When it comes to using the phrase “in the sense that,” it’s good to understand what it means. “Sense” is a word with many meanings, so if you don’t know what meaning it holds here, you might struggle. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of “in the sense that.”
What Does “In The Sense That” Mean?
“In the sense that” means that we’re distinguishing between two potential words (or outcomes) in an argument. “Sense” in this phrase means “a possible meaning of a word.” We use it to distinguish which meaning we intend to talk about.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of “sense” is “one of the possible meanings of a word or phrase.”
From that meaning, we can see that when we use “in the sense that,” we’re doing so to distinguish between whatever the possible meanings of a phrase might be. It helps the reader to understand what we’re talking about rather than trying to work it out for themselves.
8 Variations Of “In The Sense That”
There are a few variations of the phrase that it’s important to know about. They’re mostly used interchangeably and have the same meanings. Make sure you understand the following ones and how they work (which we’ll ensure you do by the end of this article).
- In a sense that
- In a sense
- In the sense
- In the sense of
- In a sense of
- In this sense
- In any sense
All of these variations are ways you can say “in the sense that” slightly differently. Some people prefer the shorter ones because it streamlines the language in their writing. It’s often ideal to go after shorter words or phrases when it comes to writing (especially in formal cases).
The more unnecessary words you can avoid using, the better your writing will seem to the reader.
Examples Sentences With “In The Sense That”
We thought it might help you to see some example sentences of “in the sense that” being used. Don’t worry; we’ll also include all the variations that we covered above. That way, you’ll have a better chance of understanding what they all mean.
- I found it funny in the sense that it made me laugh.
- I found it funny in the sense that it was really poorly written!
- They’re not nice people, at least not in a sense that I believe them to be.
- In the sense of this letter, it’s hard to work out what they’re talking about.
- In a sense of luck, you’ll probably be fine without my help.
- Sometimes, people get confused by my books; in this sense, I send them messages to help them understand.
- They believe them to be immigrants, but they’re not. At least not in any sense that I can see it.
- I disagree with him in the sense that he thinks he’s always right, and I know he’s wrong.
- We can’t get over this hurdle in the sense that it’s created a wedge between our relationship.
- I love to read horror novels in the sense that I get creeped out by the passages.
- I think you’re a nice guy in the sense that you do the best you can for everybody.
- I can’t figure you out, at least not in any sense that I’m used to before.
As you can see, “in the sense that” is the most common variation to use. It’s more standard for people to write it like that than any of the other variations. Still, we thought we’d include what we could to help you understand when they’d be used.
Many people don’t use “in a sense” in many situations. Using “the” helps to specify the exact meaning of the word we’re trying to convey (which complements “sense” well). Simply using “a” doesn’t help us to specify that meaning, so many people avoid doing so.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you which variation you believe makes the most sense. Generally, if you’re simply trying to distinguish the meaning you’re talking about, then “in the sense that” is a great way to do so.
If you’re trying to distinguish a meaning without being able to work out exactly what it means (like in the last example), then “in any sense” is good to use. We use this to say that there are no possible situations where we can agree with the word usage or meaning that someone has given to something.
Synonyms For “In The Sense That”
We’ll finish up the article by looking at a selection of synonyms and alternatives for the phrase. You might be interested in using one of these instead of “in the sense that.” It’s not a very common phrase in English because there are usually better options to work with.
- In the spirit of
“In the spirit of” is a great way to show that you’re still trying to work out the exact meaning of something. It doesn’t always have to relate to words either, which makes this slightly more effective in other situations compared to “In the sense that.”
- With the meaning
If you want to specifically clarify the meaning of the word you’re talking about, you can use “with the meaning.” It’s mostly used when talking about words and very rarely gets used in other situations. It’s also slightly more formal than “in the sense that.”
- Because of
Generally, this is one of the more common synonyms that you’ll come across. You can simply explain what you mean with a word by using the phrase “because of” rather than worrying about any of the other language rules.
- Due to
Again, we can use “due to” instead of “because of” when it comes to saying something like “in the sense that.” We’re simply explaining our meaning slightly further, which makes both “due” and “because” some of the best choices if you want to be quick and to the point with what you’re saying.
- With the implication
In a more formal sense, you can talk about the implication of something with this phrase. It’s got limited uses, but you can make it work, especially if you’re talking about what your meaning might imply rather than what it means directly.
You may also like: Makes No Sense – Meaning & 9 Examples (Explained For Beginners)
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.