*Sence or Sense? | Meaning, Definition & Spelling

Sense is a verb meaning ‘feel’ and a noun meaning ‘good judgement’, ‘awareness’, ‘vague impression’, and ‘particular meaning’. It can also be used to refer to one of the five sensory faculties (i.e., sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing).

People sometimes mistakenly write ‘sence’ instead of sense, but it’s wrong and should be avoided. While some words with a similar pronunciation are spelled with a ‘c’ (e.g., ‘fence’), others are always spelled with an ‘s’ (e.g., ‘tense’); sense belongs to the latter group.

Examples: Sense and sence in a sentence
  • I can sence that something is wrong.
  • I can sense that something is wrong.
  • Paul has no common sence.
  • Paul has no common sense.

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Make(s) sense

Make(s) sense is an expression used to say that something is logical or reasonable. A quantifier (e.g., ‘a lot of’) can be placed between the words to emphasise or qualify the statement. ‘Make(s) sence’ (with a ‘c’) is never correct.

Examples: Make(s) sense in a sentence
It makes sense that you’re tired; you’ve been travelling for days.

The author’s argument makes very little sense to me.

These instructions don’t make sense.

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Make sense of

Make sense of is an expression meaning ‘understand’. It functions as a transitive verb with the direct object being the thing that is understood. Again, ‘make sence of’ is never the correct spelling.

Examples: Make sense of in a sentence
Can you make sense of Mike’s argument?

I can’t make any sense of the court’s judgment!

More uses of sense

Sense is also used in a range of expressions. In all cases, it should be spelled sense, not ‘sence’.

Expression Meaning
Joseline has a lot of common sense. Good judgement
Una has good fashion sense. Understanding of how to dress well
In a sense, you are correct. From one point of view
Two weeks of detention ought to knock some sense into you. Force someone to think or act reasonably
Eventually, you’ll see sense. Stop behaving foolishly
Liz has a morbid sense of humour. Ability to appreciate things that are funny
Sandra felt a strong sense of achievement when she passed her exams. Feeling of accomplishment
I went to Tony’s piano recital out of a sense of obligation. Feeling of responsibility
Please talk sense! Speak in a logical or reasonable way

Other interesting language articles

If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a synonym for ‘sense’?

There are numerous synonyms and near synonyms for the various meanings of sense.

Feel (verb) Judgement (noun) Vague impression (noun)
Detect Discernment Feeling
Notice Prudence Hunch
Perceive Wisdom Inkling
What is a synonym for ‘make sense’?

Some synonyms and near synonyms for make sense include:

  • Be clear
  • Cohere
  • Be consistent
  • Be understandable
What is a synonym for ‘make sense of’?

Some synonyms and near synonyms for make sense of include:

  • Comprehend
  • Fathom
  • Figure out
  • Follow
  • Grasp
  • Understand

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Ryan, E. (2023, March 14). *Sence or Sense? | Meaning, Definition & Spelling. Scribbr. Retrieved 9 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/common-errors/sense-or-sence/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.