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  1. #1
    wendxb is offline Banned
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    Arrow 4 Tablespoons Oil

    A step in a cooking recipe reads:

    "Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. While the pasta is cooking, purée 11/2 cups of the herbs with 4 tablespoons oil, the garlic and some salt and pepper in a mini food processor or blender; leave the sauce rough or add a little water if you want it smoother. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of its cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the herb sauce and most of the remaining herbs, adding the reserved liquid if the mixture seems dry. Top with the meatballs, garnish with Parmesan and the last of the herbs and serve."

    How come it is "4 tablespoons oil" and not "4 tablespoons of oil"?
    Last edited by wendxb; 25-Oct-2011 at 08:14.

  2. #2
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 4 Tablespoons Oil

    It should be 4 tablespoons of oil, but recipes are no place to look for grammatically correct English. They're a bit like song lyrics. Most of the time, the person writing the recipe is more concerned with the food than the structure. It's not unusual to see highly abbreviated phrases in recipes.

    John

  3. #3
    wendxb is offline Banned
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    Default Re: 4 Tablespoons Oil

    I thought one only drops "a", "an", "the" in abbreviated English.

    Then, I should also drop prepositions like "of", "to", "in" when writing abbreviated English?

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 4 Tablespoons Oil

    In theory, you can omit them in these type of writings if the meaning remains clear to the reader. I would be cautious about trying to write "abbreviated English" as a student.

  5. #5
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 4 Tablespoons Oil

    Personally, Wendxb, I never drop articles or prepositions as a matter of principle.
    I believe that the goal of communication should be understanding and clarity.
    Just because someone has removed the preposition "of" in "4 teaspoons oil" does not mean you can remove articles and prepositions whenever you wish.
    Soothing Dave has it right: learn English very, very well before tackling how to write abbreviated English.
    John

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