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Question I ate delicious apple pie VS I ate a delicious apple pie

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers, I have a question about "apple pie".

Which one is used ?
(a) I ate delicious apple pie at this restaurant last week.
(b) I ate a delicious apple pie at this restaurant last week.
(c) I like apple pie.
(d) I like apple pies.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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I would say (b) is the most natural between (a) and (b).

I would say (c) is the most natural between (c) and (d).
 

bentenmusume

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I would say (b) is the most natural between (a) and (b).
Hmm. You don't think (b) makes it sound like the speaker ate the entire pie?
I think I'd be more likely to say "I ate some delicious apple pie..." or "I ate a piece of delicious apple pie..." unless I totally went to town on an entire pie.

I agree that the (a) version with no article sounds somewhat stilted and unnatural.

I would say (c) is the most natural between (c) and (d).
Agreed.

As an aside, I was trying to come up with a general rule to explain why (d) sounds unnatural, and was about to say that one generally doesn't use the plural to talk about general food/drink preferences. (i.e. "I like beer", not "I like beers". "I like chocolate", not "I like chocolates". "I like chicken", not "I like chickens" which sounds like you're talking about the birds themselves, etc.)

But then I realized that we would definitely say "I like bagels (sandwiches)", and never "I like bagel (sandwich)" and I can't for the life of me figure out what the difference is. Perhaps it's just because it's 7 in the morning and my brain isn't quite functioning at full capacity yet, but I'm curious if anyone has any insight here.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, mdchachi and bentenmusume. It's always very hard for me to tell the difference between countable and uncountable nouns.

For (a) and (b), I'll use bentenmusume's versions: I ate some apple pie, I ate a piece of apple pie.
For (c) and (d), I'll use (c) I like apple pie.

Do you think you can say the same thing about "cake"?
How about these?
E1) I ate a piece of cake.
E2) I ate some cake.
F1) I like cake.
 

mdchachi

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Thank you for the help, mdchachi and bentenmusume. It's always very hard for me to tell the difference between countable and uncountable nouns.

For (a) and (b), I'll use bentenmusume's versions: I ate some apple pie, I ate a piece of apple pie.
For (c) and (d), I'll use (c) I like apple pie.

Do you think you can say the same thing about "cake"?
How about these?
E1) I ate a piece of cake.
E2) I ate some cake.
F1) I like cake.
Yes, cake is the same. All those look good. If you don't want to use "piece" or "some" you could use "cupcake" which is typically not split up and eaten in pieces.
I ate a cupcake.
I like cupcakes.
 

johnnyG

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E2) I ate some cake.
I almost added an example like this to your first post, which I think would be more natural for me:

(b') I ate some delicious apple pie at this restaurant last week.

Tho it is not at all wrong grammatically, I would not choose or use (a). (I don't think so, anyway.)

Example (b) makes me think back to some time I spent in new zealand, where, for lunch/take-out, you could order various kinds of pies. I don't remember apple pies there--or other fruit pies--but they did have meat pies. These were one-serving creations, smaller and intended as one serving--a single pie for a person. They were a common lunch item for school kids, and looked something like this: https://www.taste.com.au/images/recipes/wfr/2005/09/13935.jpg tho sometimes they were bigger and would be split/shared so that different people would get a portion of one.

There, I think "pie" was a word used instead of what an american would call a pastry. So there, each person could (and commonly would) eat a whole pie, while eating a whole pie (one pie) is something americans would find really really strange.

If "pie" is taken with a broad meaning, then "I ate a delicious pie", like (b) seems okay to me. That would be a single-serving kind of pie. But if "pie" is used in the american sense, saying "I ate a pie" would shock most people, since it sounds like you might have eaten 6-8 slices of (typical american) pie all at once. https://www.tasteofhome.com/wp-cont...y-Pie_EXPS_BW19_29181_E08_22_2b-2-696x696.jpg
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the new information, mdchachi and johnnyG.
There, I think "pie" was a word used instead of what an american would call a pastry.
Is pie dough always used for pastries?
 

mdchachi

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Thanks for the new information, mdchachi and johnnyG.

Is pie dough always used for pastries?
Mostly yes. But sometimes it can be savory (not sweet). And there are other uses too.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the useful information, mdchachi.

By the way, I made kasutera or castella last night for the first time. I didn't know castella was born in Japan. (Does this make sense?)
 

mdchachi

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By the way, I made kasutera or castella last night for the first time. I didn't know castella was born in Japan. (Does this make sense?)
That's interesting. That explains why I've only seen castella in Japan. Of course "sponge cake" is common in the U.S. but it has a different texture.
 

Michael2

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I think it came from the Portuguese explorers originally who brought their cake in with them, then got adapted in Japan.
 

ric63

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Dear native English speakers, I have a question about "apple pie".

Which one is used ?
(a) I ate delicious apple pie at this restaurant last week.
(b) I ate a delicious apple pie at this restaurant last week.
(c) I like apple pie.
(d) I like apple pies.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
I think b) is what you would more commonly hear from native English speakers and then c)
 

hirashin

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I think it came from the Portuguese explorers originally who brought their cake in with them, then got adapted in Japan.
I guess so, too. Japanese people are good at adaptation.

I think b) is what you would more commonly hear from native English speakers and then c)
Thanks for the help. It seems that Australian people commonly say "I ate a pie".
 

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