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Unit 2: English In A Minute
Give us a minute and we'll give you English

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Session 9

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Sensible vs sensitive

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Sensational Phil's sensible enough to explain the difference between sensible and sensitive. Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Phil
Sensible and sensitive are often confused, but they are quite different.

Sensible means that you 'have good judgement' or 'are very practical'. Sometimes the most sensible thing is to ignore what people say and look at the facts.

Sensitive is related to feelings. If you're sensitive, it can mean that 'you think about how other people feel'. Be sensitive to people's feelings and they might agree with you.

It can also mean that 'your feelings are very easily upset'. Don't be too sensitive about your idea being rejected.

So being sensitive is all about feelings and kindness. Being sensible is about being practical and wise.

Do you think it's sensible to be sensitive to other people? Are some people too sensitive to make sensible decisions? Tell us what you think.

Sensible vs sensitive

Adjectives
Both sensible and sensitive are adjectives. They often go before a noun or after a 'copula' or 'linking' verb such as: be, feel, appear, seem, look, sound, smell, taste, become and get.

  • She's very sensible so you can rely on her.
  • He's become more sensitive as he's got older.

Sensible
Sensible means that you 'have good judgement' or 'are very practical'.

  • The most sensible thing is to ignore what people say and look at the facts.

Sensitive
Sensitive is related to feelings. It can mean that 'you think about how other people feel'. It can also mean that 'your feelings are very easily upset'.

  • Be sensitive to people's feelings and they might agree with you.
  • Don't be too sensitive about your idea being rejected.

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