Past Tense Of Stink: Stank Or Stunk? (Pronunciation & Usage)

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Stink?

The stink past tense form is stank or stunk. Stink is an irregular verb; its 3rd person singular in the present is stinks, its present participle form is stinking, and its past participle is stunk.

Is stunk a word? No. Stunk is used in both V2 and V3 of stink, but stank is only used in V2 form of stink. Stunk in V3 needs the helping verbs (auxiliary verbs) such as have, has, and had. It indicates an action that is in a sequence but is no longer happening in the present.

Simple Present He/She/It stinks

I/You/We/They stink

Present Continuous He/She/It is stinking

I am stinking

You/We/They are stinking

Present Perfect He/She/It has stunk

I/You/We/They have stunk

Present Perfect Continuous He/She/It has been stinking

I/You/We/They have been stinking

Simple Past He/She/It/I/You/We/They stank/stunk
Past Continuous I/He/She/It was stinking

You/We/They were stinking

Past Perfect He/She/It/I/You/We/They had stunk
Past Perfect Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They had been stinking
Simple Future He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall stink
Future Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall be stinking
Future Perfect He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall have stunk
Future Perfect Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall have been stinking

How do you spell stink and stank as naturally and correctly as native speakers? The below video may help you to pronounce them exactly:


According to the Cambridge dictionary, the IPA transcription of stank is /stæŋk/, of stunk is /stʌŋk/. You can watch the table below to make it clearer.

Form of word Pronunciation 
stink /stɪŋk/ /stɪŋk/
stank/stunk /stæŋk/




stunk /stʌŋk/ /stʌŋk/

Definitions And How To Use Stank/Stunk?

What are the meanings of stink? The English verb stink has the following meanings:

  • To have a strong, unpleasant smell

Example 1: His feet stank/stunk! The weather was very hot, and there was no fan there. The smell of his feet was unbearable for everyone in the room.

Example 2: After the New Year’s Eve party, the whole room stank/stunk of beer, cigarettes, overnight food, and even the damp smell from last night’s rain. It took me 5 hours to clean up this mess, and I was out of breath.

  • To be extremely bad, dishonest, and unpleasant.

Example 1: His behavior stank/stunk. He could calm down and admit his mistake, but he didn’t. That only makes him a bad guy in the eyes of others.

Example 2: His ideas stank/stunk. It was unable to bring profits to the company and make investors unhappy. 

Stank meaning is the same as the one of stink. Such as the past form of other words, stank or stunk is used to talk about the action that happened and was completed in the past.


  • That plate of pancakes has been stank/stunk since last night because I left it outside and forgot to put it in the fridge. Now I have to put it in the trash, so other people don’t eat it by mistake.
  • Her breath stunk/stank of pepper and garlic. Maybe he forgot to brush his teeth after a meal full of Indian food.
  • In yesterday’s episode, he was stank/stunk, but his handsome looks and smile melted hundreds of girls’ hearts. So the film still earned the expected profit.


Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of Stink

Choose the correct verb tense to fill in the blanks:

1 / 5

Every nook and cranny in the fridge …… of rotting fish. It took us half a day to get rid of that horrible smell.

2 / 5

His feet have …… from last week until now. It seems that because of his high position in the company, no one wants to offend him. But how can anyone stand that horrible smell?

3 / 5

Henry: What do you think of Emma's customer care ideas?

Hanna: I think it's just as bad as her previous plans. The proof is the result of her 3 ideas for Christmas last year all …… and were rejected by the department head.

4 / 5

Everyone knows this business …… of corruption. Perhaps it only takes a phone call from an employee and the police will immediately investigate.

5 / 5

Kevin: What did you say to make him so angry?

Jennie: I said that his breath …… of garlic and pepper, and then I asked him if he had brushed his teeth.

Kevin: He seems embarrassed and angry because of your words.

Your score is

The average score is 0%



What Are Synonyms And Antonyms Of Stink?

According to Macmillan Thesaurus, the synonyms of stink are: scent, reek, smell, whiff, exude, and pong.

Scent means to make something have a particular smell, and reek means (something) has a strong unpleasant smell. The verb smell means to have an unpleasant smell, and exude (formal) means a bad smell or liquid exudes from something. Finally, pong (informal) means to have an unpleasant smell.

Perfume, rock (slang), and rule (slang) are antonyms of stink.

“Stink” Is a Transitive Or Intransitive Verb?

Stink is an intransitive verb for all the meanings we have provided in the definition. It doesn’t need an object to follow because it can make a complete sentence with the subject. For example, his feet stink! 

Is Stink A Noun?

Yes. The noun stink also has two meanings: a very unpleasant smell and a lot of trouble/anger about something. The first meaning is countable but is often used in the singular. The second meaning is always used in the singular form.

Example 1: The room was filled with the stink of alcohol, cigarettes, and sweat after a night of partying with young graduates. They seem to be free from the harsh constraints of school.

Example 2: Their business was not favorable and caused a stink. They have to borrow from friends and relatives to solve the mess before reaching the brink of bankruptcy.