I too am struggling with this and I think it is because of confusion between adjectives and nouns in the instructions / translations. For example, you say that Sentir is often followed by a noun, and yet you use adjectives in the translation of the sentences i.e. "siento pena" translates as "I feel sorry" - but "sorry" is an adjective not a noun. The noun of sorry is "sorrow." Hence "I feel sorrow" would be the correct translation if specifying the use of a noun. A second example is "sentimos mucha alegría' which you translate as "we feel very happy" but "happy" is an adjective. The noun of happy is "happiness" so "I feel happiness" would be the translation of the noun form. I completely get how these translations of the noun form would be very clunky, but I think it may help to point this out.
The issue may be - but you don't state it, that Sentir appears to be used to express emotional feelings or something that is sensed physically, and emotions are mostly expressed in the adjective form in English "I feel sad because my cat died" or "I feel delighted since my partner left me." Both adjectives are describing how I feel. If the noun forms "sadness and delight" were used, it would describe what I am feeling. Your instructions say that "how" you feel takes the reflexive form. This seems to contradict the fact that we feel feelings, and that is how we feel when we are feeling them.
I hope this makes sense.
Thanks for your comments ans suggestions. We understand it may be a bit confusing because of how different these sentences are expressed in Spanish and English, so we will go back to the content of this lesson and consider some extra clarifications.
Un saludo cordial,
From the examples given, it looks like this is the pattern:
- sentir + noun, or phrase with "que"
- sentirse + anything else (including -ado, -ido adjectives and phrases with "como")
There may be counter-examples not shown here though.
John, you've completely hit the nail on the head here. The rules of use for sentir and sentirse are largely contradicted by the example translations and those threw me for a loop. I think your idea of strictly using English nouns for sentir usage and adjectives for sentirse (although, as you say, are a little clunky) would really clear up the concept. It would be great if this page could be changed in this way.
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