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food/s

 
 
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 12:43 pm
When do I use 'foods'? I find it difficult to decide. Is there any way to help me remember?

Many thanks in advance.
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Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 12:59 pm
@tanguatlay,
You can use it when you are specifically making the point that there are different types of food.

e.g. There are 100 foods for sale in this supermarket.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 01:12 pm
@Robert Gentel,

Yes. It refers mostly to the separate ingredients, the raw materials as it were:

beans, root vegetables, meat, fish, cereals, bread. These are foods, aka foodstuffs.

Cooked together in recipes, they are food.

I think that's okay as a general rule.
McTag
 
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Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:06 pm

I kind of hoped for more opinions on this.

But I think I'm right. It works in Britain, anyway. Smile
chai2
 
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Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:22 pm
@McTag,
Interesting.

I was running some common things I would say through my head, and realize I seldom use the word foods.

For instance, in Robert's sentence, I would say "There are 100 different TYPES of food in this store"

I don't think I say foodstuffs, but rather, types of foodstuff, or all this foodstuff.

I honestly can't say if this is a personal preference, or if it's a difference between the way we speak english.

I'd like to get some other people views too.

btw, I always find it odd when a Brit says "maths", I'm sure it sounds just as off to you when a Yank says "math"

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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 09:03 pm
@McTag,
I don't think it's a raw materials thing, so much as a different countable items in a variety thing.

e.g. The menu tonight included 4 spicy foods that I'd never heard of. (different dishes)

Here's a pattern in other words to show the differentiation factor I'm talking about:

The meeting of nations was a beautiful reunion of diverse peoples. (different races or cultures)

He was a world renowned biologist, with 4 fishes to his name. (different species of fish)

There are times when I don't have as much time as I want. (different instances)
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 04:09 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

The menu tonight included 4 spicy foods that I'd never heard of. (different dishes)


That sentence would be unusual in Britain, I feel.

But I agree about the other plurals of course.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 01:22 pm
@McTag,
McTag wrote:
Robert Gentel wrote:


The menu tonight included 4 spicy foods that I'd never heard of. (different dishes)



That sentence would be unusual in Britain, I feel.

But I agree about the other plurals of course.


I think in written British English (as in American), in such a situation you would be more likely to call the items on a menu "dishes", and, except in notes, text messages etc, one writes numbers out as words:

four spicy foods.

Five hundred miles.

A million years.

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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 01:36 pm
@McTag,

We might say, "I like Mexican and Chinese food."

Not "foods", oh no.
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