What is the difference between endings なし and 抜【ぬ】き when you want to exclude a certain ingredient from food? Aside from 氷【こおり】なし when ordering soft drinks, I thought that for most other things 抜【ぬ】き should be used. But my friend has been saying 卵【たまご】なし to get rid of an egg, so I'm curious when which one of those is appropriate.


As a customer, using either one is completely fine. Among us native speakers, it is like each person has a habit of using one over the other.

Point is each eatery tends to use one word over the other among its staff members as well, meaning that even when you order by saying, for instance, 「[卵]{たまご}なしで = "with no eggs"」, your waiter/waitress might reply by saying 「卵[抜]{ぬ}きですね?」. This happens quite often but do not be discouraged because they are just using 「抜き」 almost as a house rule. It is not that they are trying to correct you because you used the wrong word.

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    I'm glad you point that out because I always take those kinds of altered repetitions as corrections – ssb Jul 28 '14 at 23:46

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