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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #1

    Lightbulb Beer or Beers

    I often heard people say, "I would like a beer", when they meant, "I would like a glass of beer." Is it acceptable in written English?

    Moreover, they say, "We like two beer," when they are saying that they like to have two glasses of beer. Should it be "two beer" or "two beers"?


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    #2

    Re: Beer or Beers

    "I would like a beer", when they meant, "I would like a glass of beer." Is it acceptable in written English?
    Yes, written and spoken. It would be most unusual to hear someone ask for 'a glass of beer'!

    Also, "I would like a beer" sounds rather odd.
    "I feel like a beer/I need a pint!" are more usual in Britain.

    and when ordering in a bar
    "I'll have a pint of (name of beer)"

    When in someone's home and asked, "What would you like to drink?"
    the reply might be, "I'll have (a) beer, thanks."

    Since beer drinkers (like many Scotch drinkers) have a favourite, it would be unlikely to order 'a beer' - they would ask for the beer by name:
    "I'll have a Bud (Budweisser)/Stella/Tennant's Special, thanks."

    At a bar in a theatre at intermission, it may not be possible to be too choosey, since they may not have a great range of drinks as in a regular bar. Someone ordering might say:
    "Two beers, thanks."

    It is more likely, if ordering drinks at a table from a waitress, that she would repeat the order back, to make sure she has it correctly, saying :
    "So that's two Scotch on the rocks, two beer, one Bicardi and coke, and one OJ (orange juice)" - this is kind of short for 'two orders of beer, one order of Bicardi...

    There are other variations on this - and Americans will have their own way of expressing it!
    Last edited by David L.; 14-Jul-2009 at 12:37.


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    #3

    Re: Beer or Beers

    Quote Originally Posted by David L.;492977

    At a bar in a theatre at intermission, it may not be possible to be too choosey, since they may not have a great range of drinks as in a regular bar. Someone ordering might say:
    [COLOR=indigo
    "Two beers, thanks."[/COLOR]

    It is more likely, if ordering drinks at a table from a waitress, that she would repeat the order back, to make sure she has it correctly, saying :
    "So that's two Scotch on the rocks, two beer, one Bicardi and coke, and one OJ (orange juice)" - this is kind of short for 'two orders of beer, one order of Bicardi...
    Thanks David L for your reply. However, I am confused by "two beers" in the first paragraph. It kinds of contradicts "two beer" in the second paragraph, or am I incorrect? I thought it should be "two beer" since it means two glasses of beer. Moreover, beer is uncountable unless it is referring to two different types of beer.


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    #4

    Re: Beer or Beers

    Ordering more than one beer in a pub or restaurant - it would be quite usual to say I would like two beers >> I would like two glasses of beer. The bar tender will then ask what kind of beer and how much.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #5

    Re: Beer or Beers

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Ordering more than one beer in a pub or restaurant - it would be quite usual to say I would like two beers >> I would like two glasses of beer. The bar tender will then ask what kind of beer and how much.
    It is more likely, if ordering drinks at a table from a waitress, that she would repeat the order back, to make sure she has it correctly, saying :
    "So that's two Scotch on the rocks, two beer, one Bicardi and coke, and one OJ (orange juice)" - this is kind of short for 'two orders of beer, one order of Bicardi...
    Okay, thanks! You mean "two beers" (with "s") indicates two glasses of beer. But why is it that in the second quote by David L, "two beer" (without "s") indicates two orders of beer?

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    #6

    Re: Beer or Beers

    Quote:David L.

    It is more likely, if ordering drinks at a table from a waitress, that she would repeat the order back, to make sure she has it correctly, saying :
    "So that's two Scotch on the rocks, two beer, one Bicardi and coke, and one OJ (orange juice)" - this is kind of short for 'two orders of beer, one order of Bicardi...

    I think the underlined part explains what he meant. If you prefer you can look at it like this: '...two (people) (for) beer, one (person) (for) Bacardi...'


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    #7

    Re: Beer or Beers

    Thanks :that clarifies.

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    #8

    Re: Beer or Beers

    I believe the same applies to coffee, tea or coke. So, it is two coffees, two teas or two cokes.

    However, it is two chicken, two cheese (unless it is two types of cheese) or two meat (unless it is two types of meat).

    Am I correct?

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