My friend is not good at cooking. One day he was cooking, I tasted the food he made, and said, " good, this is eatable." The he said, being a little angry, "edible."

What's the difference between eatable and edible ?
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There is no essential difference in meaning, which is "suitable or safe to eat", though eatable also has a sub-context of food that is "good enough to eat".

He seems to feel that you were criticizing his cooking. Perhaps it would have been better to say "This is really good. It is so tasty".
edible means eatable, but also non-poisonous


: fit to be eaten: a : such as can be taken as food without risk or utter revulsion though usually without pleasure<a piece of bread, stale and slightly moldy but eatable> b : pleasant to eat <her cherry cobbler is very eatable>

Merriam-Webster Unabridged

I'd say your friend was upset by the meaning a in the above.
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Maybe "eatable" is more common in Britain and Canada than in the U.S. It's not heard much in the U.S. -- "edible" is definitely more commonly used.
Generally, IMO:

edible: shows a more cultivated speaker

I can't remenber ever encountering the word 'eatable'. Emotion: smile

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Edible and eatable are both valid words. Edible means non-poisonous. Eatable usually means good to eat. Something that is eatable is always edible, but edible things are not always eatable.

If you were lost in a forest, you would look for some edible plants to help you survive. You might not find them eatable, but at least you wouldn't die.

Edible is a much more common word. People often say it when they mean "eatable". Example: "I didn't like that restaurant. The food was inedible!"
"Eatable" may well be a valid word, but, like Clive, I've never heard it used -- except possibly in a sort of humorous way that a speaker might add -able to any verb that does not usually take that form. ("This leftover meatloaf has been in the refrigerator for a week -- is it still eatable?" "No, I think it's throw-out-able.") Certainly I don't know anyone who uses it seriously, as distinct from "edible." As I said earlier, perhaps it's more commonly used in British English than American. I don't doubt that it's a valid word somewhere; I'm just suggesting that if you use it in the U.S. people will probably think you just don't know the word "edible."

Also, I would quibble with the definition of "edible" as "non-poisonous." Not everything that is non-poisonous is edible. A piece of cake that has been left out in the desert and become as hard as a rock is non-poisonous, but I wouldn't call it edible. (Although I might change my mind if I were starving to death.) Dirt, paste, notebook paper, and banana peels are all non-poisonous, but also non-edible.

By the way, Ti: -- I've seen a lot of your posts recently, and I don't know how to address you -- on my screen, you name appears as Ti: followed by two squares. Do these represent some non-English character?
I agree that most people don't use the word eatable or understand its meaning - something I noted in my earlier post - but it's obviously still in circulation in certain circles, since the thread poster's friend used it (accurately), which is what spawned this topic!

Your example of the piece of cake left in the sun shows that edible has at least two meanings in modern usage, one of which is closer to eatable. I would argue that "Dirt, paste, notebook paper, and banana peels" are in fact edible in that they can be eaten (and may, in fact, in some cases provide some nutritional benefit - starving people have eaten worse to avoid dying. People also routinely eat banana skins in some parts of the world). If I find boiled thistles to be extremely unpalatable, I might say they're inedible, despite the fact that some people do, in fact, eat them.

My name is "teacher" in phonemic script. It should be visible in any browser that supports unicode fonts. Could you do me a favour and let me know what browser and operating system you're using? If it's difficult for a lot of people to read I might have to change it.
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