When someone asks you "what sound is that" or "what's the noise", would the following response correct? (I am more interested in the correctness of the second answer)

  1. It is the sound of a car.
  2. It is a car sound.

3 Answers 3


Idiomatic replies would be:

It's a car.

It's only a car.

It's just a car.

It's the sound of a car.

But not:

It's a car sound.

A car sound would refer to the sounds a child makes while pretending to be driving a car.

Johnny was playing with his toy race car on the kitchen floor, all the while making car sounds.


If someone asked "What is that sound?", then there's no need to repeat "sound" or "noise" in the answer... it's implied.

So, the most common answer would be:

It's a car.


You should reply:

It sounds like a car.

because it is your opinion, and it might sound like something else to another person.

For example, if the muffler is blown, I might say:

It sounds like a lawnmower.

  • "Sounds like a car" is the colloquial response given by a native English speaker.
    – J. Berry
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 11:35

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