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When I bring vegetables home from the supermarket, I put them in the sun for hours so that the sun kills germs or coronavirus on the vegetables.

Is it correct to say "I sunbathed the vegetables"?

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    I don't know that there is such a phrase. For killing germs in general we say "disinfect". So something like "I let the sunlight disinfect the vegetables" might work.
    – Readin
    Sep 5, 2021 at 2:34
  • "Bleach" could work, as in "I set the vegetables to bleach in the sun." The main meaning has to do with making something white or colorless but this usage could work by extension, as chemical bleaching agent is also used as a disinfectant.
    – randomhead
    Sep 5, 2021 at 2:37
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    Or "I tried to sterilize the vegetables by leaving them in the sun's UV." Sep 5, 2021 at 2:38
  • @DrMoishe Pippik good answer
    – Brad
    Sep 5, 2021 at 10:26
  • Also, sunbathe is not generally used as a transitive verb. You can say "I sunbathed", but not "I sunbathed something else".
    – stangdon
    Sep 5, 2021 at 13:15

2 Answers 2

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I've never heard of such an action, it simply isn't done in England. When describing activities that are culturally alien you need to describe them in detail. So "sunbathed the vegetables" is unclear, but it would be clear to say:

I put the vegetables outside so that the sun kills germs on them.

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    First off I totally agree with your answer. I don't know if you are old enough to remember but we English on sunny days used to put bedding on the line to "air" them. In Far Eastern countries this still tends to be the case and is not limited to just bedding and clothing but, food and even the washing up. There is some scientific benefit to this as UV kills bacteria etc. I personally, had always associated airing with removing damp (airing cupboard) but after travelling more widely I revised my opinion. As I get older I find a lot of these old practices to be quite sensible.
    – Brad
    Sep 5, 2021 at 10:24
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Adding on to everything else, 'Sunbathed' carries the connotation that you're talking about an actual person getting a tan. So it sounds kind of funny to a native speaker because you're personifying the vegetables. It's a really weird mental image.

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