I wonder which one of the two verbs below fits better in each sense and which one doesn't work in which sentence and why:

Soak: to make something completely wet.

Drench: To drench something or someone means to make them completely wet.

1. A car drove through a puddle and I got...........
a. drenched
b. soaked

2. When we got out of the river we were............
a. drenched
b. soaked

3. The boy was ............ after playing in the rain.
a. drenched
b. soaked

1 Answer 1


The main difference between soak and drench is that Soak is used for something that absorbs water. (paper, cloth, wood etc) while Drench is used for others, like people etc.

Also, according wikidiff, "soak is to be saturated with liquid by being immersed in it while drench is to soak, to make very wet" (but not put/immerse the object in water, rather throw the water at them or them getting wet by a very sudden and quick process.)

So 1,3 would use drenched and 2 will use soak.

  • 1
    And conversely, you can put out a fire by drenching it, but you don't soak it. Jul 19, 2019 at 10:12
  • 1
    @A-friend Drenching probably. Using "wet" is always the safest option, though :)
    – Bella Swan
    Jul 19, 2019 at 11:34
  • 1
    @A-friend "soak" can be used for people, but with a different meaning. When someone soaks in a hot bath, it's not assumed that they absorb much of the bath water itself, but rather they absorb the heat from the water.
    – Andrew
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:53
  • 1
    I would argue that in conversational English, either soak or drench would be acceptable in any of the examples.
    – Luck
    Jul 19, 2019 at 16:36
  • 1
    +1 for all of you. Thank you very much @Andrew, Bella Swan and Luck for responding to this question.
    – A-friend
    Jul 19, 2019 at 21:49

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