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Can I use "I sensed" meaning "I noticed" as synonyms in this phrase?

Example:

I noticed/sensed something was going on when my father said that my mother wasn't going to come home that night.

Here's the meaning of both words according to www.dictionary.com:

Sense

a feeling or perception produced through the organs of touch, taste, etc., or resulting from a particular condition of some part of the body

Notice

to perceive; become aware of

Sense and Notice have very close meanings in many contexts, but sometimes they are completely different from each other depending on context. I just need to know whether it is possible to use both words interchangeably in the example phrase I wrote.

3

They are mostly interchangeable, however there is a slight but subtle difference. 'To notice' is more likely to be used in cases where there are physical clues that help you to guess something, for example:

I noticed there was something wrong when I walked into the room and saw the frown on her face.

In this sentence the physical clue is her frown.

'To sense' is more likely to be used in cases where there are no physical clues.

I sensed there was something wrong when I walked into the room.

In this sentence there are no obvious, physical clues. 'To sense' is more likely to be seen in literature, and is generally considered quite poetic. A near exact synonym would be 'to detect'.

In this sentence:

I noticed/sensed something was going on when my father said that my mother wasn't going to come home that night.

you would me more likely to say sensed because there aren't any physical clues. If the sentence said this:

I noticed/sensed something was going on when my mother didn't come home that night.

you would be more likely to say noticed, because there was the physical clue of your mother not coming home.

If you are ever unsure which one to use in a sentence, you could use the verb 'to realize':

I realized something was going on when my father said that my mother wasn't going to come home that night.

I realized something was going on when my mother didn't come home that night.

0

Yes you can use them interchangeably in your sentence, but the "something going on" has to be more than that your mother isn't coming home. Perhaps she's in jail, perhaps she's just won the lottery.

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