Bread with butter

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eddiemel7778

Senior Member
Portuguese/Brazil
Hi there! I have a question.

Is there any difference between "bread and butter" and "bread with butter" or "coffee and milk" and "coffee with milk"?

In Portuguese there is no difference in meaning. We say both normally.

What bout in English?

Thanks i advance.
 
  • Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hi there! I have a question.

    Is there any difference between "bread and butter" and "bread with butter" or "coffee and milk" and "coffee with milk"?

    In Portuguese there is no difference in meaning. We say both normally.

    What bout in English?

    Thanks i advance.
    Bread and butter is a stock expression in English.

    Literary, the versions with "and" don't tell you anything about the proportions, their "importance" is equal. The versions with "with" tell you that the second ingredient, be it butter or milk, is of a lower amount, is sort of addition to bread or coffee, respectively. A piece of bread with some butter on the top of it. A sup of coffee with a drop of milk.
     
    Last edited:
    I just heard here that when you spread some butter on bread to eat, the only correct option is "bread and butter". "Bread with butter" is wrong.

    An example I created:

    I eat bread and butter and drink milk for breakfast.

    Question: Is "bread with butter" correct/natural in my example?

    Thank you in advance!
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You could say it in that context. It would mean that you eat bread, and you are providing the additional information that you put butter on it. The bread is more important than the butter, as Thomas1 posted.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you very much.

    So in general terms both "bread with butter" and "bread and butter" could be used in everyday speech?

    Right?
    The only mention of "bread with butter" in post #3 is in the sentence '"Bread with butter" is wrong', where its use is correct. I doubt I would ever use "bread with butter" to replace "bread and butter" in 'I eat bread and butter and drink milk for breakfast'. "Bread with butter" isn't really wrong, but it sounds unnatural unless there is a particular reason to use it.

    "Bread and butter" gives no indication of the type or thickness of the bread, nor how much butter you put on it, so "bread with butter" doesn't indicate a lesser amount of butter than "bread and butter".

    Of course, it might be a BrE/AmE difference.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No. In everyday speech, it's 'bread and butter'. The only context in which I can imagine anyone saying 'I eat bread with butter' would be in a conversation like:

    A: How do you like to eat bread?
    B: I like it plain, with no butter on it.
    C: Oh, I always eat bread with butter.
    D: Me too. With lots of butter. Mmmm!
    E: I prefer margarine.
    C & D together: Margarine? Never!


    Cross-posted.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    ... or "bread with margarine," "bagel with cream cheese," "English muffin with butter and jam," etc. ;);)
    Choices always confuse the matter.

    Or order "buttered toast" only to find out that it had been "margarined" instead.

    In the USA in the 1950s a restaurant needed an "oleo license" ["Prominently displayed'] to serve margarine, and margarine sold in the food stores could not have food color in it to make it look like butter. The food color was included and the buyer had to knead it into the margarine at home.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Bread with butter sounds like an excerpt from a restaurant menu maybe.

    Bread and butter is the everyday way to say it (on both sides of the ocean, it seems).

    If you had an additional ingredient you would change it to "with".

    I like bread with butter and garlic powder.
     
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