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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > GRAMMAR HELP FROM NATIVE SPEAKERS    



What is the difference between: " It tastes of "and "it tastes like" Please, explain in examples.
2) It tastes like onion.
     It tastes like an onion.     What is the difference?
Thanks in advance.

20 Mar 2016      

United States

The soup tasted mostly of garlic means that the garlic (one of the ingredients) was the dominant flavor.
However, I would say the soup tasted ´garlicky ´ . 
Tastes of Chicago means cuisine from Chicago.
Tastes like Chicago means the taste reminds you of food in Chicago.
Tastes like onion means it has the taste of an onion (it is an onion) or similar to an onion.
You can say an onion tastes like garlic because the tastes are similar,
but you cannot say an onion tastes of garlic because there is no garlic in an onion. 

20 Mar 2016     


I second what redcamarocruiser has said.
It tastes OF one of its constituent ingredients.
It tastes LIKE something with a similar taste.
This wine is strange. It tastes like banana! 
This pie is delicious. It tastes of banana. 
However, as always, you will find examples where the rules are bent. This is usually to do with perception of taste. If the taste is so strong that you feel as if the ingredient is in the food, you might use "of". For example, a wine could be said to taste of (rather than "like") vanilla etc.

21 Mar 2016