portion/section

lincy

New Member
chinese
She only eats a small____of food.

a.portion b.part c.section d.segment

which one can be better? the answer is c,can it be portion?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Portion is the only suitable answer as far as I'm concerned. We would not usually speak of eating a "section" or a "segment" of food (although one might a eat a segment of orange). Part cannot be right for grammatical reasons as it would require "the food" or "her food".
     

    lincy

    New Member
    chinese
    Portion is the only suitable answer as far as I'm concerned. We would not usually speak of eating a "section" or a "segment" of food (although one might a eat a segment of orange). Part cannot be right for grammatical reasons as it would require "the food" or "her food".


    thankyou very much!
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Portion is the only suitable answer as far as I'm concerned. We would not usually speak of eating a "section" or a "segment" of food (although one might a eat a segment of orange). Part cannot be right for grammatical reasons as it would require "the food" or "her food".
    I was wondering why "the food" is not required when we use "portion" in this sentence.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The makes food a specific food -> her food; the food in front of her, and this seems the intended meaning.

    Without the, it would mean "She only eats a small part of all foodstuffs." which is (a) probably not what was meant (b) is not worth mentioning as everyone does this (c) would mean that whatever individual items she ate she never eats all of them: this, again, is probably not what is meant.
     
    Last edited:

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The makes food a specific food -> her food; the food in front of her, and this seems the intended meaning.

    Without the, it would mean "She only eats a small part of all foodstuffs." which is (a) probably not what was meant (b) is not worth mentioning as everyone does this (c) would mean that whatever individual items she ate she never eats all of them: this, again, is probably not what is meant.
    I am sorry. I cannot get the whole meaning of your explanation. Would you please explain a bit?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ah, ignore my earlier answer: you are asking the difference between "She only eats a small portion of the food." and "She only eats a small portion of food."

    The is a demonstrative adjective. It is not always necessary to use it unless the noun it qualifies is countable - in this case the countable noun must be qualified by a determiner/an article.

    However, 'food' is uncountable:
    "She only eats a small portion of the food." = "She only eats a small portion of the previously mentioned/that food."
    "She only eats a small portion of food." = (i) "she habitually eats only a small portion of any food." (ii) if the context demonstrates that she now has food in front of her, then ""She only eats a small portion of food that is on her plate."
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Ah, ignore my earlier answer: you are asking the difference between "She only eats a small portion of the food." and "She only eats a small portion of food."

    The is a demonstrative adjective. It is not always necessary to use it unless the noun it qualifies is countable - in this case the countable noun must be qualified by a determiner/an article.

    However, 'food' is uncountable:
    "She only eats a small portion of the food." = "She only eats a small portion of the previously mentioned/that food."
    "She only eats a small portion of food." = (i) "she habitually eats only a small portion of any food." (ii) if the context demonstrates that she now has food in front of her, then ""She only eats a small portion of food that is on her plate."
    I see. Thank you very much.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Ah, ignore my earlier answer: you are asking the difference between "She only eats a small portion of the food." and "She only eats a small portion of food."

    The is a demonstrative adjective. It is not always necessary to use it unless the noun it qualifies is countable - in this case the countable noun must be qualified by a determiner/an article.

    However, 'food' is uncountable:
    "She only eats a small portion of the food." = "She only eats a small portion of the previously mentioned/that food."
    "She only eats a small portion of food." = (i) "she habitually eats only a small portion of any food." (ii) if the context demonstrates that she now has food in front of her, then ""She only eats a small portion of food that is on her plate."
    I was wondering why it is incorrect to use "part" in this sentence.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I was wondering why it is incorrect to use "part" in this sentence.
    A portion of food is the amount of food you would eat at one time - a serving. A portion of grapes might be half a grape, a whole grape, or twenty grapes.
    A part of something is a fraction of a whole something that this is a piece of. A part of a grape is less than one grape. It's a piece cut out of one grape.
    The sentence is about uncountable food over any number of meals. There's no "whole food" that she is eating a piece of.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    A portion of food is the amount of food you would eat at one time - a serving. A portion of grapes might be half a grape, a whole grape, or twenty grapes.
    A part of something is a fraction of a whole something that this is a piece of. A part of a grape is less than one grape. It's a piece cut out of one grape.
    The sentence is about uncountable food over any number of meals. There's no "whole food" that she is eating a piece of.
    I see. Thank you so much.

    If there are twelve grapes, and I want to eat a portion of them, is it appropriate to say I want to eat a part of them?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If there are twelve grapes, and I want to eat a portion of them, is it appropriate to say I want to eat a part of them?
    I want to eat a portion of grapes. You eat a reasonable number of grapes. The amount that someone would serve you.
    I want to eat a portion of the grapes. I want to eat some fraction of the total amount.

    I want to eat part of the grapes. I want to eat some of the grapes. You might eat more or less than a portion.
    I want to eat a part of the grapes. I want to take the same bite out of each of the twelve grapes. This is hard to describe with grapes.

    I want to eat part of the rabbit. 20% is part of the rabbit.
    I want to eat a part of the rabbit. The left leg is a part of a rabbit.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I want to eat a portion of grapes. You eat a reasonable number of grapes. The amount that someone would serve you.
    I want to eat a portion of the grapes. I want to eat some fraction of the total amount.

    I want to eat part of the grapes. I want to eat some of the grapes. You might eat more or less than a portion.
    I want to eat a part of the grapes. I want to take the same bite out of each of the twelve grapes. This is hard to describe with grapes.

    I want to eat part of the rabbit. 20% is part of the rabbit.
    I want to eat a part of the rabbit. The left leg is a part of a rabbit.
    That is very clear. Thank you very much.
     
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