Can You Say 'a Leftover'?

It's correct to say "a leftover" to refer to something that still remains, even though it's not really important or useful anymore.

It's correct to say "a leftover" to refer to something that still remains, even though it's not really important or useful anymore.

The weapon was a leftover from World War II.

Note that the noun "leftover" requires a determiner in the singular (a, the, this, etc.) to identify it.

I discovered this leftover from a previous ceremony.

However, when talking about the food that has not been eaten at the end of a meal, we normally use the plural form (leftovers). For example, you can say: "The leftovers are in the fridge." (not "is").

Give the leftovers to the cat.

Be aware that "leftover" is both a noun and an adjective.

The cheese is a leftover from the party. (noun)

You can cook with your leftover bread. (adjective)

You can also use the words separately to form "left over". "Leftover" and "left over" are both adjectives and mean the same thing. What's the difference? "Leftover" is always used before a noun.

Use leftover rice to cook something spicy.

Do you have any pizza left over from last night?

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