The Meanings of Sensible and Sensitive – What’s the difference?

Do you know the meaning of sensible? And what about sensitive? These two adjectives are false friends in many languages so they can be confusing.
In English, someone who is sensible is reasonable. They show good judgement. Being sensitive is about feelings, so someone who is sensitive may feel things strongly and get upset easily. Or they might be conscious of and able to understand other people’s feelings and emotions.
Watch the video to learn more.

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Click the links to see more videos on common false friends: actually and currently, sympathetic and nice, miss and lose, story and history.

Sensible Sensitive Video Script

Dum de dum dum de dum dum.

Sensible and sensitive are both adjectives, so what’s the difference?

So how long will it take to drive to Connecticut?
About five hours.
Well, be sensible. Pull over and take a rest if you need to.

Stop! That’s not a sensible way to do it.

Someone who is sensible is reasonable. They show good judgement.

How many of these have we had?
Only two… each.
I think we should put them away.
I guess that’s sensible.

Being sensitive is about feelings.

Mmmm. I love ice cream, but my teeth are sensitive to cold.

Carter has sensitive skin so I have to put this ointment on him. Good boy. Good boy. OK.

They can be physical feelings or emotional ones.

I hate my new hair cut.
Well go back and complain.
Oh no. I can’t do that. My hairdresser’s very sensitive to criticism.
What?
She takes everything very personally.

If someone is sensitive, they’re conscious of and able to understand other people’s feelings and emotions.

Look what Jay’s sister gave him for his birthday. Do you like it?
I absolutely hate it.
What did you say when she gave it to you?
I said ‘Thank you very much.’ I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
Ah, he’s sensitive like that.

Oooo, a skype call. It’s Harry Potter.
Dum de dum dum de dum dum.
Harry?
Hey, Vicki! Yeah, it’s Harry.
You’ve got a beard. Is it really you?
Well, yeah! Look!
Ooo, that scar looks red and sore.
Well, it is a bit sensitive, today. It’s, It’s itchy, ah, ow, ow, ah.
Ooo Harry. I guess scratching it wasn’t a very sensible thing to do.
Go ask Hermione to put some ice on it. OK.

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to see more vocabulary videos
Click the links to see more videos on common false friends: actually and currently, sympathetic and nice, miss and lose, story and history.

2 thoughts on “The Meanings of Sensible and Sensitive – What’s the difference?

  • September 17, 2017 at 8:08 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Vicki
    I love your videos. It helps me learning English a lot. Absolutely fantastic!
    Here I’ve confused about words of feelings and emotion. Can you please tell me the difference between them?
    Regards
    Angela

    Reply
    • November 10, 2017 at 4:43 am
      Permalink

      Hi Angela – sorry to be replying so late. Somehow I missed this message. These words have a very similar meanings and in some contexts they can be used interchangeably. A feeling is something you feel either through your mind or your body, so you might feel cold, itchy or angry. An emotion is a strong feeling, like anger, love or fear.

      Reply

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