I would like to know the meaning that comes to your mind when you hear the four words as a native speaker. If you don't know the difference between two of the words, please let me know instead of googling or searching a dictionary. I would like to know how native speakers (naturally) think of those words.

It would be better if the answer is based on the American accent.

One more thing, Should I say: "Two pieces of pepper." or "two pieces of peppers" (with an S for plural).

Edit: After reading the related questions in the comments section, I think the word "Pepper" is commonly used by Americans no matter what the shapes are. I guess you say "Bell pepper" instead of Capsicum and I feel that Capsicum is the scientific name (not common). I don't know if u say "Chilli" or maybe you say "Hot pepper" cuz you love saying the word "Pepper".

Thank you,


2 Answers 2


In the American dialect:

Bell pepper: a large, "sweet", not-spicy pepper.

Capsicum: We don't really use this word except in a scientific sense.

Chilli/Chili/Chile (there are a few different spellings): a spicy pepper, usually small. Usually used with "pepper", as in "chili pepper". When the word is used alone, it usually refers to a dish made of peppers, beef, and usually tomatoes and beans, aka chili con carne.

Pepper: Any kind of pepper, spicy or not, as well as black pepper. We often specify the kind, like bell pepper, chili pepper, black pepper, etc. because the word is so ambiguous.

We would usually say "two pieces of pepper", singular, because we usually treat materials as mass nouns: two slices of pie, two bites of hamburger, etc., even though pepper, pie, and hamburger can all be countable nouns too.


Some people will know the difference between various pepper varieties (and there are far more than you have mentioned). Some will not. It depends on personal experience and taste. For example, there is a great deal of difference between a jalapeño and a chipotle pepper to those familiar with these varieties, but to the unfamiliar they're just "hot peppers".

Another example. Offhand, how many varieties of mustard can you name? This website lists nine, but I could only think of five or six. Other people who are really into mustard might be able to list twenty or thirty or a hundred.

Again, it all depends on the individual.

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