The six senses

Our basic five senses are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. What is sometimes referred to as a ‘sixth sense’ is a power to be aware of things independently of the five physical senses, a kind of supernatural sense. The five basic verbs referring to the senses are modified by an adjective rather than an adverb.

He looks dreadful. The trip sounds marvellous. The cake tastes good.
It felt strange. The soup smelt delicious.

Sight

Look at the verbs of seeing in the text below.

Yesterday I glanced out of the window and noticed a man observing a house opposite through a telescope. I thought I glimpsed a woman inside the house. Then I saw someone else peering into the window of the same house. I gazed at them wondering what they were doing. Suddenly the first man stopped staring through his telescope. He went and hit the other one on the head with the telescope and I realised that I had witnessed a crime.

Hearing

The following scale relates to the sense of hearing and how loud things are.

noiseless —> silent —> quiet —> noisy —> loud —> deafening

Taste

Some different tastes with an example of a typical food.

sweet (honey) salty (crisps) bitter (strong coffee) sour (vinegar) spicy (Indian food)

If you say something tastes hot it may mean spicy rather than not cold. Food can be tasty, but tasteful is used to refer to furnishings, architecture or a style of dressing or behaviour. The opposite of both is tasteless.

Touch

Some good verbs for describing different ways of touching.

She nervously fingered her collar. He stroked the cat and patted the dog.
She tapped him on the shoulder. He grasped my hand and we ran.
She grabbed her bag and ran. It’s rude to snatch. Press the button.
Please handle the goods with great care.
The secretaries complained that their boss was always pawing them.

Smell

These adjectives describe how something smells.
stinking evil-smelling smelly aromatic scented fragrant sweet-smelling perfumed

Sixth sense

Different phenomena which a person with sixth sense may experience:
telepathy ghosts UFOs premonitions intuition deja vu