Je suis juste un type qui ne se sent vivre que lorsque je suis plongé dans une recherche.

Je suis juste un type qui ne se sent vivant que lorsque je suis plongé dans une recherche.

This is the first time I have seen « se sentir » followed by a verb, not an adjective.

2 Answers 2


Se sentir + verb is definitely correct French and here, the first form is better and more widely used although the second one is getting more popular in the last decades:

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Like being plongé dans une recherche, vivre is something that has a duration so that one can better feel than vivant which is just a status.

This difference is probably more easy to understand when replacing vivre by other verbs.

Qui se sent mourir → who find death coming / who feel like to die.

Qui se sent mort → who feel like being dead.

Qui se sent rougir → who feel a blush coming.

Qui se sent rouge → who feel being red.

Edit: Vivant has two meanings, the first and more common one is "alive" and I assumed that one in my previous statements. The second meaning is "full of life/dynamic" and in such case, both sentences would be more or less synonymous like qui se sent mourant or qui se sent rougissant would be in my examples.

Finally, note that you'd better use the third person in the subordinate clause because its subject refer to un type not the first je:

Je suis juste un type qui ne se sent vivre que lorsqu'il est plongé dans une recherche.

  • When saying the sentences out loud, I feel that the sentence with the case "vivant" is a bit more intense. Also the fact that the sentence as the word "lorsque" (limiting the time of action), I feel in both cases the feeling lasts the same time. Nov 18, 2016 at 22:26
  • From your examples, would it be fair to say it's like in English the difference between saying "I feel like I come alive when…" and "I feel alive when…"? Nov 20, 2016 at 13:27
  • @anotherdave Yes, that's the idea.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 20, 2016 at 13:34

Le sens est sensiblement le même.

On pourrait dire comme autre exemple:

  • je me sens chanceler;

  • je me sens chancelant.

Sentir, comme tous les verbes de perception, sensation, peut être suivi d'une forme à l'indicatif :

  • je le vois partir;

  • je te sens venir;

  • je m'entends délirer;

  • je l'imagine rigoler;

  • ...

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