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Which combinations are you most likely to use? Do you drink from a cup? Eat something in a bowl?

I got into an argument with a Welsh English speaker over this. He insisted that he drinks and eats off a cup, bowl, and plate. He added that "from" would be OK, but not perfect. Me, I'm an American English speaker and I drink and eat from or in a cup or bowl, and I eat off a plate.

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Can you -eat- from a cup? –  Mitch Nov 25 '11 at 17:55
    
Of course you can :) –  Temporal Fugitive Nov 26 '11 at 22:10

2 Answers 2

I’m English and I drink out of or from a cup, eat off a plate and out of a bowl. Does this Welsh English speaker speak Welsh? If so, he may be letting Welsh influence his English.

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I would say the preposition used is determined by the position of the food/drink.

Your cereal is in a bowl, so you eat it out of or from the bowl. Similarly your coffee is in a mug so you drink it out of or from the mug.

Your meal is on a plate, so you eat it off [of] or from the plate.

From works in both on or in situations because it is a preposition that indicates the source or origin of something.

Off [of] only works for on situations because it is the opposite. Similarly for in and out of.

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How about this rule of thumb: If you tip the container, and the food slides off it, then you eat off it. Otherwise, it's from. –  JeffSahol Nov 25 '11 at 12:34
    
@JeffSahol: Yeah, that pretty much covers it. –  Matt Эллен Nov 25 '11 at 12:42
    
Thank goodness that's codified now. One less thing to worry about. –  onomatomaniak Nov 25 '11 at 13:44

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