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Thread: smell

  1. #1
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    Default smell

    Dear teachers.

    "The clothes smelled like soup."

    I found this expression in a book. I have a question about the use of SMELL. If I had to express this fact, I would say "The clothes smelled OF like soup". Does my expression sound natural? And would you tell me why in this situation OF is not used?

  2. #2
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    Default

    It would certainly be unusual for clothes to smell like soup, but the use of the word like in that fashion is just right. We would not use of there. (Why one word is used and not another can be difficult of impossible to explain. Might as well explain how the words themselves came about.)

    • It smelled like rotten eggs.
      It smelled like stinky feet.
      It smelled like burnt toast.
      It smelled like a wet dog.
      It was a smell like marsh gas.
      It smelled like cow manure.
      It smelled like wet grass.
      It smelled like fresh coffee.


    :)

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Like = similar to
    Of is used when that is exactly what the thing smells of. So a cigarette smoker's clothes would smeel of smoke. Here, like is used to suggest that the smell was similar, not that the clothes had soup on them.

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    Default Re: smell

    Quote Originally Posted by ai
    Dear teachers.

    "The clothes smelled like soup."

    If I had to express this fact, I would say "The clothes smelled OF like soup". Does my expression sound natural? And would you tell me why in this situation OF is not used?
    Perhaps, you meant to write "The clothes smelled of soup". This sounds perfectly natural. To me, "smell of soup" and "small like soup" are identical.

    Iain

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    Default Re: smell

    Quote Originally Posted by dduck
    Perhaps, you meant to write "The clothes smelled of soup". This sounds perfectly natural.
    But he didn't write it. He found it in a book. :wink:

    It is true that "smell of soup" would work just fine, especially if the clothes had soup on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by dduck
    To me, "smell of soup" and "small like soup" are identical.
    It could be the same if the the clothes smelled like soup because they had soup on them.

    :)

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