What is the difference between them in terms of meaning and usage in daily life.

Can we say :

I have a Intuition / Premonition / Precognition / Instinct / Gut feeling / Hunch you are going to pass driver test successfully.

I have a Intuition / Premonition / Precognition / Instinct / Gut feeling / Hunch that if I accept this job offer, it is not going to affect my career positively.

I have a Intuition / Premonition / Precognition / Instinct / Gut feeling / Hunch that my son and your son are going to get along well even they have not met yet.

  • Please be sure that whichever word you choose, you use the correct article a or an. “A” goes before a word that starts with a consonant (any letter not a vowel) You have a premonition... You have a hunch... “An” goes before a word that starts with a vowel (a e i o u) You have an instinct... You have an intuition... I noticed in your question above that you wrote “a intuition” which is incorrect. That is why I am making this reminder for you. Good luck! Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 8:47

2 Answers 2


In order of 'magnitude'

Precognition - you really actually knew, for an absolute immutable fact, that this would happen.

Premonition - something came to you in a dream & told you it would happen.

Both the above, of course, in the real world - absolute tosh… yet sometimes used for extreme emphasis (or by raving lunatics;-).

Instinct - Instinct is the thing that puts your hands out in front of your face if you fall. It requires no conscious thought whatsoever.

Intuition - you can intuit from relatively sparse evidence, if you have sufficient background in the subject being considered. You almost 'know it without thinking'.

Gut feeling - uses a hint of both the above & a pinch of the last one..

Hunch - mainly guesswork, based on little actual evidence.

Unless you are exaggerating for effect - dramatic or comedic - you ought to choose based on how 'big a deal' it really is & how much evidence &/or conscious thought went into your conclusion.

  • 1
    The last two are probably the only two I would use in day-to-day conversation – at least in the context of someone passing a driver's test.
    – J.R.
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 1:58

Intuition, hunch, or gut feeling are probably the choices among those that are most commonly used. Hunches and gut feelings may not be based on anything in particular, but an intuition might have some reasoning behind it. A premonition or precognition has an implication of some sort of foreknowledge of the event in a psychic or paranormal sense. I don't think instinct fits among these - it's more of an automatic response to something, not something used to forecast the future.

  • 1
    Instinct can be used, but it's tricky. For example, I might say, "How did you know he would be such a good roommate?" And you could reply, "Instinct." (It's worth noting that, when using instinct, you'd respond with a single word – you could also say, "I had a hunch," or "I had a gut feeling," but you wouldn't say, "I had an instinct.")
    – J.R.
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:00

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