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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default What are you eating?

    When a student saw his friend was having lunch. The student asked'What are you eating?'.
    A teacher said " it's unnatural to say "What are you eating?' Usually we say "What are you having?'

    I heard a native English Mom said to her kid 'Eat the dinner'.In what circurmstances do we use 'eat'? Can anyone give me some examples?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    When a student saw his friend was having lunch, the student asked'What are you eating?'
    A teacher said "It's unnatural to say "What are you eating?' Usually we say "What are you having?' "

    I heard a native English Mom say to her kid 'Eat the dinner'. In what circumstances do we use 'eat'? Can anyone give me some examples?

    Thank you.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with "What are you eating?" In fact, I almost prefer it to "What are you having?" (which is also fine).

    However, "Eat the dinner" sounds unnatural. Are you sure she didn't say "Eat your dinner"?

    We use "to eat" in many different ways. Here are just a few random examples:

    I was eating lunch when my house fell down.
    What do you want to eat tonight?
    Where are we eating on Saturday evening?
    I don't eat peas.
    Eat up before it gets cold.
    The guilt is eating me alive. (Metaphorical use)
    I haven't eaten for days.
    He died from eating bad mussels.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-Dec-2011 at 18:15. Reason: Idiotic typo!

  3. #3
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    "What are you having for lunch?" is very proper, formal and quite correct.

    The thing is, if you were to go to any college canteen you'd hear the students say "what are you eating?"

    "Having" is proper and that is what I would choose to say. "..eating" is contemporary, casual, and what you'll probably hear most spoken by younger by native speakers.

    John

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He died from eating bad muscles.
    Mussels?
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Mussels?
    I am more embarrassed than you can possibly imagine. I can't even begin to explain that.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    You still have SO FAR to go to catch up to us in the typo department, so don't be embarrassed, you here?

    (Yes, that one was intentional!)
    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.

  7. #7
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    When a student saw his friend was having lunch. The student asked'What are you eating?'.
    A teacher said " it's unnatural to say "What are you eating?' Usually we say "What are you having?'

    Thank you.
    Usually in AmE, we would ask "what are you having?" when inquiring about a person's lunch menu. For example, if I walked past a student in the cafeteria as he was removing his food from his lunch box I might ask "What are you having for lunch today?" If I encountered a fellow student eating something that looked (or smelled) strange or unusual to me, I might ask him (somewhat incredulously) "What are you eating?" Then he would reply "Sardines and hot mustard on rye bread. Delicious. You should try it some time."

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