mouth-watering vs. tasty vs. delicious

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
Are these three interchangeable in this context?

A: And how do you find my soup?
B: Oh, it is absolutely tasty/delicious/mouth-watering. You need to teach me how to cook it.

Can all of them be modified with 'absolutely'?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's absolutely delicious.

    I wouldn't use "mouthwatering" if I'd already tasted it.

    The smell of the soup is absolutely mouthwatering.

    It's very/extremely tasty.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Absolutely tasty" sounds odd like "This is absolutely nice." or "This is absolutely moderately good."
    In your sentence in #4, "delicious barbecue" is an uncountable type of food like "I will teach you how to cook delicious Polish food."
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I can't find it, but I believe that a recent thread mentions that "tasty" is going out of modern AE usage, although Tastee-Freeze survives as a chain of pseudo-ice cream stores.
    I know that I never use it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I don't think I've ever said "tasty", or "mouth-watering" and "delicious" unless there is some further descriptive (and imaginative) qualification ('absolutely' just about makes the grade) seems somewhat overused.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Tasty" is used in cookbooks, and perhaps in ads. I don't hear people (native speakers, that is;)) telling me the food I serve up is tasty.

    This food is delicious.
    This food tastes so good.

    And there are other commonly-used ways of talking about "tasty food".

    See also this thread (there are several that deal with "tasty"):
    Tasty Vs taste good
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Pace london calling, but I honestly think that the use of "tasty" has been 99.99% written English1 and the remaining 0.001% has been people who say things they have read.

    (Crossposted)

    1 Most of which appears in English for foreign students' textbooks.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I just might say "Wow, this is really tasty" in the right circumstances. The problem is that it seems to carry at least a faint sense of surprise at how yummy something has turned out.
    Therefore, it being impolite to express surprise at someone else's efforts having led to success, I'd probably only use it to describe something I had thrown together myself.

    But in my view "absolutely tasty" does not collocate well at all.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    1. These are all dictionary examples. Could you have a look and tell me whether you find them natural?

    1. We ate a a few tasty snacks.
    2. This soup is very tasty.
    3. That’s a simple but tasty meal.
    4. These cookies are very tasty.
    5. The breakfast is complete and tasty.
    6. Fruits ripened on the vine are tasty but soft and difficult to transport.
    7. She makes really tasty dish with chicken and rice.
    8. These sausages are really tasty - where did you buy them?
    9. I had a lovely evening with some tasty food, delicious wine and entertaining company.’


    2. Does 'tasty' sound better when used before a noun "tasty meal" or after "this meal is really tasty"?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Nobody said the word doesn't exist. This shows the limits of dictionaries which are often way out of date and don't (can't) reflect the spectrum of current usage.
    I know that 'tasty' is often presented to students as a useful adjective to describe food. There are several words of this "not-really-used-by-native-speaker" sort.

    'Tasty' is a word like 'interesting' and 'nice'. Please forget it.

    If the food is really good, 'delicious' is a useful word and may be qualified by 'absolutely'.
    Here's a good word for food 'Scrumptious!'
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And is yummy good to describe delicious food? Or is it used by kids?

    "This soup is yummy. I'm going to have some more."
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    1. These are all dictionary examples. Could you have a look and tell me whether you find them natural?

    1. We ate a a few tasty snacks.
    2. This soup is very tasty.
    3. That’s a simple but tasty meal.
    4. These cookies are very tasty.
    5. The breakfast is complete and tasty.
    6. Fruits ripened on the vine are tasty but soft and difficult to transport.
    7. She makes really tasty dish with chicken and rice.
    8. These sausages are really tasty - where did you buy them?
    9. I had a lovely evening with some tasty food, delicious wine and entertaining company.’


    2. Does 'tasty' sound better when used before a noun "tasty meal" or after "this meal is really tasty"?
    I have never called a fruit, cookies or breakfast ‘tasty’.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    On the rare occasions that I make hamburgers, I might do my impression of a character from the film *Reservoir Dogs: Mmmmm...this is a tasty burger.
    Jules: Uuummmm, this is a tasty burger

    Otherwise, I can safely say I never use the word at all.

    *Yes, it's the unforgettable Pulp Fiction. Thanks, pob.
     
    Last edited:

    hwit

    Member
    English - US (AL)
    The only time I can think that I would use tasty is for ‘tasty treats’ for dogs or other pets. I agree with most of the others above that it’s not a word that would come up in a normal conversation.

    If something is tasty, it’s better said to be good, delicious, or some or synonym. If something is not tasty, it might be bland, too salty, or something else far more descriptive than ‘not tasty.’

    I am quite partial to yummy myself.:)
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    For some reason I find this sentence very funny: it is so unnatural. I don't even know what a 'complete breakfast' is.
    Maybe they mean ‘the full breakfast’.

    Full breakfast - Wikipedia

    A full breakfast is a breakfast meal that typically includes bacon, sausages, eggs and a beverage such as coffee or tea. It comes in different regional variants and is referred to by different names depending on the area. While it is colloquially known as a “fry up” in most areas of Britain and Ireland, it is usually referred to as a full English breakfast in England (often shortened to "full English” .......
     
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