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I know that those words mean "smell" in english but is there any differencess?

I.e:

  1. sich auf's Gründlichste berochen.
  2. Mit meinem Schnupfen rieche ich überhaupt nichts.
  3. "Das ist wirklich ziemlich wichtig, dass Hunde sich gegenseitig beschnuppern dürfen" wiederhole ich altklug und lächele.
1

A short answer:

  • riechen: That's "to smell" in its most general sense.

  • beriechen: This word requires an object. It means that you're checking how someone or something smells.

  • beschnuppern: It's essentially synonymous to beriechen, but mostly used for animals. Between humans it colloquially means that you are cautiously and patiently trying to get to know someone else.

  • I would also use "beriechen" only for animals, if at all. That word sounds very strange and I think I newer saw that before. – PMF Jan 30 at 11:39
  • @PMF: I don't think that beriechen is restricted to animals, but I would also prefer "an etw. riechen" in about any imaginable case. Still, one can encounter phrases like "das Berühren und Beriechen dieser Lebensmittel vor dem Kauf ist verboten". – Frank from Frankfurt Jan 30 at 12:57
  • Oje, das tönt ja hochgestochen. Das wäre aber ein ziemlich guter Grund, diese Lebensmittel erst recht nicht zu kaufen... – PMF Jan 30 at 13:57
  • beriechen is not a verb you'd normally use in German. It's used by "Wir sind Helden" in their song "Aurélie" instead of beschnuppert just to rhyme with gesprochen. – Stef Jan 30 at 21:01

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