They are debating about meaning of this sentence here(Japanese):

The soup is a frequent meal.

I don't know the meaning of frequent meal. So I tried to search it for Wikitionary, but I couldn't find it.

What does frequent meal mean? Or is it incorrect?

They almost suppose 'a frequent meal' means:

A food what's provided

...and the other user says it's an antonym of emergency food.

  • Small, frequent meals, also referred to as grazing, picking, nibbling, and snack-eating, is a dietary pattern characterized by consuming multiple meals throughout the day ASN
    – Shannak
    Feb 12, 2017 at 10:11
  • 2
    @Shannak may have provided one correct meaning for that phrase, but to me that sentence implies that "the soup" is frequently chosen as a meal. The chooser of the soup may be the one eating it, the cook who makes it, or it may be the preferred selection by all eaters at a specific restaurant or location. Feb 12, 2017 at 11:02
  • 1
    I would suspect that the absolute exact meaning would be a little bit clearer in context, but I am with @MarkRipley on this one; "the soup" would be a meal which is often chosen. Judging by the phrasing, it sounds less like it is discussing meals consumed by an individual person, and more like a statement from a restaurant TV show. The phrase would indicate that the soup dish is very popular and is ordered frequently as a meal.
    – Broklynite
    Feb 13, 2017 at 12:48
  • Without some more context. I don't know if this can be answered except with a dictionary. You need to provide more of the text surrounding the sentence.
    – James K
    Feb 16, 2017 at 9:08
  • 1
    Then this should probably be closed as either unclear, or can be answered with a dictionary. Frequent means "happening often". There is no special meaning of "frequent meal"
    – James K
    Feb 16, 2017 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


....I think they aren't sure what they mean. Most of those sentences sound very odd to me.

I wouldn't say "The soup is a frequent meal." "The soup" indicates a soup made in one batch...that then becomes a "frequent meal??" I'm picturing a giant batch of soup eaten over weeks and weeks....

I would say "they eat soup frequently" "Soup is a frequent meal at their house" "They make soup frequently" ect - all basically mean the same thing - soup is a habitual meal for them.

Not sure where on earth they get the idea it has anything to do with emergency rations...


The soup (which has been specified already) is a frequently eaten meal.

If the author knows proper English, then we can assume that using "the" (the definite article) is intentional, and is referring to a specific soup, one which was probably named earlier. (It doesn't have to be a single batch of soup. "Definite" isn't the same as "singular".) However, if this is an imperfect translation or something from someone not good at English, it could be a misuse of "the".

I would guess that if the soup has been introduced already, the word "the" is intended because it's referring to that same soup, and that soup is eaten frequently.

Of course, if the author just doesn't know English that well, then it's hard to know precisely what they mean without greater context, and I got a 404 retrieval error when I tried to visit that URL so I can only guess.

  • There is no implied the in there. the soup is a frequent meal is not the same as soup is a frequent meal because there is no particular soup that the author is referring to, which would require the use of the. Sep 11, 2017 at 15:54

It's perfectly correct english to say "soup is a frequent meal". It can mean many things depending on the context.

Here are some ways it can be used

Her diet is limited, soup is a frequent meal.

The sentence above indicates that this person ends up eating soup a lot (and JUST soup) for a meal.

Workers have very limited time during lunch. Soup is a frequent meal.

Similar to above.

Soup is a frequent meal

By itself the sentence implies that soup is used as one of the meals not just regularly, but quite often. How often is it repeated as a meal is vague, and in this sentence structure is no indication of the supposed eater of the soup becoming tired or bored of soup just because it's being eaten frequently

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