got reduced for food and liquid

Discussion in 'English Only' started by zhonglin, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    Hi,

    Good day! I hope you can help me with this sentence, can you please advise if my sentences below sound fine/commonly spoken, it does not sound okay to me;

    1) I saw your water bottle, it was not reduced (when a mother told her son to finish his water but the son did not even drink it at all)
    2) I was surprised that my cookies were reduced when I came back into my room

    Please advise, thank you.
     
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Some things can be reduced, e.g. soup, prices, interest, and others cannot, e.g. cookies and water bottles.
     
  3. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    In your sentence, the mother seems expect the bottle itself to become smaller. I would be surprised if my cookies became smaller.
     
  4. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    Oh thanks a lot, so "to become smaller" is the right term, thanks a lot!

    My cookies became smaller.
     
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    In other words, somebody or something ate a portion of each cookie?????:confused:

    (I don't think you mean that. When somebody says "I would be surprised," that is NOT an affirmative comment)
     
  6. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    thanks for your comment, what I meant was there were 10 cookies and when I came back it became 6" can we say "my cookies became smaller"?
     
  7. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    No, because unless someone has taken bites from your cookies, they are exactly the same size they were before. There are fewer of them, but they are not smaller.

    The quantity of cookies on the plate is smaller, or has been reduced, but that would be a very formal way to put it, and thus would sound odd in a conversation. We'd probably say "There aren't as many cookies on the plate as there were!" or simply "Who's been eating the cookies?"
     
  8. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    "There aren't as many cookies on the plate as there were" <- thank you for this one
    "They aren't as many as they were" <- is this also a correct way to say the first one?

    Thank you.
     
  9. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    "They aren't as many as they were" isn't incorrect, but it sounds a bit formal or old-fashioned to my AE ears.
     
  10. Mahantongo

    Mahantongo Senior Member

    English (U.S.)
    It is grammatical, but is is a very strange and old-fashioned way of saying this. It reminds me of a poem by the 18th Century poet Wordsworth, in which a girl speaks of how many siblings she has by saying "we are seven." That may have sounded right in 1793 when Wordsworth wrote it, but it would sound odd today.
     
  11. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    Thank you a lot for all your advice!
     
  12. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    How do we deal with the water bottle issue? Maybe a mother would not bother herself with mathematical precision! I think she would just say "you haven't drunk any more water".
     
  13. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    Hi! What if the son did not drink the water at all, can the mother say "you haven't drunk any water"?
     
  14. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    Yes she can.
     
  15. zhonglin Senior Member

    Manila
    Mandarin
    Thank you, if we change the word water into a pronoun, can we then say "you haven't drunk any of it", please let me know if this sounds fine, thank you.
     
  16. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    Yes, it sounds fine.
     
  17. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    Indiana
    English - US
    The issue is that it is the total that can be reduced.

    You would not say "The water bottle was not reduced." This would mean either that the bottle did not shrink in size (no surprise there) or that the price of the bottle had not been lowered. You would say "The volume of the water in the bottle was not reduced."

    You would not say "My cookies were reduced" because that would mean that each cookie got smaller. You could say "The number of cookies was reduced."
     

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