A cup OF sugar or a cup sugar [recipe]

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Senior Member
Hello :)

Is it a rule that when you write a recipe you omit "of"? For instance:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Is it very uncommon to find a recipe with "of"?

Thank you.
  • Moggie

    Senior Member
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator

    Still about the same piece in the NYC about cooking, I found these three sentences among some others:

    "When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add one cup chopped onion and cook"
    "Add four cups fresh or canned chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt and pepper"
    "Put 1/4 cup oil in the bottom of a roasting pan and toss the vegetables with it and a lot of salt and pepper"

    In all the above sentences, which are chunks of recipes, I noticed without the shadow of a doubt that the word 'of'
    after 'a cup' or '1/4 cup' is lacking.
    I might be wrong but I seem to have read in other recipes that it was present.

    Is there a rule or a guideline about the use of it in recipes ?
    Thanks a lot :)
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Sparky Malarky

    English - US
    Recipes are often listed as briefly as possible and instructions are terse, almost like newspaper headlines. Articles are frequently omitted.


    Senior Member
    Recipes often use abbreviated language, Moggie. You sure don't need to write "1/4 cup of oil". "1/4 cup oil" is enough.

    Please post your source for this language, Moggie, every time you quote something in the forum. This reference isn't enough: Still about the same piece in the NYC about cooking,... Thank you.


    Senior Member
    Thank you, Moggie. I'll show you how to quote something properly instead of posting a bare link for your reference. Bare links are not allowed: The New York Times, "Bring Your Lunch to Work", author's name. I would have written the author's name, but I couldn't connect to the page you linked to.

    "Of" isn't a mistake, Moggie. It isn't necessary, however, in recipes.


    Senior Member
    Oh, I see. I am sorry, next time I'll know what to do and how, Owlman :)
    Besides, I cannot access the page either. Strange, it worked until a few minutes ago.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Moderator note. At 1933 UTC on 27 August 2013 the New York Times server was down. That was why the link did not work.
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