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  • He eats on plate .

  • He eats from plate .

  • He eats from the plate .

Case 1. There was some food on a plate before a person and the person ate some of it . What shall I say ? He ate on the plate or he ate from the plate ? Case 2. A person eats food only when it is served on plate . It's his habit. What shall I say ? He eats on plate or from plate?

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  • Welcome to ELL. In order for us to help, we need to know what is going on in the situation you are trying to describe, as there are often multiple prepositions that can be used. You can also say he eats off the plate or he eats around the plate in some situations, for example. Please edit your post to provide more detail. The help center also provides guidance on writing strong, answerable questions.
    – choster
    Jan 12, 2018 at 15:58
  • I suppose I might say something like I like to eat from a plate, not a bowl. But neither preposition (from or on) works very well for most contexts. OP's example strikes me as a fairly unusual thing to say, however it's expressed, but maybe the best of a bad bunch might be He eats using a plate (or with, same as He eats using/with a knife and fork). Jan 12, 2018 at 16:04
  • Let me provide some context. Case 1. There was some food on a plate before a person and the person ate some of it . What shall I say ? He ate on the plate or he ate from the plate ? Case 2. A person eats food only when it is served on plate . It's his habit. What shall I say ? He eats on plate or from plate?
    – user66775
    Jan 12, 2018 at 16:19
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    Plate is a countable noun, so you always have to use a determiner with it, like "from a plate" or "from the plate" or "from my plate"; it's never just "from plate".
    – stangdon
    Jan 12, 2018 at 16:57
  • @Lambie. Is "on plate" natural, though? Or should it be "on the plate"? I ask because BrE has differences from AmE with certain places, e.g. "at hospital".
    – Andrew
    Jan 12, 2018 at 17:15

1 Answer 1

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Case 1: In this case the food is taken from a particular location, so:

He eats from the plate.

Case 2: There are two options. Either you can describe the location of the food, or, again, from where the food is taken:

He only eats food (served) on a plate.

He only eats from a plate.

The second sentence is not unusual in context:

My cat is incredibly fussy. He will only eat food from his special china bowl. Otherwise he just turns up his nose and walks away with his tail in the air.

(Edit) Another way to say this is to eat off of a plate, which is synonymous with eating from a plate:

My cat will only eat off of china dishes.

Again, this describes where the food is taken from.

"Off of" does have other meanings, so context is important to avoid confusion. For example, let's say your town has a particular place where most of the restaurants are, we'll call it "Restaurant Row":

He likes to eat off of Restaurant Row.

This means he prefers restaurants that are not in this particular location.

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  • So I am never to say "eats on a plate" unless the person is physically on a plate.
    – user66775
    Jan 12, 2018 at 17:40
  • As Lambie's comment mentions, if you say "I eat on a plate" it means you are standing on the plate. However, now that I think of it, you can eat off of a plate.
    – Andrew
    Jan 12, 2018 at 19:26

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