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Paranormal Vs. Supernatural: When To Use Each One In Writing?

Paranormal Vs. Supernatural: When To Use Each One In Writing?

Now that you have encountered paranormal vs. supernatural, which term among the two describes something hard to understand? Many will toss around both words when referring to ununderstood elements. However, there are critical differences between these words that this article will discuss.

Paranormal refers to a phenomenon not understood or explained by Science at the moment. Therefore, further exploration of the phenomenon may yield a future scientific explanation. In contrast, supernatural refers to a phenomenon beyond human or scientific understanding and may never be understood.

“Paranormal” and “supernatural” are commonly used interchangeably because of their closely related definitions. However, many elements set these words apart. Read on to discover the differences between paranormal and supernatural and how you can use these words in sentences.

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Definitions Of Paranormal And Supernatural

The primary reason people confuse these words and use them interchangeably is that their definitions are similar. That means it is wise that we explain the words’ definitions before getting into their differences. Below are the official definitions for paranormal and supernatural.

Definition Of Paranormal

Paranormal refers to something that scientific knowledge cannot explain. It usually pertains to spiritual elements like ghosts, spirits, or unique abilities, like superpowers. So, use this word when explaining something beyond what is considered normal. For example, “Spirits and ghosts are magnificent examples of the paranormal.”

Paranormal also refers to a person to whom unexplainable or unusual powers are attributed. For instance, refer to this word as a noun for someone with supernatural powers. A sentence example is, “The paranormal girl in the movie resembles a girl in my building.”

This word has two parts; “para” and “normal.” The first part, “para,” refers to things outside scientific understanding or definition. The second part, “normal,” refers to elements in the everyday world with scientific explanations.

As science progresses, a phenomenon can move from paranormal status to normal. For this reason, a branch of Science called “Pseudoscience” focuses on studying the paranormal. You will learn a lot of interesting things if you focus on this subject.

Definition Of Supernatural

Supernatural refers to anything that Science and Scientific knowledge cannot explain even after years of research. A sentence example is, “Ghosts are the best example of supernatural elements.”

This word features two parts; super and natural. The first part, “super,” means “beyond average or of excellent quality,” while the second part, “natural,” means “something that exists within the confines of an ecosystem.”

Therefore, “supernatural” refers to something beyond nature or has some added force that does not exist within the confines of the ecosystem or natural human abilities. For example, “Maria’s eyesight is supernatural; no one is born with x-ray vision.”

Other meanings of this word include:

  • Supernatural also means something altered by un-understandable forces or related to miracles and religious elements.  Another example is, “The Scientists have no explanation for his sudden supernatural recovery after the accident.”
  • Refer to this term when talking about someone with supernatural abilities. For example, “Kelvin is the only supernatural in the new Marvel movie.”

How To Use Paranormal And Supernatural In A Sentence

The reason most people look for definitions for confusing or new words is so that they can use them correctly in a sentence. However, even with the correct meaning, you may mistake the word’s use in sentences if you do not understand its applicable contexts and usage instructions. Here are some things you should know before using “paranormal” and “supernatural” in sentences.

How And When To Use Paranormal

You can use paranormal as an adjective when describing something with no scientific explanation. Note that an adjective describes or gives more information about a noun, verb, or another adjective.

Therefore, using “paranormal” in a sentence as an adjective should further explain your sentence’s subject. For example, “Ghosts and spirits are supernatural phenomena.” In that sentence, “ghosts” and “spirits” are the subjects, and “supernatural” is the adjective,

You can also use paranormal as a noun when describing a person to whom paranormal powers or elements are attributed. In this case, use “paranormal” as the subject or object in your sentence. For example, “The paranormal character in the new Johnny movie is quite interesting.” In this sentence, “paranormal” is the subject.

If your context allows, use the plural form “paranormals” when using this word as a noun. For example, “The paranormals have not appeared in the new movie.”

How And When To Use Supernatural

You can use “supernatural” as an adjective when referring to something beyond or exceeding nature. In this case, it should provide details about a verb, noun, or another adjective in your sentence. For example, “The Menendez’s child is rumored to have supernatural abilities.”

In the sentence above, “supernatural” provides more insight into the child’s abilities. Therefore, its application is as an adjective. More so, use “supernatural” as a noun when discussing a person or group with unexplainable powers or abilities. For example, “The supernaturals living in apartment C moved out yesterday.”

As a noun, use the term in its plural form, “supernaturals.” In a sentence, “The supernaturals caused tension in the town so much that most residents moved away.”

List Of Examples Of Paranormal And Supernatural In Sentences

With the above guidelines, you will find it easy to construct sentences with “paranormal” and “supernatural.” Below are some examples to learn from.

Example sentences of paranormal

  1. The church tried hard to use spirituality to explain the paranormal events in Hawaii during the cyclone.
  2. Each episode in the new movie features a new character with paranormal abilities.
  3. The paranormal activity in the volcanic region of Mesa caused mass panic among the residents.
  4. Marvel has a reputation for basing most of its movie storylines on the paranormal.
  5. I do not understand how Matthew can easily ignore the paranormal activity in his basement.

Example sentences of supernatural

  1. The Cecilia twins are famous worldwide because of their supernatural talents.
  2. The cult elected Amy as their leader because of her supernatural abilities.
  3. Some church members believe praying and fasting will earn them supernatural powers.
  4. Sandra claims that her monkeys can perform supernatural deeds.
  5. The police chased the supernatural couple out of the country because of the mass panic they triggered in society.

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Paranormal vs. Supernatural: What Are The Differences?

From the definition, a paranormal phenomenon is likely to be scientifically explained in the future after further research and exploration. On the other hand, supernatural phenomena are 100% beyond explanation and will stay like this forever. Also, a paranormal phenomenon is considered beyond scientific definition, while a supernatural phenomenon is considered beyond nature.

Also, the first known use of the word “paranormal” was in 1905. In contrast, the first word “supernatural” has existed since the early “15th Century and originated from Medieval Latin. Another difference is that most applications of the word “paranormal” are in Science and Psychology. On the other hand, most applications of the word “supernatural” are in religion.

Regarding grammar, “paranormal” has four syllables “par – a – nor – mal.” “Supernatural” has five syllables; “su – per – nat – u – ral.” Therefore, they belong to different syllable groups based on the number of syllables they contain.


When you look at the words “paranormal” and “supernatural,” you may not think about associating them because they have different spellings and pronunciations. However, their definitions bring about similarities. For instance, both words refer to phenomena that are beyond ordinary.

Nonetheless, “paranormal” and “supernatural” are related but not the same. Paranormal focuses on elements without scientific explanations, while supernatural focuses on aspects outside nature. Use this information about these words to perfect your writing and speech.