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    #1

    non-action verbs - smell or smelling

    Hello everyone,
    I'm afraid I have to ask for advice again.
    Some verbs can be action and non-action (so I hear)
    How about smell?
    The food smells good - non action
    but
    the dog smells his feet?
    or should it be
    the dog smelling his feet?
    I know smell supposed to be non-action, but in this sentence can it be action verb?
    Thank you for your help

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: non-action verbs - smell or smelling

    Note that with your first example, "smell" is a non-action verb because it's you, not the food, that's doing the smelling!
    In the second example, it's the actual dog that's actively smelling his feet.

    So we're talking about two different meanings of the verb "smell."

    "Mmm, this soup smells so good!" The soup is giving off a nice smell. Non-action verb.
    "Oh, the dog is smelling its feet." The dog is sniffing its feet. Action verb.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: non-action verbs - smell or smelling

    "To smell" has two different meanings. One means "to give off/to have an odour" (not an action) and the other means "to use one's nose to find/identify an odour" (an action).

    The food smells good = The food has an odour which is pleasant.
    The dog smells his feet = The dog uses his nose to sniff his feet.

    Edit: Cross-posted with teechar.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: non-action verbs - smell or smelling

    Note also that one use is transitive,and the other intransitive.
    If this were not so, the joke about the dog with no nose would not work!

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    #5

    Re: non-action verbs - smell or smelling

    THANK YOU
    Could you tell me, please if contain and consist can have action meaning? And if so, in which cases?

    We lost the file containing annual report.

    How about containing?
    thanks for your help

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