Why can we use the first sentence and not the second one?

  • after take off, we will have food and drink
  • after take off, we will have food and drinks

Which is more correct?

3 Answers 3


The answer is that you can.

  • We will have food and drink
  • We will have food and drinks

Both are acceptable, however, the phrase food and drink is more common than food and drinks.

  • Well , I have been doing a research online , seems like everyone says "drink" and never found anyone saying "drinks" , so what's the difference ? Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 9:35
  • food and drink is more common, but food and drinks is well-represented - see my update.
    – jimsug
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 9:37
  • To me, food and drink sounds like communally available, unlimited drinks, whereas food and drinks seems applicable to individually doled out single servings, which is what you get on airplanes. Maybe the airlines see it the opposite way, thinking that if they said "drinks", passengers would expect more than one. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:51

"Food and drink" in American English refers to refreshments, or to the categories comestibles and beverages, whereas "food and drinks" refers to alcoholic beverages and light fare, that is, to an outing where one consumes these.

Food and drink will be served at intermission|after the ceremony|etc.

The establishment is licensed to serve food and drink.

After work, let's all go out for food and drinks.


It depends on the context. Because when you say 'food', it means food in 'general'. But then, 'foods' is what you'd use if you are talking about its various types.

We were served with various types of foods and drinks

So, both are okay!

  • This is acceptable, but rare. Most of the time, we let food be a plural noun: There will be free food at the picnic. When we include drinks, we often keep them both singular: There will be free food and drink at the picnic, although free food and drinks is okay, too, as we would normally say, There will be free drinks at the picnic. Food and drink is just a standard phrasing, possible because they sound good together as a pair. Checking for food|foods and drink|drinks in the Corpus shows 518 hits for food and drink, 108 for food and drinks, and only 40 for foods and drinks.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    @J.R., it depends very much on the context. Food is a collective noun, so we are more likely to treat drink as a collective noun when it appears next to food. Used next to a plural noun like snacks, we prefer to use the plural of drinks. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 18:22

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