The word "eat" is a very common word to use for the consumption of food; however, it’s an irregular verb, so some students make mistakes with it:
- What do you like to eat for breakfast? (infinitive)
- She eats lunch at noon. (present tense)
- I usually eat lunch at one. (present tense)
- John ate too much pizza. (past tense)
- The cats haven’t eaten in two days. (present prefect tense)
- Eating too much junk food is not healthy. (gerund)
Many people use silverware when they eat.
There are a few other uses for the verb "eat."
- The meeting ate up a lot of time. (It took a lot of time.)
- Something bad happened at work last week, and the experience is really eating at me. (eat at = to cause anxiety, worry, concern)
- Do you want to eat in or eat out tonight? (eat out = go to a restaurant; eat in = eat at home)
- Ted doesn’t want to eat through all of his savings, so he found another job. (eat through = use something)
- If you stay outside for too long, you’re going to get eaten. (get eaten = get bit by mosquitoes)
Sometimes (but not always) a good substitute for the word "eat" is "have."
- What are you having for dinner?
- What do you like to have for lunch?
- We don’t like to have breakfast too late.
- She’s having macaroni and cheese.
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This page was first published on September 4, 2012. It was updated on August 20, 2015.