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    #1

    A/the pungent smell of garlic

    Hello!

    Below are sentences from websites.

    So I got home and opened up the container. A pungent smell of garlic certainly filled the room- and it should!

    To get rid of acne quickly, you need to take 4 pods of garlic and then skin them properly. After that, you need to chop them and leave them to soak in milk for about 30 minutes. Soaking in milk ensures that the pungent smell of garlic goes away.

    A lot of fresh food, traditional houses, and a smell of flowers everywhere. Until the recent past, the island was not provided with water and, ÖÖ

    If they grew up on the East Coast of the United States, the smell of flowers made people nostalgic for childhood.

    The richness of the context is a great help in understanding a/the (pungent) smell of, I think.

    As a supplement:

    I donít like the smell of garlic. (the general sense)

    I donít like a smell of garlic.
    Probably, this way of saying is not acceptable. Could anyone show it?

    Thanks in advance

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    #2

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    What is your question, Kazuo?

    'I donít like a smell of garlic' is not correct.

    not a teacher

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    #3

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    I'm sorry. My way of asking may have been wrong.

    1. Whether the sentence 'I don’t like a smell of garlic' is correct or not.
    2. If it's not correct, can someone explain it?
    These are the questions.

    Thanks

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    #4

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    Why 'the smell' and not 'a smell'?
    As you know, garlic had the unmistakable, characteristic smell - which is not an ordinary smell. Therefore, 'the smell'.

    not a teacher

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    #5

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    Hello, tedtmc!

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    A Google search of 'like a smell of garlic' gives only 2 instances. These 2 instances are the same ones. Virtually, the search gives only one instance. And the word 'like' is used as a preposition. Summing up, it gives no result with 'like (as a verb) a smell of garlic'.
    On the other hand, a Google search of 'a smell of garlic' gives 6260 instances.
    The collocations of 'a smell of garlic', when considered with respect to verbs are those which include, notice, give off, emit, release, add, recognize etc.
    Of these verbs, there isnít the word 'like'. Is this fact due to chance, or inevitability?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Kazuo; 24-Apr-2010 at 03:35.

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    #6

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    You can say 'a pungent smell', 'an acrid smell' ,'a smell of garlic', a smell of rotten eggs, etc.

    But you say 'like the smell of roses', 'like the smell of garlic', 'like the smell of onions', like the smell of cinnamon - all these are recognizable smells.

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    #7

    Re: A/the pungent smell of garlic

    Hello!

    The expression 'the smell of garlic', I think, refers to the smell of garlic in general.
    Then 'I don’t like the smell of garlic.' sounds natural in most cases.
    But 'I don’t like a smell of garlic.' sounds as if referring to the smell of one type of the plant 'garlic'. Moreover it may confuse the hearer, because 'a smell of ' can mean an act of smelling.
    This might be the reason for my search result.

    Thank you very much

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