I hear native speakers say:

The soup is a bit too salty.

But I have never heard the opposite from them.

Do they say, less salty, not salty enough or something else?

Which one is more natural?


You would only use less salty if there were an explicit or implied than clause.

This soup is less salty than the soup we had yesterday - explicit
We had some very salty soup yesterday. This is less salty - implicit

If you don't want or need a than clause, you would say

The soup is not salty enough
The soup needs more salt.

  • 1
    Another possible phrasing for the case in the question might be “This soup lacks salt.” or “This soup is lacking in salt.”
    – jwpfox
    Nov 15 '20 at 21:39

English does not have a phrase that can substitute for the bolded portion of your sentence and have the opposite meaning. To describe something as too salty, you would need a sentence rewrite like suggested by the other answers and comments.

English lacks an antonym for salty, so your sentence will require a total rewrite. For example, "This soup is not salty enough." Is probably the closest you can get to your original sentence while still reversing your meaning.

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