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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Adding milk to tea

    Hello!

    I am interested in finding out the exact expression used in English when someone asks us if we want milk in our tea. I presume it is "a spot of milk", but I am not sure.
    The reason I am asking this is because I'm reading "Asterix chez les Bretons" (Asterix in Britain) and in the French version I found "un nuage de lait" which literally means "a cloud of milk". The English version however reads "a spot of milk". I'm assuming this would be the exact expression. But, as I said before, I am not sure about it.

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    Welcome to the forums.

    "A spot of milk" is a good colloquialism, and in terms of Asterix makes sense.

    If you were asking this in real life, all these would be possible:

    Would you like some milk in your tea?
    Do you take milk?
    Can I put a spot of milk in your tea?

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    #3

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    I think I would probably opt for:

    1. Do you want any milk? [to friends]
    2. Do you take milk? [to strangers]
    3. There's the milk. [to relatives]

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  2. apex2000's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    A spot of milk is not the usual expression. More usual would be a drop of milk or just a drop, please.
    The French is not literal as we see it but in their eyes it is because they do not take milk in tea, in fact they do not take tea as a nation, but when we put milk in our tea they see it as clouding the clear tea. Poetic!

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    There's also the expression 'a dash of <liquid>', but it's used mostly in the context of alcoholic drinks: 'You make a Bloody Mary with tomato juice, vodka, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce' (I'm not sure if you do, but you get the idea). I don't think 'a dash of milk' is commonly used, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear it.

    b

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    PS

    Hmm ... I've been thinking about that 'alcoholic context', and I'm not so sure. Maybe the context I mean is "recipes" (and recipes often occur in an alcoholic context). But this works as well: 'The secret of making perfect fairy cakes is to add a dash of vanilla essence'.

    b

  5. apex2000's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Adding milk to tea

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    PS

    Hmm ... I've been thinking about that 'alcoholic context', and I'm not so sure. Maybe the context I mean is "recipes" (and recipes often occur in an alcoholic context). But this works as well: 'The secret of making perfect fairy cakes is to add a dash of vanilla essence'.

    b
    A dash or a splash of another liquid into an alcoholic drink, particularly a cocktail, is quite normal.

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