“Felt” and “fell,” two past tense verbs, are often confused by nonnative speakers. The words look and sound similar, so the confusion is understandable.

Still, the words mean two very different things.

FALL (fall-fell-fallen).  “Fall” means to drop or come down quickly and accidentally.

FEEL (feel-felt-felt). “Feel” means to perceive a sensation either by touch or by emotion.

NO: I hurt my head when I slipped and felt on some ice.  (Correct: fell)

NO: Melissa fell terrible about the mistake.  (Correct: felt)

Ways to Remember FEEL/FELT

(It’s not a visual verb so try remembering a phrase in context):

  • Google Translate – to hear the “t” sound in “felt”

Type “I felt” into Google Translate and click on the speaker icon. Type “I felt alive”   and you hear the “t” link to “alive.”

  • Read the word in context:

I felt happy







Or perhaps remember a meme:

feeling alive

Or learn and sing words from a song, like:


“HAPPY” by Pharrell Williams

clap along if you feel

Ways to Remember FALL/FELL

  • A good visual for what happens when you fall:

man falls on the street

  • … or when prices (or trees, leaves, statues, Communism, etc.)

prices fall

  • Learn about “falling in love” through songs.

Here is a love song by The Beatles “If I Fell” (cover) that begins: “If I fell in love with you …”