Cleaning up the food remnants in a bowl, plate, etc

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Kathy Nguyen, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Hi, I'm looking for a word to describe the act of using a spoon, fork or a pair of chopsticks, etc to gather the leftover food together in one place on the bowl. The food then can be eaten up or chucked away. I looked up the equivalent Vietnamese word and got "dredge", "scrape" and "cleanse" but apparently all of these are used for harbours, rivers and lakes exclusively. I would like to know some specific words or phrases suitable for the situation above and I prefer words to phrases since they are short and easier to use as imperatives.
    I'm grateful for all advice and suggestions!
     
  2. Rival Senior Member

    English - UK
    I would say scrape the bits together, or push them together, or scrape/push it (the food) all into one place.
     
  3. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    The English versions seem a bit too wordy to me. Thank you so much for answering my queries! :)
     
  4. Rival Senior Member

    English - UK
    "Too wordy" for what? English is not a pay-by-the-word language. ;)
    .
     
  5. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    :D Agreed, but I think I might simply say "Scrape up what's left". If it's obvious that you're talking about the bits of food in the bowl, "Scrape it all up" would be quite a natural choice too

    "What's left" is a handy way of referring to "the remains of the food". "Scrape up" in this context would imply "together, into one neat heap".

    Scrape up what's left, and eat it.
    Scrape it all up and eat it.
    Scrape up what's left and throw it in the bin.
     
  6. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    I would probably use "scrape together".
     
  7. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    The problem is that there is no context. The action can be done carefully, quickly hungrily, carelessly, etc, and each action would have its own description:

    Can you give us a sentence with some context and leave the required word/phrase as a blank? :thumbsup:
     
  8. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    :)) you're right!
     
  9. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Thank you so much Velisarius. Your reply answered all my queries! :)
     
  10. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Thank you so much! :)
     
  11. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Thank you for your reply, Paul. The problem with the context is that... there's actually no context at all. I was just at a loss for words when I wanted to describe the action above so I had to bring it up here. I'm not quite certain in terms of the connotation of the action (as you said whether it's done "carefully, quickly hungrily, carelessly, etc,") but I think Versalius's reply already suffices here.

    However, if you would like to, I hope this following sentence that I make up myself would help.
    "Please ... all the food left on your plate and eat it. Don't be wasteful!"
    I think the best option is "scrape" as everyone suggested earlier.
     
  12. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Thanks. But you can't put "scrape" into that sentence; it would have to be "scrape up" and probably add "every last piece of" ->
    "Please scrape up every last piece of food left on your plate and eat it. Don't be wasteful!"

    However, given that sentence, I would say "Please eat all the food you've left. Don't be wasteful!" I don't think you need a particular verb in that context in order to tell someone how to do that. The idea seems to be that you want a clean plate from the person who is eating. How he cleans the plate doesn't particularly matter.

    "Polish off the food you've left. Don't be wasteful!" also works.
     
  13. Kathy Nguyen Senior Member

    Vietnam
    Thank you so much for pointing out my mistake! Honestly speaking, I didn't pay much attention to the preposition and it was really careless of me to do that. Again thank you so much for helping :)
     
  14. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    :) In this sentence, 'up' is an adverb.
     

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