4

As the first space flights lasted just a few minutes, there was no sense to carry food onboard.

As the first space flights lasted just a few minutes, there was no need to carry food onboard.

As the first space flights lasted just a few minutes, there was no point to carry food onboard.

Which one is correct and why? For my eyes and ears all are ok, but only one is supposed to be right.

11

To my ears, no need and no point will both do, but they have different syntax:

no need to carry food on board.

but

no point in carrying food on board.

No sense is slightly different. It has the same syntax as ''no point'', but it implies that the action is foolish, rather than just unnecessary.

  • 1
    No sense has slightly different syntax: at least in my dialect, it's no sense carrying, without in. – Anonymous May 5 at 9:53
  • For me the in is optional with both point and sense. – Colin Fine May 5 at 15:37
5

All three are fine, but mean somewhat different things, depending on what you want to say. If you intend something like:

The flights were so short that no one expected the astronauts would become hungry and have to eat

then "need" is correct, or synonyms such as require, necessitate, call for, or (one definition of) demand.

If instead you want to say:

The flights were so short that it would have been useless to bring food (since the astronauts did not have time to eat)

then "point" works, or synonyms such as reason.

Lastly if you want to say:

The flights were so short that it would have been unreasonable (i.e. nonsensical) to bring food (for whatever reason, such as the extra weight would have affected the ship's trajectory)

then "sense" works, or related synonyms such as value, logic, use or advantage.

Note that both "sense" and "point" are words that sounds better (at least to me) paired with the gerund rather than the infinitive:

As the first space flights lasted just a few minutes, there was no sense/point carrying food onboard.

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