Like when you are trying to describe if a certain food is still eatable.

An example would be during an science experience, where the teacher want us to soak eggs in vinegar. I then asked if the egg is still "edible" after doing so. (The answer being no, as we didn't put it in the refrigerator to being with.)

I am wondering to how did translate "edible" to Chinese?

Usually in verbal conversation/口语, I would use "能吃" as a description. While using "不能吃" as inedible:


However, "能吃" sounds like a adjective/形容词. I am wondering if there is a noun/名词 to describe something that is not eatable.

Some website would use "可食". However, I never hear people use this. What are some better way to describe something that can be eaten.

  • 2
    "However, "能吃" sounds like a adjective/形容词." Isn't edible an adjective? And you want it to be translated into a noun?
    – joehua
    Commented Feb 25 at 19:47
  • 1
    Yes, I want to find a noun for "edible". I find "可食" to be close to what I want to find.
    – Zorua Kuma
    Commented Feb 26 at 4:00

6 Answers 6


edible as in a food item: 食用

edible as in won't make you sick//desirable to eat: 吃得

edible as in describing a specific edible item:食X example edible mushrooms食菇, etc. This term is correct, but can also be used to describe a diet consisting of that item, like carnivore herbivore insectivore etc. So outside of edible mushrooms and a few other common terms, its more common to use the first term for clarity if needed-- example 食用葉 edible leaves aka "leaves as foodstuffs".

However even more common are longer phrases like 可以吃的X, not really a word but very common "X you can eat." aka "X that are edible".

All that said, for your example scenario, I would say the very last phrase for asking "is this an egg you can eat?" and the second vocab in negative 吃不得 to answer "no, not edible" ((cause it is a food stuff, just spoiled (◐‿◑) ))

  • Very good response. Didn't know 食x could be used to describe specific items that are edible!
    – Zorua Kuma
    Commented Feb 26 at 4:05

Edible as an adjective can be translated as 食用, e.g. 鸡蛋泡了以后已经不可食用了.

As for using it as a noun, "eatable" is mostly used as a short form of "edible marijuana" (口服大麻). Before edible marijuana appeared, smoking marijuana was the only way to intake this substance

I am wondering if there is a noun/名词 to describe something that is not eatable.

There are 可食用品 and 非食用品 (Edible and non-edible items)

  • Very good response. I would use "不能吃" and "不可食用" interchangeably.
    – Zorua Kuma
    Commented Feb 26 at 4:08

How to translate "edible" into Chinese?

ED - EAT - 吃, 食

IBLE - ABLE - 能, 可, 可以 (的) being adjectives

Therefore, EDIBLE - 可食的, 可以吃的

For example:

Is this thing edible? - 这个东西可以吃吗?- 这个东西能吃吗?

But 能吃 has another meaning. For example:

你真能吃啊!- It turns out that you eat a lot.


Edible means "可食用的(adj)", the sentence - "Is the egg still edible?" translates to "這個蛋還可以食用/吃嗎?". You are correct that "(不)可以吃" is often used in verbal conservation.

Edible is also a noun that means "食品" or "食物", it is often in the plural form such as "exotic/cannabis edibles", and in sentences like:

  • the only edibles(食品/食物) they keep in their home are chocolate kisses.

  • His daily meals include the following edibles(食品/食物)....



For spoken Chinese :

(1) 能吃

For written Chinese: (1) 能食用


可食, we seldom use this word.


Context dependent:
Is this edible?

These mushrooms? Are they edible?

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