What is the difference between “sentir” and “sentirse”?

When we talk about these verbs the difference is not really in their meaning, but in their structure.

Sentir + nouns: we use it to express feelings and sensations. It answers the question: ¿Qué sientes? (What are you feeling?)

  • Siento una gran felicidad por la graduación de mi hijo. I feel great joy over my son’s graduation.
  • Todos sienten hambre ya que no han comido durante todo el día. Everyone feels hungry since they haven’t eaten all day.

 

Sentirse + adjectives/adverbs: we use to describe the way someone feels. It answers the question: ¿Cómo te sientes? (How do you feel?)

  • Me siento feliz por la graduación de mi hijo. I feel happy over my son’s graduation.
  • Todos se sienten hambrientos ya que no han comido durante todo el día. Everyone is feeling hungry because they haven’t eaten all day.

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