The Spanish sentir (“to feel”) doesn’t bear an obvious relation to the same English word. But looks can be deceiving:
Sentir comes from the Latin for the same, sentire, which in turn comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *sent, meaning, “to go” — feels are thus, definitionally, fleeting, things that come and go.
From the Latin sentire, we get a bunch of similar words in English, including:
- Sentence — which originally meant, “a thought, judgment, opinion.” A sentence is a judgment indeed!
- Sense — which is a feeling!
- Resent — these are just your feelings, magnified with a re!
- Scent — to smell something is to have a feeling for it, too!
And a few others, including assent, consent, dissent and, most obviously, sentiment.
From the original Proto-Indo-European root *sent, meaning “to go” — via German, that turned into some simpler English words that we can now consider distant cousins of Sentir: send. Feelings do come and go!