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NLP Predicates are the words that we use to describe our inner world to the outside world.

In NLP, the senses through which we use to experience the outside world, are referred to as representational systems. The NLP term ‘Predicates’, is the word used to describe these systems. There are several different representational systems working for you: Visual (for what you see), auditory (for what you hear), kinaesthetic (what you feel or tactile sensations), AD or self-talk (also called labelling system), olfactory (what you smell), and gustatory (what you taste).

The NLP community says that we all have a representational system that we prefer to another and therefore, we process the majority of information through it. This is a generalisation, yet understanding NLP Predicates will help you to understand how others may be processing information. You can gain insight into their inner world. A preferred representational system can be identified through the language used in a conversation.

Here are some examples of Predicates for each representational system:


See, look, view, appear, show, dawn, reveal, envision, illuminate, imagine, clear, foggy, focused, hazy, crystal, picture.


Hear, listen, sound(s), make music, harmonize, tune in/out, be all ears, rings a bell, silence, be heard, resonate, deaf, mellifluous, dissonance, question, unhearing.


Feel, touch, grasp, get hold of, slip through, catch on, tap into, make contact, throw out, turn around, hard, unfeeling, concrete, scrape, get a handle, solid.


Sense, experience, understand, think, learn, process, decide, motivate, consider, change, perceive, insensitive, distinct, conceive, know.

When you listen out for the preferred representational system, you can then adjust your communication to enhance rapport and connection with those around you.

If you would like to learn more about NLP Predicates then you can read our article here.

You will also find a short video clip in our article here.

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