I'm a native Cantonese speaker, so in Cantonese I use 食 as a verb and hardly ever use 吃, but in Mandarin, 吃 replaces 食 as the verb "to eat". Because of that I'm not sure when to use 食 in a correct grammatical sense in Mandarin.

I'm 100% sure 食 isn't just one of those Cantonese-only words (like 哋 or 唔) and is used in Mandarin, so my question is: when do I use 吃 and when do I use 食 in Mandarin?

Thanks.

  • 2
    吃 is used as a verb, 食 is used as a noun. – 超酷爆帅型男 Apr 10 '17 at 8:58
  • question answered by online dictionaries (which have many application examples) and sentence search engine jukuu, (食 is a noun as well as a verb) – user6065 Apr 10 '17 at 10:01
  • That's because the online dictionary reveals the written Chinese, or even classical Chinese form, here is the spoken Mandarin. – 超酷爆帅型男 Apr 10 '17 at 13:34
  • "现代汉语词典":食(1)吃:~肉|应多~蔬菜。(2)专指吃饭:~堂|废寝忘~。(3)人吃的东西:肉~|面~|副~|消~开胃|丰衣足~。(4)(~儿)一般动物吃的东西;饲料:猪~|鸡没~儿了|鸟儿出来找~儿。(5)供食用或调味用的:~物|~油|~盐。(6)月球走到地球太阳之间遮蔽了太阳,或地球走到太阳月球之间遮蔽了月球时,人所看到的日月亏缺或完全不见的现象:日~|月~。(esp. see (4) 食儿, spoken language) – user6065 Apr 10 '17 at 15:18
  • 2
    dictionaries (see e.g. comment #4) show that 食, whether used as verb or noun is a bound morpheme (黏着语素),as dictionaries also show 吃 can be considered a free morpheme (自由语素),cf. jukuu: 别吃太多派。我从不吃菠菜。我们吃猪肉时蘸苹果汁。 – user6065 Apr 11 '17 at 14:13

In Mandarin, 食 is almost exclusively used as part of a two-syllable word like 饮食,食用,食品 and so on. It's basically never used as the verb "eat" in normal conversation, though it might show up in that sense in a very formal or written context.
If you always use 吃 outside of fixed two-syllable words, you'll be on the safe side.

  1. Send things into the mouth to swallow, or rely on something to live: ~饭。~药。~斋。
  2. destroy (used for military, chess): ~掉敌人一个连。
  3. Suction: ~烟。
  4. feel: ~惊。~紧。~一堑,长(zhǎng )一智。
  5. suffer: ~官司。
  6. Support and support: ~不消。
  7. depth of the hull into the water: ~水深浅。
  8. was: ~那厮砍了一刀。
  9. Talking stuttering: 口~。

  1. 吃:~肉。~欲。
  2. eat something: ~品。粮~。零~。丰衣足~。
  3. Salary: “君子谋道不谋~”。
  4. The sun and the moon is missing or completely disappeared:月~
  • No one really says 吃烟... a lot of your references are pretty obscure, and tangible at best. – Qwerp-Derp May 10 '17 at 12:05

http://dict.variants.moe.edu.tw/yitia/fra/fra04581.htm 食 is not only for none if you say it in different sound

i would use 食 in formal situation like 食用 eatable (used in article more) 吃 can be used in daily lives

食 in Classical Chinese has (at least) 3 different meaning 1. To feed another person or animal (In this case the pronouncing ion is ㄙˋ sì)

  1. To eat (also can use 饌 in Classical Chinese)

3 food

It's awesome that Cantonese preserved the classical way of using 食

In Mandarin, I think only the second meaning "to eat" is replaced with 吃 in daily conversation (in literature writing may or may not be different) So if 食 is used as the noun FOOD then it's still 食 But when it describes eating, like 好吃, then it's 吃。 I'd say that in most daily conversation, mandarin speakers use only 吃 for the verb to eat, ate, eating… etc. 吃飯、吃飽、好吃、大吃特吃 But in writing, in order to be elegent, a writer may choose to use 食 instead of 吃, for example 「禁止飲食」。Same thing with the word 飲。

吃,口语化,日常用语多些;食,文雅一点。
这是从另外一个视野看这个问题。

  • 1) Answers should be in English unless specified otherwise, 2) this answer doesn't really answer the question. – Qwerp-Derp May 10 '17 at 12:07

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.