Bring something to <a><the> boil

< Previous | Next >

Anushka Athukorala

Senior Member
Sinhalese
Hello Members
I would like to know which is more common and natural phrase?
It takes about 15 minutes for vegetables to come to a boil. Or
It takes about 15 minutes for vegetables to come to the boil.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Are you cooking over a candle? 15 minutes is a long time to get a pan of water boiling.
    There’s part of your problem. It’s the water that boils. Then the vegetables take 15 minutes to cook.

    A more usual phrase in a cookery book is:
    Bring the water to a boil.

    So I think “a” boil is most common.

    However “bring a pan of water to the boil” sounds fine too.

    Maybe we just mix it up so as not to have the same article twice?
     

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    Hello suzi br

    Thank you very much for your answer and explantation. This is what I found in Cambridge Dictionary.

    the act of washing or cookingsomething in very hot water

    a/the boil
    the state of boiling:

    uk Bring the water to the boil, then add the pasta.
    us Bring the water to a boil, then add the pasta.
    Let the liquid come to a/the boil and then reduce the heat.

    So I guess using "a" or "the" has something to do with BE and AE. What do you think?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top