[Vocabulary] do you usually order meat, fish or vegetarian?

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ambitious-girl

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Should the bold part be "vegetables"?
I found the following question in the book I am studying these days.

When you eat out do you usually order meat, fish or vegetarian?

Source: American English File 3
 
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emsr2d2

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No. "Vegetarian" is correct. It is asking whether you order a meat dish, a fish dish or a vegetarian dish. Vegetarian food doesn't consist solely of vegetables, I can assure you!
 

ambitious-girl

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It is asking whether you order a meat dish, a fish dish or a vegetarian dish.

Thanks Emsr2d2. I thought "vegetarian" referred only to someone who didn't eat meat or fish. That's why it didn't make sense to me in terms of parallelism. I didn't know it could be used as adjective, like vegetarian restaurant/cooking/dish. Thanks for teaching something new. :)

Vegetarian food doesn't consist solely of vegetables
Really? I didn't know.
I can assure you!
Because you seem to be vegetarian, according to what you state in your profile.
 
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emsr2d2

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It's an adjective and a noun.

I'm a vegetarian. (noun)
I'm vegetarian. (adj.)
This is a vegetarian restaurant. (adj.)
How many vegetarians are in your group? (noun)
Can I see the vegetarian menu please? (adj.)
 

teechar

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I thought "vegetarian" referred only to someone who didn't eat meat or fish.
In your original sentence, "vegetarian" is an adjective modifying an implied noun ("food").

When you eat out do you usually order meat, fish or vegetarian (food)?
 

andrewg927

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No. "Vegetarian" is correct. It is asking whether you order a meat dish, a fish dish or a vegetarian dish. Vegetarian food doesn't consist solely of vegetables, I can assure you!

A vegetarian diet includes vegetables, milk, eggs, nuts and other plants. It's different from a vegan diet which consists of only plants and no animal products.
 

andrewg927

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Should the bold part be "vegetables"?
I found the following question in the book I am studying these days.

When you eat out do you usually order meat, fish or vegetarian?

Source: American English File 3

Since you are interested in different diets, I suggest you do some research on the new diet fads including raw, vegan, Paleo, etc. You might encounter any of those words in real life. In English grammar books, I'm not sure if they've caught up to the latest trends.
 

teechar

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A vegetarian diet can sometimes include ... milk, (and) eggs
Those are often referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian diets. Not all vegetarian diets include eggs and/or dairy products.
 

andrewg927

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It is generally understood that way in the general public in the US. "Lacto-ovo" is a specific term that doesn't enjoy mainstream recognition.
 

teechar

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in the general public in the US.
Is that another standard AmE phrase?
I could have sworn only "by the public" was right in that context!
 

andrewg927

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I would say yes. I'm confident that the phrase is completely acceptable among Americans. It's possible that it is not okay in other variants of English.
 

emsr2d2

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Definitely not in BrE.

"In" would be used in phrases like "in the public domain" and "in the public arena" but not "understood in the general public". That would only use "by".
 

GoesStation

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Is that another standard AmE phrase?
I could have sworn only "by the public" was right in that context!

This American would only say by the public.

"Vegetarians" come in the same variety of (delicious!*) flavors in American usage as in British. Without further qualification, a vegetarian is understood as someone who forgoes meat and possibly eggs.

*The parenthetical remark applies only to practitioners of another, happily much rarer, diet.
 

andrewg927

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There is a slight difference in construction between "understood by the general public" and "understood in the general public". Using "in" intentionally omits the implied "by people" in the general public.
 

andrewg927

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As I stated earlier, the fuller sentence is "is understood by people in the general public." I omitted "by people" as it can be implied from context.
 

teechar

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Okay, (Piscean's) point taken.

All the same, that phrase didn't get even a single hit in any of the following sites.

- The British National Corpus.
- The Corpus of Contemporary American English.
- Fraze.it
- Google.
 

andrewg927

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I don't think reference sources are a reliable way to prove something is right or wrong. Regardless of its popularity, there is no rule I know of that says the phrase is wrong.
 

andrewg927

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Fair enough but the discussion seems to center among English speakers rather than the learners. It's certainly not part of the original question at all. I would like to hear if the student is completely satisfied with the answers.
 

teechar

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Fair enough, but the discussion seems to center among English speakers rather than the learners.
Here's another one! :shock:
You must have surely meant "centre around" instead.
[I've already checked the ngram and all the aforementioned sites. Again, nada.
 
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