • sentir = to feel
  • sentir = to taste
  • how to feel in French is used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on to feel in French
  • how you can download Anki files for to feel in French

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about this fits in French A1.

By the end of the lesson, you will know all about how to express to feel in French!

Table of Contents

Sentir Conjugation in the Present Tense

jesens
tusens
il/elle/onsent
noussentons
voussentez
ils/ellessentent

To Feel in French = Sentir

The way that you use “to feel” in English, is not exactly how you’d use it in French.

It is easy to fall into the trap of using “to feel” in the same way that you will use “sentir”.

However, the two verbs have a different meaning and usage.

As you proceed in this lesson, it is important to keep this in mind.

The verbs sentir broadly will be used for three things in French:

  1. to smell
  2. to feel
  3. to taste

Every usage has a chapter dedicated to it.

All three of these usages will be handled, and examples will be provided for every case.

Sentir = to Smell

This first way that you can use sentir in French is as such:

  • sentir = to smell

Je sens du café.

I smell coffee.

Je sens quelque chose brûler.

I smell something burning.

Tu sens bon.

You smell good.

Il sent toujours la mayonnaise.

He always smells like mayonnaise.

Nous pouvons sentir la nicotine d’ici.

We can smell the nicotine from here.

Que sentez-vous ?

What do you smell.

Ils sentent l’ail.

They smell of garlic.

I bet there’s one question on your mind.

How can you differentiate between “to smell something“, and “to smell of/like something“?

Take a look at the following sentences to see what I mean.

Tu sens la sueur dans le gymnase ?

Do you smell the sweat in the gymnasium?

Tu sens la sueur. Tu veux prendre une douche ?

You smell of sweat. Do you want to take a shower?

In the first sentence, there is a smell of sweat in the air.

In the second sentence, someone smells of sweat.

In both cases you use the same idiom:

  • sentir + le/la/l’ + noun

You have to rely on context to know if someone means to smell something or to smell of/like something.

This rule is valid for all of the three usages of sentir.

Sentir = to Feel

The second way that you can use sentir is as such:

  • sentir = to feel

You will use this when you wish to say that you “feel something”.

Je sens quelque chose.

I feel something.

Est-ce que tu sens ça ?

Do you feel that?

Ca fait encore mal ? – Non, je ne sens rien.

Does it still hurt? – No, I don’t feel anything.

Nous pouvons sentir qu’il y a un problème.

We can feel that there is a problem.

Vous ne sentez rien ?

You don’t feel anything?

Ils sentent quelque chose.

They feel something.

Sentir = to Taste

The third way that you can use sentir is as such:

  • sentir = to taste

Sometimes, sentir can also be used as “to taste”. This happens in the context of being able to taste an ingredient in a dish.

Je peux sentir l’ananas.

I can taste the pineapple.

Est-ce que tu sens le citron ?

Do you taste the lemon?

Est-ce que vous sentez la pomme ?

Do you taste the apple?

Example Sentences on To Feel in French

The final section of this lesson on to feel in French is about seeing the idioms in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on to feel in French through examples.

Here you can see all the sentences used in the previous chapter, neatly organised in one place.

Je sens du café.

I smell coffee.

Je sens quelque chose brûler.

I smell something burning.

Je sens quelque chose.

I feel something.

Je peux sentir l’ananas.

I can taste the pineapple.

Tu sens bon.

You smell good.

Tu sens la sueur dans le gymnase ?

Do you smell the sweat in the gymnasium?

Tu sens la sueur. Tu veux prendre une douche ?

You smell of sweat. Do you want to take a shower?

Est-ce que tu sens ça ?

Do you feel that?

Est-ce que tu sens le citron ?

Do you taste the lemon?

Il sent toujours la mayonnaise.

He always smells like mayonnaise.

Ca fait encore mal ? – Non, je ne sens rien.

Does it still hurt? – No, I don’t feel anything.

Nous pouvons sentir la nicotine d’ici.

We can smell the nicotine from here.

Nous pouvons sentir qu’il y a un problème.

We can feel that there is a problem.

Que sentez-vous ?

What do you smell.

Vous ne sentez rien ?

You don’t feel anything?

Est-ce que vous sentez la pomme ?

Do you taste the apple?

Ils sentent l’ail.

They smell of garlic.

Ils sentent quelque chose.

They feel something.

Quiz Yourself on To Feel in French

It’s not enough just to read the article on this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Anki File for To Feel in French

It is important to do the Anki exercises for this lesson so that you can better remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1, you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas. This is recommended as you will have every lesson that you need. You shouldn’t miss out on the complete learning experience!

You can also choose to just get the Anki File for French A1 Idioms. This only has the idioms for French A1.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or if you don’t know what Anki is, then please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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