Smelling in Spanish

Smelling in Spanish


Forgive my ignorance when it comes to grammar. I will try to phrase this question as clearly as possible.

In English when we use the verb 'smell' we use it in both the active and passive sense As in A. He smells fire (he is acting upon something else) B. he smells funny (passively, he isn't doing anything)

In Spanish you would say A. Huele fuego (I think) How would you say B?

updated NOV 22, 2009
posted by Chavag
For A. "Huele a humo" not fire. For B. "Ella huele bien" - Vernet, NOV 22, 2009

3 Answers


[Él] Huele extraño.

According to some links I looked at, you don't need the passive/reflexive se or anything unusual. It works just like in English where it can be transitive or intransitive.

In the passive voice, the action described by the verb is being done to the subject by an agent.

He smells funny.

Not truly passive as there is no agent. It is intransitive.

updated NOV 22, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507

he smells funny (passively, he isn't doing anything)

I have never heard that expression used in that way. If you say "he smells funny" to me it means that he has a strange smell about him.

updated NOV 22, 2009
posted by 00515f39
That's what I meant. He smells funny, it smells good, it smells like fire etc. - Chavag, NOV 22, 2009
OK Sorry, I was confused. You are right. - 00515f39, NOV 22, 2009

A. En español, no se refiere a fuego "fire". Decimos "huele a humo" (smoke) cuando nos referimos a que algo se está quemando.

B. La traducción de "He smells funny" sería "Él huele bien".

updated NOV 22, 2009
posted by Vernet
What do you use when he smells good? Nice aftershave. (bueno?) - 0074b507, NOV 22, 2009
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