Check out our updated Community
Yo C
The real meaning of "POPULAR"?
I do not know if I am wrong when using the word "popular". When I want to describe something which is known or used by many people (I mean it is just a normal, not a famous thing), I use the word "popular". 
Howerver, in the video of Dan Hauer, he recommends us to use "common" instead because the word  "popular" doesn't mean "common". It means "famous"! 
Here is the link of his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ9-uG0PIDw (From 5:43 to 6:50). 
---
That's the reason why I felt quite confused when I read a sentence of my classmate: "Instant noodles are a popular food of students. 
Arcording to Dan, she'd better change the word "popular" into "common". But after searching on Google, I could find many realated results, such as: 
- "Instant noodles are a popular convenience food eaten all over the world."
- "Instant noodles are a popular go-to lunch or dinner for those whoare strapped for time (or cash), like college students."
- "Instant noodles are a popular food for lunch or dinner, but did you know that eatinginstant noodles is linked to metabolic syndrome?" 
The word "popular" used on some sites has the same meaning with "common", doesn't it? 
I am not sure. I really need you help. Thank you in advance. 
Apr 15, 2019 3:33 PM
Comments · 6

The words popular and common can be a little tricky. With your instant noodle example, it would be correct to use the word "popular" in that form. Something can be common and popular at the same time. For instance, with using popular in the instant noodle example, there are many types of instant meals that students could choose from. Instant foods might be common, but the instant noodles would be the popular choice. Just like soda can be a common drink among people, but Coke would be the popular choice. It more or less comes down to how specific you want to get. Here are some more examples.

Toilet paper is common, but Charmin is the most popular choice.

Instant noodles are common, but Nissan is the most popular choice.

Instant foods are common among students, but instant noodles is the popular choice.

Another way of thinking about it is if something is done by everyone, but it doesn't mean that they really like it. For an example of this, think of a subway. It is very common for people to ride the subway, but it may not be popular. Popular is usually used when a lot of people do something because they enjoy it. Here are some examples of the two.

It is very common for people to work overtime. (a lot of people do it, but they may not enjoy it)

Going to the beach is a popular thing to do. (a lot of people do it, and they tend to enjoy it)

I do hope this helps.

April 15, 2019

popular means enjoyed and liked by many people, and it is therefore common.

common = eaten and enjoyed by many people in many places.

"Welsh rarebit was a popular dish enjoyed by the welsh" 

"haggis is a common dish eaten in Scotland"

for these type of sentences they can be interchangeable.

 common or popular does not = famous. 

For talking about a thing that is known and used by many people it is just normal, common is the better word. 

the video is unavailable from my browser. 

April 15, 2019

The last examples of Kein Leib are really useful for me. 


- "It is very common for people to work overtime. (a lot of people do it, but they may not enjoy it)"

- "Going to the beach is a popular thing to do. (a lot of people do it, and they tend to enjoy it)"

Thank you so much.

April 15, 2019

Once I read an article about Taylor Swift - "Why is Taylor Swift so popular?", I translated the word "popular" into "famous". It's long time ago and then has become a part of my subconcious mind. Whenever I hear someone say "popular", I immediately think of "famous" and vice versa. After carefully reading your answers, especially the examples you gave me and watching the video of Dan Hauer again, I found my big mistake. 
1."Popular" doesn't mean "famous". It means "enjoyed and liked by many people."

2. In some cases, "common" and "popular" can be interchangable. 

Thank you so much. Now I feel much more confident to use these words. 


April 15, 2019
Or Something that is made for the taste and knowledge of ordinary people.
Like - Contrary to popular belief, air travel is less dangerous than travel by car.

On the other hand famous means something wide and large in terms of popularity.

April 15, 2019
Show More
Yo C
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Vietnamese
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English