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Tin = Can?

English translation: AE: "a can of beans" and "a can of beer" - BE: "a tin of beans" and "a can of beer"

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Tin = Can?
English translation:AE: "a can of beans" and "a can of beer" - BE: "a tin of beans" and "a can of beer"
Entered by: Dan McCrosky
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20:20 Oct 24, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: Tin = Can?
Is there any difference between "tin" and "can"?
Thanks!!
Nakina
AE: "a can of beans" and "a can of beer" - BE: "a tin of beans" and "a can of beer"
Explanation:
As several of us have tried to point out above, it is really a matter of North American (can't speak for Canada, so maybe it's just the U.S.) usage versus English native speaker usage in the rest of the world PLUS the liquidity or "drinkability" of the container contents.

Most Americans say:

"a can of beans" and "a can of beer".

Most English native speakers from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. (unless they have been too Americanated) say:

"a tin of beans" and "a can of beer".

HTH

Dan
Selected response from:

Dan McCrosky
Local time: 20:54
Grading comment
Hi!
I wanted to know their use in the every day context and if there was a AE/BE difference. I will try to be clearer next time!
Thanks for helping me!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7yes, there can be
Jennie Sherrick, MA
5 +3tin--british english, can-american englishMura
5 +3tin=british can=american
Drak
3 +4*
Nikita Kobrin
1 +5AE: "a can of beans" and "a can of beer" - BE: "a tin of beans" and "a can of beer"Dan McCrosky
3 +1Yes and no
Ariser
3not really, butKlaus Dorn


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
not really, but


Explanation:
tin and can are exactly the same, as long as we talking a certain type of tin and can, namely those you can open with a tin- or can-opener, in this case, I think, "can" is US English, the other British English.

If we're talking about a different type of tin, for example a "roasting tin" (which is where you prepare your thanksgiving turkey or any chicken amongstother things), we couldn't use the word can for that...

Klaus Dorn
Local time: 21:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 35
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
*


Explanation:
Tin(British and Australian) is a small closed metal container, usually cylindrical, in which food or other substances are sold.

can is a closed metal container, esp. a cylindrical one in which some types of drink and food are sold



    Cambridge International Dictionary of English
Nikita Kobrin
Lithuania
Local time: 21:54
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 35

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yelena.
1 min

agree  airmailrpl
2 mins

agree  NancyLynn
5 hrs

agree  xxxKanta Rawat
9 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
yes, there can be


Explanation:
there can be a difference, depending on the context.

If you say "tin can", that means there is a difference. The can is made out of "tin", which is:


1 : a soft faintly bluish white lustrous low-melting crystalline metallic element that is malleable and ductile at ordinary temperatures and that is used as a protective coating, in tinfoil, and in soft solders and alloys see ELEMENT table



However, if you use it on its own (see below: "a tin of tomatoes"), then it is a metal container (which could be a can).

2 a : a box, can, pan, vessel, or a sheet made of tinplate; broadly : such a container of any metal (as aluminum) b : a metal container and its contents *a tin of tomatoes*
–tin adjective
–tinful \-*f*l\ noun


Definitions from Merriam-Webster

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-24 20:31:46 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Likewise, a \"can\" is (for multiple contexts):

1 : a usually cylindrical receptacle: a : a vessel for holding liquids; specifically : a drinking vessel b : a usually metal typically cylindrical receptacle usually with an open top, often with a removable cover, and sometimes with a spout or side handles (as for holding milk or trash) c : a container (as of tinplate) in which products (as perishable foods) are hermetically sealed for preservation until use d : a jar for packing or preserving fruit or vegetables
2 : JAIL
3 a : TOILET b : BATHROOM 1
4 : BUTTOCKS
5 : DESTROYER 2


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-24 20:50:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As crumpler points out below, I\'m thinking more along the lines of in what context \"tin\" and \"can\" are being used and whether they are together in the context, and not necessarily on whether it is a difference between of meaning in AE or BE, although I\'m not denying the relevance of that either.


    Reference: http://www.m-w.com/
Jennie Sherrick, MA
United States
Local time: 14:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mura: Mura
5 mins
  -> Thanks Mura

agree  #41698 (LSF): Tin can is made of tin.
8 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Bryan Crumpler: I think the idea of it being a question of AE vs BE is irrelevant here. Every time I say "can" I don't mean a "tin can" and every time I say "tin" I don't mean a "can" either. Could be "tin foil" so contextually speaking this is the best answer.
15 mins
  -> Thanks. I think we're thinking alike here as I am thinking of it as being a question of context and not AE/BE

agree  Emilia Carneiro
1 hr
  -> Thanks Emilia

agree  Emily Horner
1 hr
  -> Thank you Emily

agree  Piotr Kurek
8 hrs
  -> Thanks Piotr

agree  xxxKanta Rawat
9 hrs
  -> Thank you
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Yes and no


Explanation:
Tin is a container made of tinplate. Also used more broadly as container in any metal.
A can is a receptacle in general.

Tin can: can made of tinplate


    Reference: http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
Ariser
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nancy Arrowsmith
7 hrs
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
tin--british english, can-american english


Explanation:
They mean the same thing but one is a british (tin) and another an american (can) noun.

Tin (noun)1. a. A vessel made of tin, or more usually of tinned iron; spec. a vessel in which meat, fish, fruit, etc., is hermetically sealed for preservation (= can n.1 3); locally, a small cylindrical drinking vessel or mug with a handle.
2. a. One of the well-known metals, nearly approaching silver in whiteness and lustre, highly malleable and taking
a high polish; used in the manufacture of articles of block tin, in the formation of alloys, as bronze, pewter, etc.

Can (noun)-- 1. a. A vessel for holding liquids; formerly used of vessels of various materials, shapes, and sizes, including drinking-vessels; now generally restricted to vessels of tin or other metal, mostly larger than a drinking-vessel, and usually cylindrical in form, with a handle over the top.

Used OED to come up with definitions.



Mura
United States
Local time: 14:54

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Bryan Crumpler: this isn't a question of AE vs BE... it's a question of context and we use both as it is.
8 mins
  -> It is a question of context and also it is about AE vs BE I believe. Thank you for your input.

agree  xxxNorman: So now Crumpler knows better than the OED, even though he thinks a garden centre is the centre of the garden ... hmmm ....
1 hr
  -> Thank you

agree  NancyLynn
5 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  Marion Burns: Presumably what Nakina is seeking is not some subtle technical definition, but whether in their most ordinary usage, these AE and BE counterparts mean the same thing. Which, in this context, they do.
5 hrs
  -> Thank You
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
tin=british can=american


Explanation:
I think we got too far away from the practical implications of the original questions. In practical terms, one is British and the other is American and both look the same.

Drak
PRO pts in pair: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Bryan Crumpler: the idea of it being a question of AE vs BE is wrong... we use both, just a matter of context
4 mins
  -> Perhaps you are right. But, then again, I have never heard anyone in the US say "tin of beans" either...

agree  xxxNorman: Crumpler is simply wrong - in the everyday context, your answer is correct, and it most certainly hinges on BE v. AE
1 hr
  -> Yes. That was the way I understood the question.

agree  NancyLynn
5 hrs

agree  Marion Burns: Let's keep it simple. This is surely BE v. AE. See my remark above.
5 hrs

neutral  Heather Starastin: I thought this at first too, but on reflection, we talk about cans of drink in the UK.
8 hrs
  -> Was the term "can" used in England before the Coca-Cola came in from America?
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +5
AE: "a can of beans" and "a can of beer" - BE: "a tin of beans" and "a can of beer"


Explanation:
As several of us have tried to point out above, it is really a matter of North American (can't speak for Canada, so maybe it's just the U.S.) usage versus English native speaker usage in the rest of the world PLUS the liquidity or "drinkability" of the container contents.

Most Americans say:

"a can of beans" and "a can of beer".

Most English native speakers from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. (unless they have been too Americanated) say:

"a tin of beans" and "a can of beer".

HTH

Dan


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 20:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 18
Grading comment
Hi!
I wanted to know their use in the every day context and if there was a AE/BE difference. I will try to be clearer next time!
Thanks for helping me!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sarah Ponting: yes, as a native UK English speaker I wouldn't say a can of beans or a tin of beer!
8 mins
  -> Thank you, Sarah

agree  xxxNorman: Let me join Sarah.
28 mins
  -> Thank you, Norman, isn't it amazing how mucked up a simple question can get?

agree  Marion Burns: That's it.
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, Marion

agree  Christopher Crockett: Right, it's an idiomatic usage (especially amongst the consistently eccecentric and stubborn British).
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Christopher, but it's their language, we're just borrowing it. Who are WE to call THEM eccentric and stubborn?

agree  Mura: yep:)
6 hrs
  -> Thank you, Mura
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