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Half of the food necessary to feed everyone on this planet is discarded daily, while two out of ten people ( )

Which of these would you use? Are all of them considered natural enough?

1. can’t get enough food.

2. can’t get enough food to eat.
3. can’t get enough to eat.

Comments  
teacherJapanWhich of these would you use?

I don't like the original sentence. It sounds like we already feed everybody. I might make it something like "Half the amount of food it would take to feed …."

That said, I would avoid repeating "food", not just to avoid repetition for its own sake, but because when we talk about people eating, we don't say "food" very often, for obvious reasons. I like choice 3 or even "can't get enough".

Thank you very much, anonymous. So your choice would be no.3. But you wouldn’t go far as to say that the others are grammatically wrong?

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If I had to choose, I'd choose 3, but that sentence is screaming at me to finish the sentence with what I think a great many native speakers would think of immediately, namely,

Half of the food necessary to feed everyone on this planet is discarded daily, while two out of ten people are starving.

CJ

Haha, the sentence is screaming at you to say “starving.” Yes, I totally agree that “starving” is a far better choice. Emotion: smile But unfortunately….., this is part of the exercise to use “enough.” (I know it’s very frustrating not to be able to use “starving.”) Do you think “I can’t get enough food to eat” or “can’t get enough food” sound unnatural?

teacherJapanBut unfortunately….., this is part of the exercise to use “enough.”

Oops. That limits us a bit.

teacherJapanDo you think “I can’t get enough food to eat” or “can’t get enough food” sounds unnatural?

Yes, I do. You're talking about eating, so it's more or less pointless to say 'food'.

Incidentally, that makes the first one (food to eat) worse than the other choice. The second one isn't quite so unnatural.

Similar phrases, like 'an apartment to live in' and 'clothes to wear', should also be avoided (in my opinion).

CJ

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Thank you very much again, CJ. That’s exactly what I wanted to know. :-)

teacherJapanut you wouldn’t go far as to say that the others are grammatically wrong?

I never know what people mean when they say "grammar". If nobody would ever put a thing that way, the grammar is wrong, as far as I am concerned. The word order of the other two is unimpeachable, and their meaning is clear, but they are wrong nonetheless because they jar on the ear.

Thank you so much again for your help.

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