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Consider this expression

Can you please transfer the sugar of this packet in that jar.

I spilled some corn flakes when I was transferring them to a jar.

Is it ok using transfer in this context? If not what word should I use?

2 Answers 2

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Transfer seems like too formal a word to use when talking about corn flakes and sugar. I'd reserve transfer for information, data, or perhaps ownership of an automobile:

You can't just give them your car, you need to transfer the title.

As for which word to use instead, I'd probably say put, but that requires a preposition change:

Can you please put the sugar that's in this packet into that jar?

I spilled some corn flakes while I was putting them in a jar.

NOAD defines put as:

move to or place in a particular position, or to cause (someone or something) to go to a particular place and remain there for a time

(The word has other meanings as well, but that's the relevant definition in this context.)

Relevant Ngram? You can find "transfer to a jar" in literature, but its usage seems to be pretty much confined to cook books, where more formal kitchen language is used.

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I would phrase this as:

Can you please transfer the sugar from this packet and into that jar.

I don't have a problem with the use of transfer in this case...

I spilled some corn flakes when I was transferring them to a jar.

Is fine.

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