At the banquet, Michael

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Bassim

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I am wondering if my sentences are grammatically correct. Is it correct to use "be on tenterhooks to dig into " in my sentence."?

At the banquet, Michael couldn't care less what the speaker said in his rambling speech. He was on tenterhooks to dig into the delicious food in front of him, which smells made him salivate like a dog.
 

GoesStation

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No. You can be on tenterhooks in general, but the expression doesn't combine with to.
 

Bassim

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Could I write:

He was aching to dig into the delicious food in front of him...
 

andrewg927

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"Which smells" means it stinks. It's true that some dogs drool at the site of food but it's not a common expression for humans.
 

andrewg927

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You could say "all he wanted to do was dig..." to create a contrast with the previous sentence.
 

GoesStation

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Could I write:

He was aching to dig into the delicious food in front of him...

Yes. He's aching to dig into food whose delicious aroma made him salivate.
 

emsr2d2

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Or "... the smell of which was making him salivate like a dog". Using "the smell" in BrE doesn't necessarily suggest a bad smell. It just means "the aroma/fragrance".
 

andrewg927

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"The smell" is much better than the original but "like a dog" still sounds crude.
 

emsr2d2

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It might sound crude but the idea of someone salivating (I might even use "drooling") like a dog is very evocative!
 

andrewg927

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Don't you eat with five senses, Robert?
 

andrewg927

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It might sound crude but the idea of someone salivating (I might even use "drooling") like a dog is very evocative!

I might as well use "stickily drooling at the mouth like a rabid dog". Now that's evocative.
 

andrewg927

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Definitely not "delicious odor".
 

emsr2d2

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Generally, we understand "That smells delicious" or "There are some delicious smells coming out of his kitchen" to indicate that the smell suggests that the food will taste delicious. I wouldn't use "odour" in either of those but I might use "aroma".
 
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