The word "smell" is associated with the functioning of a nose:
In these sentences and questions, "smell" is a transitive verb (an object follows the verb).
- Isabela smelled gas in her apartment, so she left the building and called the building manager.
- Don can’t smell anything because he has a cold.
- The dog is smelling something.
- Do you smell that? What is that?
- You should smell these flowers.
- I smell pizza.
In these sentences, "smell" is an intransitive verb (no object):
- The carpet smells bad.
- These peaches smell fresh.
- The meat smelled rotten, so I threw it away.
- It smells like something is burning.
- You smell good.
Be careful when you use the word "smell." In these sentences and questions, the smell is probably a bad odor. (Intonation is important in this instance.)
- What’s that smell? (This question uses "smell" as a noun.)
- Something smells.
- This meat smells. Throw it out.
- He smells.
Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.
This page was first published on September 21, 2012. It was updated on April 27, 2016.