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Grammar question: substitute A for B

(79 Posts)
Theoretician Mon 01-Aug-16 22:56:24

If a national newspaper editor told you to substitute A for B in a recipe that you've not yet seen, would you expect the original recipe to contain

a) A
b) B
c) could be either

Emochild Mon 01-Aug-16 22:58:32


myownprivateidaho Mon 01-Aug-16 22:59:20


GraceGrape Mon 01-Aug-16 22:59:41

I would expect B to be in the original and I would use A as the substitute.

However, I guess it could make sense the other way round too. Sorry, not very helpful!

CodyKing Mon 01-Aug-16 23:00:18


A is in - for B which is the new ingredient

SageYourResoluteOracle Mon 01-Aug-16 23:00:22

I would say that the recipe contains B which could be substituted by A (A for B suggests that B is in the recipe but could be swapped with A)

<eyes spin in head starting to confuse self!>

LumpenMonkee Mon 01-Aug-16 23:01:48


GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 01-Aug-16 23:02:55

Logically B but it could be both. For example I have a recipe that uses milk and water. Sometimes I use all milk or less water and more milk.

Dozer Mon 01-Aug-16 23:03:57

I don't even understand the question!

Catsize Mon 01-Aug-16 23:04:22

Put a bit of both in?

Discobabe Mon 01-Aug-16 23:09:47

A in original recipe. Substitute it with B.

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 01-Aug-16 23:14:30

Hmm in football, the player who is taken off is substituted. And the player who come on instead is the substitute.

Er, I think it could be read either way.

elQuintoConyo Mon 01-Aug-16 23:16:09

What Discobabe said.

I think.

Head hurts.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Mon 01-Aug-16 23:18:37


Emochild Mon 01-Aug-16 23:19:30

Substitute A for B definitely means B in the original recipe

If it said substitute A with B then it would be A in the original recipe

Chasing2959 Mon 01-Aug-16 23:19:32

B you are using A as a substitute for the missing/unavailable B.

Nomorechickens Mon 01-Aug-16 23:21:22

What Emochild said

FinderofNeedles Mon 01-Aug-16 23:21:40


Evergreen17 Mon 01-Aug-16 23:22:18


SageYourResoluteOracle Mon 01-Aug-16 23:25:24

Yup. Emochild's right: the crucial distinction is between the use of for rather than with

SageYourResoluteOracle Mon 01-Aug-16 23:26:39

Why d'ya ask, OP?

Theoretician Mon 01-Aug-16 23:26:58

I vote for B.

That brinks us up to 18 votes, I think. (Up to Sage, then mine in this post.)
- 3 for A
- 15 for B
- 2 for c

Theoretician Mon 01-Aug-16 23:27:56

Article in the telegraph:-

contains the following sentence:-

Substituting eggs for plant protein also led to a 19 per cent reduction in death risk.

I think that means plant protein is worse than eggs, which is the opposite of what they were trying to say.

RalphSteadmansEye Mon 01-Aug-16 23:28:11

I'm with Emochild, too. Distinction between for and for.

UncleHerbie Mon 01-Aug-16 23:28:25


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