I want to say that, for example, by eating apples, you could also eat bananas, but you do not have to eat bananas.

Probably I can say: "eating apples can replace eating bananas", but I think there are a more precise way to express it.

Is it "go without"? (Eating apples goes without eating bananas), or something else?

(For people who knows Arabic, I search for the meaning of يُغني عن)

  • Do you mean instead? I can eat bananas instead of apples.
    – Lambie
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:11
  • Honestly, I do not know about "kif-kif", it seems to be a slang in a specific country, but it is not formal. My question means, if you do one, you can still do the other, but it is not necessary or obligatory to do the other, because the first one is sufficient, i.e. the first one has the same features and advantages of the other, but "with a plus". Dec 9, 2019 at 22:12
  • I reply to your comment before your editing Dec 9, 2019 at 22:12
  • I would eat apples over bananas? That means apples are preferred.
    – Lambie
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:14
  • 1
    It is preferable to eat bananas over apples.
    – Lambie
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


It's hard to get the exact meaning you want in English with just one phrase!

The closest things would probably be:

  It's not necessary to eat bananas if we eat apples


  Apples can take the place of bananas

In the first one, we imply that we will definitely have to eat either apples or bananas.

In the second one, we imply that either bananas were necessary in some previously discussed context or that apples can always be substituted for bananas.

  • Thanks for your answer, what about "apples can totally replace bananas" ? Dec 9, 2019 at 22:30
  • This means closer to the second example above - but can also make it sound like apples can /everywhere/ replace bananas - the farmers can grow apples instead of bananas, for example.
    – BadZen
    Dec 15, 2019 at 3:26

The word you're looking for is substitute.

... she substituted apples for bananas in her lunchbox.

  • Actually substitute may indicate they both have the same features or advantages. Suppose apples have x-y-z advantages, but bananas only have x-y advantages. So I can totally eat only apples, because if I am looking for x-y advantages, apples and bananas are useful, but if I am looking for "z", only apples are useful. Dec 9, 2019 at 22:23
  • That's fine, whatever - that level of nuance (x-y-z) you mention wasn't apparent in the original question
    – DonieM
    Dec 14, 2019 at 19:54

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