ants, cockroaches, flies and other insects are gathering on a food

Discussion in 'English Only' started by epistolario, May 17, 2008.

  1. epistolario

    epistolario Senior Member

    Suppose you buy a piece of cake and forget to put it inside the refrigerator. The next day, you see ants eating it. Or let's say that you were on a picnic grilling barbecues and left them on the table. When you return after 30 minutes, you see flies gather on them. What would you tell your friends that the cake or barbecue is not fit for consumption anymore? I'm asking because if I were to literally translate our language to English, we would say something like this:

    a) I don't know if you can still eat this cake because ants are already gathering on it.
    b) Let's just throw these barbecues because flies have already swarmed them.
  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I would put it more simply than those examples: "Don't eat that: ants/flies have been on it", or "it's had ants/flies on it". I wouldn't use "already", it seems to imply that flies or ants were expected.
  3. MrYeahbut Senior Member

    New Mexico
    USA- English
    Ffrancis, Please don't use the word 'barbecues' the way you have used it in your example.

    You would grill meat on a barbecue.

    You would barbecue a steak or corn on the cob on a grill.

    I hope this helps you.
  4. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    You could use "teeming" if there were many insects and they were crawling all over the food.

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