Discussion in 'English Only' started by licinio, Jun 16, 2011.
Is it the same to say luxury food and luxurious food?
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!)
"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:
But not, I think,
luxury house (that would have to be "luxurious house")
"Caviar is A luxury" though
And it's definitely possible to use "Caviar is luxurious"
"a luxury house" is possible also!
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.
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...
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?
Added to previous discussion.
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.
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.
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.
A chocolate that is smooth, creamy, rich, velvety, etc is luxurious. A chocolate that is bland, chalky, waxy, etc is not.
Not to me. I'd expect the label to describe it as luxury chocolate, if either word was to be used.
"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?
I wouldn't talk about a food being 'luxurious. Caviar is a luxury product, not a luxurious product. < --- >
<Threads merged. Cagey, moderator>
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"?
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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