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Senses: Touch and Feel

Hello, and welcome again to Mistake Monday! It’s been a few weeks since we looked at a Common Error. Today’s is actually not very common, but I still wanted to mention it briefly.

I’ve never seen this game before, but somehow it still reminds me of my childhood.
Image by Axel Tregoning, used through Creative Commons license.
Remember that we were talking about the Five Senses, and that we still had one more to talk about: touch. When we experience this action, we also often use the word feel. This can get complicated, so we’ll look at more vocabulary words related to these topics on Wednesday. For today, let’s see quickly how to use these words:
Not-Very-Common Error: Touch and Feel
DON’T say this: “She feels herself bad.”
“I want to learn to touch the guitar.”
WHY? Hey, I admitted that the errors weren’t that common.
Anyhow, here are a few tips:

Touch usually means to use your hands or fingers to make physical contact with an object or other person:
The crazy man on the bus screamed, “Don’t touch me, you aliens!”
“Can you close your eyes and touch your nose? If not, you may be drunk.”

As you can see, touch is normally used as a verb, but there are also cases when you can use it as a noun.

Feel (past tense: felt) is closely related to touch. In fact, you can normally say that a person who touches “does” the action, and the person who feels “receives” the action:
“Did you feel that tremor? It wasn’t an earthquake, but I still felt the room shake a bit.”
“I went to the dentist and they gave me anesthesia. I can’t feel my tongue when I touch it.”

Feel is also commonly used with temporary physical states and emotions (but it’s not reflexive like in Spanish or some other languages):
“I feel really hot– do you think you could open the window or turn on a fan or something?”
“I felt really sad when my cat died.”

As you can see, feel is a verb. The noun form is feeling.

Touch is not used with musical instruments (unless you only want to touch it… but most people prefer to play an instrument):
“In the past I could play some songs on the piano and the saxophone, but I’ve forgotten how to play them.”

INSTEAD, SAY THIS: -“She feels bad.”
-“I want to learn to play the guitar.”

Do you have any questions? Remember that on Wednesday we’ll look at more vocabulary related to this sense. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact me. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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Sense Vocabulary: "Good Touch" Words
Solution to Wednesday’s Song Exercise

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