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What is the correct usage of 'taste for' and 'taste in'?

  1. You have a good taste for music
  2. You have a good taste in music.
  3. Your taste for books is pathetic
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2 Answers 2

Taste for means a liking for or predilection for something. A taste for beer means a liking for beer, not necessarily any knowledge of beer.

Taste in (meaning 3 here) means the ability to distinguish the good from bad in some area of knowledge. Good taste in beer means the ability to tell good beer from bad.

Of your example sentences, the second is correct, as they all deal with discernment, and so taste in should be preferred.

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You would always say 'taste in' something. The only time I can think of where 'taste for' might be appropriate is if you are talking about having a craving for a certain food:

"I really have a taste for chicken tonight."
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I think it can be used more broadly than that: He has a taste for high adventure. He has a taste for symphony music. He had a taste for reading. –  Jim Feb 27 '13 at 15:00

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