A bottle of water versus A cup of coffee

Well,well,well…This is me again.

Last week I went to an interview where I heard some people making some mistakes in English–including me. We were answering normal questions that an interviewer does.

Nevertheless, something that called my attention was the answer of an interviewee to this question:“What thing will you never buy?” Then he said, “a bottle of water”. Obviously, I know that the answer is wrong but my question is why…and at that moment I wondered. “Why is it wrong?”
Because sometimes we say “could you give me a cup of coffee?” and we know that’s ok. So, what does make the difference between saying “a bottle of water” and “a cup of coffee”?

Let me know your outlooks!

Hi Sergio

It is correct to say “a bottle of water” to talk about water that is contained in a bottle. It means “A bottle (full) of water”.

If I want to talk about a glass that is full of water, I can say “a glass of water”. And if I want to talk about bucket that has been filled with water, I can say “a bucket of water”.

You can often use this construction when you talk about a container that is filled with one certain kind of thing.

More examples: “a bowl of soup” / “a can of oil” / “a package of bacon” / “a box of nails” / “a pot of tea”

Maybe someone else will have some additional input for you. :smiley:


a barrel of beer
a tin of sardines :slight_smile:
two buses of schoolchildren :lol:


How about this: a wagonload of monkeys!

In all honesty, Serzige I’m scratching my head to think why on earth anybody should find ‘a bottle of water’ incorrect.


Hey guys…Thank you so much. Honestly, I wasn’t sure about “a bottle of water” thing. Nevertheless, the interviewer said that you don’t say ‘a bottle of water’ but he never explained us why not. Anyway, this forum will be always my first choice to solve doubts when they come out.

See ya!