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  1. #1
    san2612 is offline Member
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    Default LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    please help me with the following question.
    1. Dinner will be ready soon. Can you please ..the table?
    A settle B lay C make D put
    I chose C,make but the answer is B.lay. WHy B is better than C?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    This is just one of those phrases you have to learn. In the US, we "set" the table, instead of "laying" it. It means to put the dishes and silver on, etc.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    We can make a table, but that involves cutting wood, and putting it together in the shape of a flat surface with 3 or more legs.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    However, we do make the bed - arrange the bedclothes in an orderly fashion ready to sleep in again.

  5. #5
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    May I say in this instance "spread the table"?

    V.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    May I say in this instance "spread the table"?

    V.
    No, we lay or set the table.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 24-May-2011 at 09:41.

  7. #7
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    Would you be kind enough tell me who use the mentioned bellow connotations of the term in question?

    Spread the table = to prepare (a table) for eating; set. / to arrange (food or a meal) on a table

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/spread-betting#ixzz1NFw4aIZU

    Spread the table = to arrange tableware upon (a table) in preparation for a meal: lay1, set1.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/spread-betting#ixzz1NFwWVVSO

  8. #8
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Would you be kind enough tell me who use the mentioned bellow connotations of the term in question?

    Spread the table = to prepare (a table) for eating; set. / to arrange (food or a meal) on a table

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/spread-betting#ixzz1NFw4aIZU

    Spread the table = to arrange tableware upon (a table) in preparation for a meal: lay1, set1.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/spread-betting#ixzz1NFwWVVSO
    I've never heard "spread the table".

  9. #9
    riquecohen's Avatar
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I've never heard "spread the table".
    Nor have I, on the other side of the Atlantic.

  10. #10
    Route21's Avatar
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    Default Re: LAY THE TABLE OR MAKE THE TABLE?

    Both of Vil's links, from Answers.com, appear to refer to the same set of definitions in the American Heritage Dictionary:

    Item 6 (v tr.)

    1. To prepare (a table) for eating; set.
    2. To arrange (food or a meal) on a table.

    Whilst I have never heard it used in this way, from a BrE point of view, there is also, in the same link, a reference to the noun "spread", which is defined as:

    5. Informal. An abundant meal laid out on a table.

    Now this I have heard in the context of: "They laid on a spread fit for a king".

    Regards
    R21

    PS This is the second time today that definitions in the American Heritage Dictionary appear to have come into question - see http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...hing-kind.html


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