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  1. Crowned 91's Avatar
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    #1

    smell nice vs. smell nicely

    Hi! Is there a difference between "smell nice" and "smell nicely"?
    Examples:

    1) She smelt the rose. It smelt nice.
    2) I smell nicely.

    My interpretation is that the former means "The rose has a nice smell" ( smell is a linking verb and nice is an adjective which refers to the subject "it") whereas the latter means "I can perceive the smell of something with my nose." (but I do not know how to explain that in a clearer way.)

    In the first part of 1) is the verb smell used as a transitive verb?
    She (subject) smelt (transitive verb) the rose (object).

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    #2 is not possible.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    #2 is unlikely. We generally don't say that we, or anyone else, smells well/nicely, or an other adverb.
    A professional wine-taster has to smell nicely, but it's not in our language, or customs, to say that.
    Which brings me to the joke about the dog who has no nose ...

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    The dog smells bad. (stinks)
    The dog smells badly. (can't hunt)

    Crowned, your sentences exhibit the difference between sensing verbs as linking verbs and action verbs. But we wouldn't actually say "I smell nicely".

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    #5

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Which brings me to the joke about the dog who has no nose ...
    How does he smell?

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    Bad and badly.

  6. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: smell nice vs. smell nicely

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Which brings me to the joke about the dog who has no nose ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    How does he smell?
    Rover, it appears that Raymott is tweaking our memories by referring to one of the oldest and, quite possibly, one of the worst jokes ever told!

    The joke utilizes a pun, exploiting the two meanings of "smell" -- the verb form, which means to actively take in odors, and the adjective form, which means to give odors off. "How does he smell" could mean either one of these things; the joke is that it starts off leading you to assume the first meaning, but finishes up with the second. It's a play on words.

    Tom: Did you hear about the dog who has no nose?
    Dick: No! How does he smell?
    Tom: Awful!

    Feel free to use the joke at your next social gathering!!!!

    Cheers,
    A4
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jul-2014 at 08:53. Reason: fixed missing quote box

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