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.

  • 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

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.

  • 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 E. Эллен Nov 25 '11 at 12:42
  • Thank goodness that's codified now. One less thing to worry about. – user13141 Nov 25 '11 at 13:44
  • This seems logical to us English speakers, but in French you drink in a cup. – Kate Bunting Apr 19 '17 at 16:02

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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