Is it grammatical to count "food"?

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thincat

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Hi everyone,

Is it grammatical to say "I have eaten one food/ two foods today"?
If not, how should I say it in English?

Thank you!
 

lovelykid

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Hi everyone,

Is it grammatical to say "I have eaten one food/ two foods today"?
If not, how should I say it in English?

Thank you!

No, don't do so. Remember the golden rule of countables & uncountables. You also don't put an article before food or related items. You can use an article if there is an adjective relating to food, meals, or such items.
So, you can say," I have eaten food today". Compare: I work in a food industry. The growth of the food industry is stunning.
 

BobK

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:-? (Not sure what this means)

To answer, add a generic noun + 'of'. Example: "I have eaten one sort of food today."


There are contexts where food types become countable. In a restaurant kitchen you might hear 'Can I have those two beefs yesterday, chef! I also neeed two more beefs and a lamb.' but in normal circumstances you'd say something like 'servings/helpings of beef'.

b
 

SoothingDave

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I have only eaten twice today. I only had two things (or items) to eat today.
 

thincat

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Thank you for all of your replies.
It seems that under most circumstances "food" is uncountable.

However, when I check dictionaries, it's a bit confusing as "food" is labelled as [C or U].
Examples given are
"I'm allergic to certain foods." and "frozen foods."
Is there any rule to account for the special plurality of "food" in these two cases? Any there any more examples using "foods"?

I got these 2 examples from:
food noun - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
food - Definition and pronunciation | Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

 

Jaskin

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hi,
Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;


When -s is added to the end of a countable noun it means two,theree .... copies of the same thing as in :
one pencil
two pencils
The suffix -s at the end of uncountable food related nouns got a different meaning; I just can think of the classic "wines", "fishes" and the "foods" as in the examples OP has given. it means a different variety of that sort.

"Spanish wines" means "different types of wine that were made in Spain" (note the lack of the suffix -s in the second "sentence")
That usage of "wines", "foods" is rarely if at all preceded by a number.

some examples from BNC :

[...] using microwave ovens to heat other foods such as cheese, meat or fish, which contain amino acids, [...]
[...] and other starchy foods such as millet and rice[...]
[...]Mostsweet foods like chocolate, biscuits, cakes and many puddings have a high fat content [...]
cheers;
 
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