Interested in Language
The following is quoted from a book.
In most resturants, someone will soon come to your table to take your order. To say which dish you want, use ]I'd like... or I'll have...
1. For my starter, I'd like the salad, please.
2. For my main course, I'd like the pasta.
3. For dessert, I'd like ice cream.
4. I'll have the lamb, please.
I have the following questions:
1. Why did the author use the definite article 'the' before salad, pasta and lamb? Is it natural to leave out 'the' in the above sentence?
2. Why didn't the author use 'the' before ice cream?
When we are ordering food in restaurants, do we need to use 'the' before ice cream? The context is as follows:
1. For dessert, I 'd like ice cream.
2. For dessert, I'll have the fruit.
Last edited by Winwin2011; 21-Jun-2012 at 20:03.
The only reason you can say "the fruit" is because 'fruit' is mentioned on the menu, and therefore you have a right to expect that "the fruit" exists - because it's been referred to.
If fruit wasn't on the menu, or if you didn't have a menu, you'd say, "For dessert, I'd like some fruit." or "Do you have any fruit?"
The same applies to ice cream.
PS: Note that you can say "some fruit/ice cream" even if it is on the menu. For example, you can say, "I'll have an apple pie" even if apple pie has been mentioned. But you can't use "the" if it hasn't been.
He could have said 'the ice cream', but if he had that would imply that the ice cream was listed as a special case on the menu.
I think it might be only a typo, but just in case...
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.