four colors of vegetables

Utah777

Senior Member
Japanese
hi, all I found a sentce which I find ambiguous. How does this sound to natives?

Use four colors of vegetables and mushrooms, such as green, yellow, red, and black.

This sentence, to me, it is puzzling whether we should buy four vegetables which have the mentioned colors or just contain some of them.
 
  • prudent260

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I believe different people will explain the sentence differently.
    I would think I need to buy four vegetables or mushrooms, and each one has a color different from one another.
    At least, I can't remember one green and yellow vegetable or mushroom.
    My knowledge on them, however, is next to nothing.

    I like to know responses from other people, too.
    :)
     

    Utah777

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Source and context, please.
    This sentence appears in the context where someone participates in the bento contest. It has rules such as, ”Don’t use over ¥1,200,” ”Use fish or meat, ” and so on. This sentence is one of them.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    "Use four colours of vegetables and mushrooms, such as green, yellow, red, and black."

    So, you might use green peas, yellow sweetcorn, red peppers and black mushrooms. Or - why not - white mushrooms and black mushrooms.

    Two points occur to me: a) mushrooms are vegetables, so there's no need to say "vegetables or mushrooms"; b) it's not clear whether these are hard or soft limits - would two green vegetables be OK (making five veg in all)? But those are questions on botany and cooking. The sentence as such is quite clear.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Use four colors of vegetables and mushrooms, such as green, yellow, red, and black.

    This sentence, to me, it is puzzling whether we should buy four vegetables which have the mentioned colors or just contain some of them.
    It does not say "buy" or "contain". It says "use". That doesn't mean "buy" or "contain".

    If the thing you are doing is "creating a bento", then "use" means to place 4 colors of vegetables in the bento, along with other foods you are putting there.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I find it confusing. I can easily see someone thinking they need to find 4 vegetables and 4 mushrooms. Vegetables are parts of plants and fungi aren't plants. I don't think there are any black vegetables and I don't buy any black mushrooms. The only red mushroom I know of is poisonous. Let's have fly agaric with fugu livers in our bento. ;)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I don't think there are any black vegetables
    Does seaweed count? :D
    How does this sound to natives
    Use four colors of vegetables and mushrooms, such as green, yellow, red, and black.
    It sounds like a bad translation
    This sentence, to me, it is puzzling whether we should buy four vegetables which have the mentioned colors or just contain some of them.
    It is confusing to me also :thumbsup:

    The main problem is the order of the phrases.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There are black quinoa, black chickpeas, black rice, sweet peppers, hot peppers, aubergine (= eggplant), tomatoes, black radish, sweetcorn, beans, carrots...
    Quinoa and rice are grains. Beans aren't vegetables for me either. For the rest, I think you have been tricked into eating rotten fruit (just like the British people in another thread have been tricked into thinking there's only one kind of persimmon).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Seems like you may have been tricked into an overly narrow view of vegetableness (vegetability??) :D From the WRF very own AE
    dictionary:
    veg•e•ta•ble /ˈvɛdʒtəbəl, ˈvɛdʒɪtə-/ n. [countable]
    1. Botany, Food: any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top