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I smell a rat


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) I suspect that something is wrong.

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

to smell a rat’ means to suspect that something is wrong ; to sense that someone has caused something wrong.

French translation

il y a quelque chose de louche là-dessous, il y a anguille sous roche

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Examples in context

‘Manchester United smell a rat as Premier League faces hygiene checks

Football conspiracy theorists have long been able to smell a rat in even the most minor of incidents on the pitch, but those at Old Trafford might have more grounds than most after health inspectors reported the presence of rodents at the stadium.’

guardian.co.uk, 14 Jan. 2013

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’If Immigration Reform Stalls, Federal Courts Could Have a Say

When President Obama and Democrats in Congress say they would like to pass a comprehensive immigration-reform bill this year, it’s entirely possible that they mean exactly what they say. (…)

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, a key figure on immigration policy, smelled a rat : “Does the President really want a result ?” he asked on Meet the Press. “Or does he want another cudgel so he can beat up Republicans to get an advantage in the next election ?”.’

Time Swampland, 19 Feb. 2013

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Everyday usage

I don’t think this was an accident. I smell a rat. Bob had something to do with this.

The minute I came in, I smelled a rat. Sure enough, I had been robbed..

b) I imagine they don’t like spending money.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) I can’t say it smells very good.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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