has expensive taste vs. has an expensive taste


What is the difference between ‘she has expensive taste’ and ‘she has an expensive taste’?

Thanks a lot,

TOEIC listening, photographs: A beach[YSaerTTEW443543]

“She has an expensive taste” sounds like foreigner English to me. However, “she has expensive taste” would mean that she generally wants expensive things, and adding the indefinite article might indicate that her taste for one particular type of item is expensive. Maybe she doesn’t mind cheap furniture, but her jewelry has to be top-of-the-line or something like that.

If someone has expensive taste in one aspect of their lives, though, we’re more likely to say, “She has expensive taste in …” My friends say I have expensive taste in beer. I don’t drink much, but when I do, I only drink the best, most expensive brews. My friends won’t say I have expensive taste in general, because I buy ordinary clothes and get a lot of things I use at a discount.

Hi Jamie,

So you do think that the following text was written by a ‘foreigner’?

“Very” Special Agent Anthony “Tony” D. DiNozzo Junior is the Senior Agent on Gibbs’ team. He was a homicide detective before he was part of NCIS. DiNozzo has a bad record with women and is a lover of movies. He quotes them and names characters that are somehow involved with the case.

Tony is a streetwise former homicide detective. He is well known for his constant flirtation with nearly every woman he encounters. He has an expensive taste in clothing evidenced by his love for designer names. Though he is in his late 30s (32 in the first season), he typically shows teenage behavior. He is considered to be very loyal to his coworkers at NCIS, especially his supervisor, Gibbs.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: A customer returns a clock radio to the store because it doesn’t work[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

I would use ‘an expensive taste in’ when I was referring to something particular as in: She has an expensive taste in cars. If you are talking about someone who generally goes for the most expensive things in life, I would say: She has expensive tastes.


Hi Alan,

What about the following paragraph, is ‘expensive taste’ fine here?

That couple must be on their honeymoon. The way they are laughing, holding hands, and looking so intently at each other. Then there’s the pink corsage on her suit. Steve sighed. What I would give to be in their shoes. He glanced toward the panoramic windows overlooking the runway. A woman was looking out the window, a forlorn expression on her face. He noticed her face first, then the very expensive looking blue suit.

He didn’t usually notice women’s clothing, but his ex-wife had expensive taste so he unconsciously recognized the quality of the clothes. Versace? Maybe. It was that kind of expense that eventually led to the divorce. I couldn’t believe her tantrum when I wouldn’t let her spend another $5,000 on a dress for the ball. Throwing vases and lamps like a petulant child. Don’t even go there, Steve. He gave himself a mental kick and concentrated on the young woman.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Negotiating the price for a used car[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

I am more used to ‘expensive tastes’ but I wouldn’t be prepared to argue about it! In the context you have quoted I would say: his ex-wife had a taste for the expensive… or his ex-wife had expensive tastes …


Hi Alan,

Thanks a lot for clarifying this.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: An employee asks her co-worker to help her get extra company sports tickets[YSaerTTEW443543]