So my husband corrects me every time I ask our 5 year old "Did you eat your food all gone?". He says I sound immature and its not proper English. So I would like advice from other mothers of young kids about how they ask if they finished their food.

  • It's perfectly understandable, and it sounds like the kind of expression that would be used by a parent when talking to a baby. In terms of so-called baby talk, it sounds normal. It's also not actually ungrammatical. But it's not idiomatic when used between adults. Is it grammatical? Yes. Is it idiomatic when talking to a baby? Yes. Is it idiomatic when talking to an adult? No. Should you be using baby-specific vocabulary with a 5-year-old? That's a matter of opinion. May 24, 2020 at 2:02
  • I've heard "All gone!" on its own as an expression mothers use with toddlers to indicate an empty plate, but not as part of a complete sentence and not with a five-year-old. May 24, 2020 at 8:29
  • "Should you be using baby-specific vocabulary with a 5-year-old? That's a matter of opinion" - My opinion: no. May 24, 2020 at 9:18

2 Answers 2


If you said "Did you eat your food all up?", that would make sense in English, because "eat up" is a phrasal verb meaning to eat completely (among other meanings). Splitting "eat up" that way in the sentence has a "baby talk" quality to it, but it's grammatical.
There is no phrasal verb "eat gone", so "Did you eat your food all gone?" is strange, and sounds even more like baby talk.
So, I agree with your husband. But, I'm not a mom, so what do I know?

  • Would the grammatical version then not be "did you eat all your food up" or "did you eat up all your food", rather than "did you eat your food all up"? Or are all three correct?
    – Flater
    May 24, 2020 at 2:42
  • @Flater I agree, those other forms are much more likely. Is the last form "grammatical"? I don't know. Maybe if you were writing a poem and needed "up" as the last syllable. May 24, 2020 at 16:45

Note that punctuation matters here.

Did you eat your food? All gone?

These two sentences are perfectly fine by themselves. But if you parse it like a single sentence:

Did you eat your food all gone?

That is not grammatically correct.

It may be better suited to Parenting.SE to answer whether using baby talk with 5-year-olds is still okay (educationally speaking) - I'd err on the side of no but I defer to the experts.

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