luxurious / luxury food

Discussion in 'English Only' started by licinio, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. licinio

    licinio Senior Member

    Is it the same to say luxury food and luxurious food?
  2. gandolfo

    gandolfo Senior Member

    Back in Roma Roma
    Hi, no it isn't the same :)

    luxurious is the adjective of luxury so it's descriptive :

    "Caviar is luxurious" (elegant, stylish, posh)

    luxury food (noun) so it is a type of food:

    "Caviar is a luxury" (it's expensive!)
  3. Fabulist Banned

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    "Luxury" is often used as an attributive, but not as a predicate adjective. That is, "We stayed in a luxury hotel" or "After we reported bedbugs and cockroaches in our economy room, they moved us to a luxury suite" are possible, but not "Caviar is luxury." "Caviar is luxurious" is possible English. Some other uses of "luxury" as a modifier of nouns:
    luxury car/automobile
    luxury cruise
    But not, I think,
    luxury house (that would have to be "luxurious house")
  4. gandolfo

    gandolfo Senior Member

    Back in Roma Roma
    Hi Fabulist

    "Caviar is A luxury" though :)

    And it's definitely possible to use "Caviar is luxurious" :)

    "a luxury house" is possible also!
  5. Fabulist Banned

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    Yes, "Caviar is a luxury" is possible; there, "a luxury" is a predicate noun. But English has adjectives that can be used before a noun but not after the verb "to be."

    While it is possible for a house to be "luxurious," "a luxury house" just doesn't sound right to me, in the same way that "luxury car" or "luxury cruise" does.
  6. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
    ▶noun (pl. luxuries)
    1 the state of great comfort and extravagant living.
    2 an inessential but desirable item.

    Using def 1 "Caviar is luxury" means caviar is the state of great comfort and extravagant living.

    An expensive way of life


    (Good) Champagne is also pure luxury...
  7. licinio

    licinio Senior Member

    Ok for the uses of the noun luxury in attributive position, just as it were an adjective, but my question was this: can we say caviar is luxury food, as well as caviar is luxurious food? In other words, is the meaning of luxury in attributive position equivalent to the adjective luxurious?
  8. Couch Tomato

    Couch Tomato Senior Member

    Russian & Dutch
    Added to previous discussion.
    Cagey, moderator

    This is a transcript from a listening exercise in Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English 1. While listening you have to answer the following question:

    Chocolate was originally regarded as a .... food.

    I chose "luxurious", but the answer key gives "luxury". It seems to me that both work, but usually when there are more than one alternatives, the answer key doesn't fail to mention those. I was surprised that they didn't include "luxurious" because it seems like an obvious choice.

    Does "luxurious" work as well?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2017
  9. JuanEscritor

    JuanEscritor Senior Member

    English - AmE
    It gives a different meaning. A luxury food is one eaten by wealthy folks, whether the food is any good or not. A luxurious food is a food that is in some way extravagant in its own right regardless of who can afford to eat it.

    That said, I think people would get your meaning whichever option you chose. But most native speakers will likely use luxury and not luxurious in this situation.

  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    I don't see how you could apply luxurious to food. Something that is luxurious is something characterized by luxury. You could have a luxurious lifestyle which was characterized by your eating high-quality chocolate (which is still a luxury food - not cheap, and not necessary for life), but the chocolate itself is not luxurious, just expensive.
  11. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    A chocolate that is smooth, creamy, rich, velvety, etc is luxurious. A chocolate that is bland, chalky, waxy, etc is not.
  12. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Not to me. I'd expect the label to describe it as luxury chocolate, if either word was to be used.
  13. MirandaEscobedo Senior Member

    London UK
    British English
    "When it was introduced to London in the mid-seventeenth century, a pound of chocolate cost the quivalent of 500 pounds, and by the eighteenth century this quintessentially blameless bedtime drink was seen as the height of indulgance. So, what exactly is it about chocolate that has taken it from luxury to near universal pleasure?"
    You say this is from Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English 1. 'Indulgence' is misspelled!
    Anyway, I would definitely agree that 'luxury food' is correct in context as it implies a non-ordinary type of food, something special, presumably enjoyed onlly by a small number of people, judging by the price. The passage as a whole means how has this luxury food now come to be something that nearly everyone can enjoy?
  14. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't talk about a food being 'luxurious. Caviar is a luxury product, not a luxurious product. < --- >

    <Threads merged. Cagey, moderator>
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2017
  15. meijin

    meijin Senior Member

    Even if it was priced very low? For example, if the brand sells two chocolates, one is a "standard" chocolate and the other is a "premium" chocolate, which are both less expensive than most of the other chocolates sold in the supermarket, and if I try the standard one and find it so smooth, creamy, rich and velvety, can I not say "What a luxurious chocolate" or "It tastes luxurious"?
  16. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    I do not associate the word "luxurious" with taste. If your cheap bar of chocolate had an unusually rich and satisfying taste then the word that comes to mind is "luscious".

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