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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    #1

    American English?

    Dear Teachers

    I saw the following in an ESL book by an American teacher.

    After a meal in a restaurant.
    Guest: Can I get a bill?
    Guest: I need a bill, please.

    Shouldn't it be "Can I have the bill, please?"

    At the movie theater.
    May I help you?
    Yes. We need/want two adults and one child for (name of show) beginning at 3pm.
    All right. It comes out $___ in total.
    How would you like to pay?
    Credit please.
    Ok. Please sign here for me.
    Your tickets and your gate is No.__ on your right side.

    Is this how an American would speak in normal daily life? How about other native speakers?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #2

    Re: American English?

    Quote Originally Posted by PelajarBaru View Post
    Dear Teachers

    I saw the following in an ESL book by an American teacher.

    After a meal in a restaurant.
    Guest: Can I get a bill?
    Guest: I need a bill, please.

    Shouldn't it be "Can I have the bill, please?" In BrE it would be 'Can/could I have the bill please.

    At the movie theater.
    May I help you? In BrE 'Can I help you? is more usual.
    Yes. We need/want two adults and one child for (name of show) beginning at 3pm.
    All right. It comes out $___ in total. In BrE 'It comes to...'
    How would you like to pay?
    Credit please. Credit card or card.
    Ok. Please sign here for me.
    Your tickets,your gate is No.__ on your right side. More likely.

    Is this how an American would speak in normal daily life? How about other native speakers?
    This is my BrE version.


    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 36
    #3

    Re: American English?

    Dear bhaisahab

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    You mean British do say "We need/want two adults and one child for (name of show) beginning at 3pm." I thought it sounded a bit weird to use the word 'beginning'.
    Shouldn't 'on your right side' be just 'on your right'?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: American English?

    Quote Originally Posted by PelajarBaru View Post
    Dear bhaisahab

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    You mean British do say "We need/want two adults and one child for (name of show) beginning at 3pm." I thought it sounded a bit weird to use the word 'beginning'. 'Starting' is commonly used as well, but 'beginning' seems ok to me.
    Shouldn't 'on your right side' be just 'on your right'? Yes, you are probably right about that, but it didn't strike me as particularly unusual.
    Bhai

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    #5

    Re: American English?

    In Canada it would most likely be "The 3:00 pm. show" and "the theatre is to your right."

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: American English?

    Quote Originally Posted by PelajarBaru View Post
    Dear Teachers

    I saw the following in an ESL book by an American teacher.

    After a meal in a restaurant.
    Guest: Can I get a bill?
    Guest: I need a bill, please.

    Shouldn't it be "Can I have the bill, please?"
    You are correct. AmE speakers would either say "Can I get the bill (or sometimes "check"), please?", or more commonly, "Can I get my (or "our" if there are several people at the table) bill, please?"

    At the movie theater.
    May I help you?
    Yes. We need/want two adults and one child for (name of show) beginning at 3pm.
    All right. It comes out $___ in total.
    How would you like to pay?
    Credit please.
    Ok. Please sign here for me.
    Your tickets and your gate is No.__ on your right side.

    Is this how an American would speak in normal daily life? How about other native speakers?
    The majority of movie theaters in the US are now inside what are called "multiplexes." So in most cases, the person would say "Here are your tickets, (name of film) is showing in Theater Four, which is down this hall on your right."
    or
    "Here are your tickets, Theater 12 is the last auditorium on your left."

    When referring to movie theaters and their various entrances, the word "gate" would not be used.

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