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    #1

    much potato/many potatoes?

    Hello!

    Is 'potato' an uncountable noun when we talk about food?
    For example, "My family doesn't eat much potato". I've never referred to 'potato' as an uncountable noun before, that's why I've got doubts about using it.

    Would it be correct to say "My family doesn't eat much egg?" OR "my family doesn't eat many eggs"?

    Thank you so much in advance!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello!

    Is 'potato' an uncountable noun when we talk about food?
    For example, "My family doesn't eat much potato". I've never referred to 'potato' as an uncountable noun before, that's why I've got doubts about using it.

    Would it be correct to say "My family doesn't eat much egg?" OR "my family doesn't eat many eggs"?

    Thank you so much in advance!
    Use "many potatoes" and "many eggs".

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    #3

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    I still don't get that.
    What about mashed potatoes?
    "We don't eat ....mashed potatoes?" Do I have to use 'many"?

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    #4

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    I still don't get that.
    What about mashed potatoes?
    "We don't eat ....mashed potatoes?" Do I have to use 'many"?
    We can eat mashed potatoes or mashed potato. When it is offered, the host will say, "Would you like some( mashed) potato." So, it can be used as an uncountable noun. The same is true of egg, particularly when it is/they are scrambled.

    In the example you gave earlier, Bhaisahab is right - use the countable form in the plural. It's much safer.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    Interestingly, we have always called it "mashed potatoes" but we still use "much."

    Could you pass the mashed potatoes please? I didn't take much when the made the rounds the first time and they're delicious.

    Mashed potatoes and gravy - yum! But don't take too much if you're watching your weight!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    Hmmm. Thank you! Is this the case with all vegetables that are not served as a meal?
    "We don't eat many cabbages'? Does that sound ok? To my RUssian ear it sounds weird.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hmmm. Thank you! Is this the case with all vegetables that are not served as a meal?
    "We don't eat many cabbages'? Does that sound ok? To my RUssian ear it sounds weird.
    It sounds weird to my English ear. I think you are probably right, for most vegetables at least:

    I don't eat much cabbage/beetroot/lettuce/potato/spinach, etc.

    There are, however some vegetable that are usually treated as plural forms: beans and peas, for example.

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    #8

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    I'm sorry, but in the first post it was suggested that I should say "We don't eat many potatoes' instead of "we don't eat much potato" (I meant 'potato' in general, not a specific potato meal)

    I'm sorry for being a little too meticulous about it; I'd just like to understand that once and for all )

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    #9

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    It really depends what you have in mind at the moment of speaking.

    I don't buy...1
    I don't plant ...2
    I don't eat ... 3
    My family doesn't eat ... 4.

    #1 and #2 are most likely to be many potatoes.
    #3
    and #4 could be either much potato ormany potatoes.

    I think that I would be more likely to use the uncountable form in #3 and the plural in #4, but I am afraid I can't give you a good reason for this.

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    #10

    Re: much potato/many potatoes?

    I know the thread title is concerned with much/many, but at our house we're more likely to say 'we don't eat a lot of potatoes or cabbage here - in fact we don't eat a lot of vegetables at all.'

    Rover

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