a box of chocolate/chocolates

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
When a box contains many different shapes/kinds of chocolates, it's called "a box of chocolates."
There, "chocolate" refers to each individual chocolate as a separate item.

In the same context, can it be called "a box of chocolate" as well?
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    No, unfortunately not. :(

    Why do you ask?

    EDIT: Just saw heypresto. Technically, it doesn't make sense in American English if these are individual chocolates.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The confusion arises because the word chocolate has two meanings. As a substance, it is uncountable. As a type of candy, it is countable.

    Since we are discussing candies, it is a countable noun. Since there is more than one such candy in a box, we use the plural: a box of chocolates. This picture shows one.

    If we were discussing the substance that is added to cakes for flavor, and we were to go to the market to buy a box of it to use in baking, that would be a box of chocolate. This picture shows such a box.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    When a box contains many different shapes/kinds of chocolates, it's called "a box of chocolates."
    There, "chocolate" refers to each individual chocolate as a separate item.

    In the same context, can it be called "a box of chocolate" as well?
    No - the only way would be if you had a box of chocolates and left it on top of a radiator such that the whole lot melted together. Then you would have a box of chocolate!:)
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I personally wouldn't even call the second picture "a box of chocolate", Egmont. [Speaking to someone going to the grocery story] Can you pick me up some baking chocolate?

    Or, you'd have to refer to it as a box of Baker's chocolate.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I personally wouldn't even call the second picture "a box of chocolate", Egmont. [Speaking to someone going to the grocery story] Can you pick me up some baking chocolate?

    Or, you'd have to refer to it as a box of Baker's chocolate.
    I agree. "Chocolate" as a cooking ingredient isn't well-known enough (as opposed to the usual ready to eat stuff) to be able to simply ask for a "box of chocolate" and expect to get cooking/baking chocolate. I think anyone asking for a "box of chocolate" would be met with incomprehension, and a suspicion there is a play on words with "a box of chocolates".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I see. So, only "a box of chocolates" is acceptable in the given context.

    When someone brought a box of chocolates, which of the following can they say?
    (1) That's my chocolate.
    (2) Those are my chocolates.

    Would only (2) be correct because there are individual chocolates?
    Or would (1) be also acceptable even though there are individual chocolates?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I see. So, only "a box of chocolates" is acceptable in the given context.

    When someone brought a box of chocolates, which of the following can they say?
    (1) That's my chocolate.
    (2) Those are my chocolates.

    Would only (2) be correct because there are individual chocolates?
    Or would (1) be also acceptable even though there are individual chocolates?
    Both are possible. I'd probably say 2 but I can think of a context where 1 would be fine: say your house-mate was going mad wanting some chocolate - anything made of chocolate. They are looking everywhere and discover your box of chocolates. You could say "hey, that's my chocolate!" because we are now simply talking of "chocolate" as the tasty substance to eat and it could have been in any form.
     
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