Eat /Drink soup ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Little_LIS, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member


    I 'd like to ask about the proper verb used with soup.

    Is it drink or eat soup ?

    Will it differ if I'm speaking a bout varieties of soup ? I mean plain soup and soup with vegetables or seafood soup ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Although you can often drink thin soups, we generally say "eat soup". An exception may be made here for thin soups that are served in mugs. In such an event I would say something like "Drink your broth/tomato soup".
  3. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    English - UK
    It pretty much depends upon a) the receptacle b) how you're consuming it.

    If it's in a bowl and you're spooning it into your mouth, or dipping bread in it and eating the bread, then you're eating soup.
    If it's in a mug/carton/thermos and you're pouring it into your mouth like you would with a drink, then you're drinking soup.

    It's all about the intervention of spoons and bread.
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I was taught as a child always to say "drink soup" rather than "eat soup", regardless of whether spoons were involved.

    I'm pretty sure I still do.


    Yes - I eat stew, but I drink soup.
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    Interesting, Loob. In this case I concur with Silver Biscuit, and say that the verb I use depends on the method of consumption. I would say, for example, "I ate my chicken broth with a spoon", and not "I drank my chicken broth from a spoon."
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    That would be "I drank my chicken broth from a bowl with a spoon", GWB:D

    It may well be that my approach is old-fashioned...
    Here are a couple of fascinating nuggets about the importance, in World War 2, of British agents' knowing the difference between English and French habits regarding soup and spoons:
  7. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    How interesting !

    Thanks everyone for your valuable replies.
  8. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Mom would say, "Eat your soup." She'd never say, "Drink your soup".

    (She'd often add, "Stop slurping." We always used spoons.)
  9. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    You have probably hit the nail on the head with your quote, Loob.:)

    I clearly remember my father once teaching me, when we were in a restaurant, that I should not put the soup spoon in my mouth, although I don't remember whether he said I should drink or eat from the side of it.
    I didn't see the sense in it , and have continued to "eat" my soup by putting the spoon in my mouth - the fact that the drinking method was "good manners" didn't cut any ice with me, even at eight years old! Admittedly, on the very rare occasion that a genuine round soup spoon is provided, sticking it in my mouth does feel rather awkward. ;)

    What I am trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is that "to drink" soup from a bowl (assuming that a spoon is being used) would almost certainly imply that one uses the spoon in the way described by my father!
  10. Kalya22 New Member

    It comes from the French. In French, a "soupe" was originally a slice of bread. Because a slice of bread was often dipped into a broth, the usage was to eat your soup and drink your broth. Over time, soupe became another word for broth, but the expression eating your soup was maintained. You can still find "soupe" defined as a slice of bread in most French dictionnaries, although it is not used in that sense anymore.
  11. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Thanks for your interesting explanation, Kalya. After reading it, I'm pretty sure this French word lies behind "soup" and "sop" in English.

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