I know something similar to this has been asked before: Saying something is like/not like something else

I'm just wondering if there's a phrase to express 'like-ness' using senses, for example, "this apple tastes like a banana" or "my socks smells like sweat".

Would you express it as...

  • このりんごの味はバナナの味のようです。 This apple's taste is like a banana's taste.

  • 靴下の匂いは汗の匂いみたいです。 [My] socks' smell is like the smell of sweat.

I can't help but think this way of expressing it is kind of long-winded...

Thank you very much! :)

  • 1
    What kind of weird apple/banana mutations are you eating?
    – istrasci
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 20:00
  • 1
    @istrasci I don't know about bananas, but...
    – senshin
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    I'm not wholly confident about this, but I think your sentences could be more naturally expressed as このリンゴはバナナの味がする and 靴下は汗くさい, rather than trying to use a parallel "the A of B is like the C of D" structure.
    – senshin
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 20:03
  • @senshin: That's really weird. Also, I wouldn't put it past the Japanese to create such things.
    – istrasci
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


このりんごの[味]{あじ}はバナナの味のようです。 This apple's taste is like a banana's taste.

[靴下]{くつした}の[匂]{にお}いは[汗]{あせ}の匂いみたいです。 [My] socks' smell is like the smell of sweat.

Your sentences are indeed long-winded mainly for using 「味」 and 「匂い」 twice, respectively. The sentences are too short and the content too simple to use any word twice with the exception of particles.

The most natural way to shorten those sentences without changing the meaning one bit would be:



The first sentence is now 100% natural and it is just how native speakers would say it.

In the second, I used 「みたい」 only because you used it in yours, but the more natural way to phrase it would be:


That is we have the common word 汗臭い for "to smell like sweat", so I simply used it.

  • 汗臭い reminds me of a so-called "sweaty" smell that gives out after the sweat has been decomposed by bacteria, while 汗みたいな臭い is like a smell of the secretion itself. But maybe only me. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 7:32

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