mouth-watering vs. tasty vs. delicious

Discussion in 'English Only' started by zaffy, Jan 11, 2019 at 8:25 PM.

  1. zaffy Senior Member

    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'?
  2. velisarius

    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.
  3. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    "Tasty" is a bit mild. I agree that "delicious" is the best choice.
  4. zaffy Senior Member

    And here

    "I’ll show you how to cook mouth-watering/tasty/delicious barbecue"
  5. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    Again, "tasty" could be perceived as damning with faint praise.
  6. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)

  7. zaffy Senior Member

    And is "delicious barbecue" as a meal countable or uncountable?
  8. Myridon

    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."
  9. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    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.
  10. zaffy Senior Member

    Would a BE speaker say the same?
  11. london calling Senior Member

    I still say 'tasty'.:)
  12. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    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.
  13. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    I never use "tasty" either. I frequently see it used in bad (word for word) translations.
  14. zaffy Senior Member

    That's interesting. So why don't some of you use it? Sounds old-fashioned? So you will say 'delicious dinner', right?

    -'We had delicious dinner and left for the beach.' does it need 'absolutely' or not to sound natural?
  15. velisarius

    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: Jan 14, 2019 at 10:19 AM
  16. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    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.


    1 Most of which appears in English for foreign students' textbooks.
  17. 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.
  18. zaffy Senior Member

    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"?
  19. Hermione Golightly

    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!'
  20. zaffy Senior Member

    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."
  21. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    It's probably mainly used by kids, but some adults (like me) are happy to use it. We probably use it knowing, but not caring, that it sounds a bit childish. :)
  22. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I have never called a fruit, cookies or breakfast ‘tasty’.
  23. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Neither have I.
  24. velisarius

    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: Jan 16, 2019 at 4:35 PM
  25. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Pulp Fiction, surely? :D

    Otherwise, I agree completely.
  26. hwit

    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.:)

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