"Feel" is a linking verb and we often use adjectives after liking verbs.

We normally use adjectives after "feel"

For example, Do you still feel hungry? (source)

But we can use a noun after "feel", too.

For example, Stop exercising if you feel any pain. (source)

Now, "vomit", "throw-up" and "puke" are nouns

Can we say "I feel vomit/puke/throw-up when I smell pork fat"?

But, "vomit", "throw up" and "puke" are also verbs, and we can convert them into adjectives by adding "ing" to become "vomiting", "throwing-up" and "puking"

Can we say "I feel vomiting/puking/throwing-up when I smell pork fat"?

Some suggest to put "like" after "feel", "I feel like vomiting/puking/throwing-up when I smell pork fat", but I am not so sure.

  • 2
    The idiomatic standard is I feel sick. For your continuous participle alternatives, it would have to be something along the lines of I feel like vomiting/puking/throwing-up. Or The smell of pork fat makes me [want to] vomit / puke / throw up. Sep 13, 2020 at 15:23
  • You should make that an answer @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica
    – Mary
    Sep 13, 2020 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


We can use a noun with feel only when it mean an emotion or mental state. So "feel pain" is possible. With more concrete nouns, "feel something" means "touch it with your hands". Therefore "feel vomit" gives the wrong meaning.

There are several adjectives that you can use: "sick", "nauseous", "nauseated" are three. (The latter ones are more formal)

You can use a verb (in its present participle/gerund form) with "feel like". Or you can say "... makes me want to..."

So "I feel sick when I smell pork fat" or "I feel like throwing up..." or "The smell of pork fat makes me want to puke".

  • Note that not all dictionaries (and speakers) have accepted the new use of “nauseous” for this.
    – StephenS
    Sep 13, 2020 at 19:01
  • 1
    I was going to mention that, the use of "nauseous" is widespread, but considered incorrect by some I decided not to mention it to avoid introducing an unnecessary complexity. In traditional use, the disgusting thing is "nauseous" or "nauseating". But the person is "nauseated". There is no problem with nauseated.
    – James K
    Sep 13, 2020 at 21:19
  • What about "I feel a headache / stomachache"? Is it ok to say like that? Or "I feel like having a headache / stomachache"
    – Tom
    Sep 14, 2020 at 0:34
  • I'd understand "I feel a headache", but its unusual (not natural). "I have a headache" or "I feel a headache coming on" are correct. "I feel like having a headache" means "I want a headache" (so it is correct but the meaning is very strange)
    – James K
    Sep 14, 2020 at 5:34
  • If you are describing HOW you feel something, that is an adverb. If you are describing WHAT you feel, then it is a noun (direct object). These are true regardless of which meaning of feel you intend. If you are describing how you yourself feel, it can be an adjective. ("I feel nauseated" is basically the same as "I am nauseated") Apr 28, 2023 at 21:15

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