Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 1,636
    #1

    unedible and uneatable

    1. What are the differences between unedible and uneatable? It seems more people use unedible than uneatable while expressing something cannot be eaten.


    2. Is the above question correct in structure?

    Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: unedible and uneatable

    Hi Ju,
    I say "inedible" myself. I've never used either of other two.

    And I use it to mean that it's too bad to merit being eaten, not that your body simply cannot process it. For that, I'd say "it can't be eaten" not "uneatable."

    A rock is something that can't be eaten. (Swallowed, yes, but eaten, no.)
    A soup that soup that someone put a cup of salt in instead of a teaspoonful would be inedible.
    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.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: unedible and uneatable

    Google hits on 'unedible' <200K
    Google hits on 'inedible' >3.5M

    Neither BNC nor COCA has 'unedible' at all.

    We do use 'uneatable' in Br Eng. Examples:
    Microwave 'baked' potatoes are uneatable.
    Potato plants, apart from their tubers, are inedible.


    b

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: unedible and uneatable

    I personally use 'inedible' of poisonous mushrooms, and 'almost uneatable' of my mother's cooking. I understand those who prefer 'inedible' for my mother's cooking, but I have to admit that I survived to adulthood on it

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: unedible and uneatable

    Sounds like in the UK, "inedible" is literally "cannot be eaten" (like the rock or the poisonous mushroom), while "uneatable" is "seriously unpalatable."
    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.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #6

    Re: unedible and uneatable

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Sounds like in the UK, "inedible" is literally "cannot be eaten" (like the rock or the poisonous mushroom), while "uneatable" is "seriously unpalatable."
    That's the way I learnt it at school, but I think it's only the slightly () older among us who still feel there is a restricted meaning to 'inedible'. Even there, 'not edible' and 'poisonous' are probably more common than 'inedible' for the rock and the mushroom. 'Uneatable' seems to be restricted to 'seriously unpalatable'.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •