Sensible/Sensitive

Introduction

Sensitive and sensible are both adjectives but they have quite different meanings. They are often mixed up by English learners. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between sensitive and sensible in English.

Sensible

  • A sensible person is wise, they are able to use good judgement and don’t make silly mistakes.
Example:
Helen is a good babysitter because she is very sensible.
  • Sensible clothes or shoes are practical instead of attractive or fashionable.
Example:
She dresses the children in sensible clothes. Raincoats and wellingtons for wet weather, sandles and hats for the beach.

Sensitive

  • A sensitive person can be easily affected by things that other people say or do. They are easily upset or offended.
Example:
Be careful what you say. Helen is very sensitive to criticism.
  • A sensitive person can also be kind, understanting and sympathetic.
Example:
She is sensitive to the children’s needs.
  • Sensitive also means delicate or fragile. Something that is easily affected or damaged.
Example:
The children have sensitive skin.