Edited: Which one of the following self-made sentences sounds more idiomatic to you:

  • We will have a shortage of rice in the next year.
  • We will be short of rice in the next year.

They both mean the same to me, but I need to know they both work the same with e.g. the noun "rice".

  • 5
    have a shortage suggests some widespread issue, for example at national level. be short of suggests something more personal, for example the rice container in the kitchen is almost empty. For this reason, only the latter is used in the many idiomatic ways of suggesting that somebody is not very bright, for example "he's a few sandwitches short of a picnic". – JavaLatte Sep 13 '16 at 13:06
  • 2
    Neither are idiomatically natural (either delete the article in the next year, or precede it with over / during or similar). Other than that it's largely just a stylistic choice, except that a shortage might more strongly imply a more extensive deficit (it's more likely a nation might suffer a shortage/shortfall, where with a family they might just go / be short). – FumbleFingers Sep 13 '16 at 15:32
  • @FumbleFingers please have a look on the page bellow: books.google.com/ngrams/… – A-friend Sep 14 '16 at 7:17
  • The search terms in that NGram aren't sufficient to limit us to the context under consideration (specifically, a continuous, ongoing state which will come to pass in the coming year). Note that the in general we don't use in the in your context (see this ELU question) except where what's going to happen is a single time-specific event, such as The chairmain announced that he well retire [some time] in the next year (but even there in the is only optional, not required). – FumbleFingers Sep 14 '16 at 12:37

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