[Grammar] What would you like to start?

emp0608

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Hi folks,

In Passport 1, an English Conversation Textbook published by Oxford University Press, I found the expression "What would you like to start?" in the situation of a server asking a customer at a restaurant. I'm now wondering whether I should teach my students this sentence as is or I should change it to "What would you like to start with?" I'd appreciate your suggestions.

emp
 

emp0608

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Thanks Piscean for your quick response. But I don't want my students to answer, "I'd like to start the steak."
 

emp0608

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They can say 'I'd like the steak to start (with)' or 'I'd like to start with the steak' among other possibilities. Id be more like to say just 'The steak, please'.

We cannot avoid exposing our students to expressions they are likely to hear simply because they might give an unnatural response.

Thanks again Piscean, but what I wanted to know is which is more proper to teach, with "with" or without "with". I'm thinking of telling them that you may hear some servers say, "What would you like to start?" but it should be more proper to say, "What would you like to start with?" And also I think it'd be more proper to say, "I'd more likely to say …" than "Id more like to say …" Is it not?
 

emp0608

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Thanks Robert. Yes, you're right. Nobody would start with 'steak'. But I find your comment about imagining a comma after 'like' very interesting.
As a matter of fact, I didn't feel anything wrong with this sentence when I first heard it and it may be because the subtle way of 'to start' being expressed. But I still think I should tell my students to put 'with' at the end.
 

Roman55

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If the waiter asked, What would you like to start? he would quite likely also say something like, What would you like to follow? There would not be a with there.
 

Rover_KE

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It's been my experience that the question refers to an appetizer or a drink, not the entree.
NOTE: AE appetizer = BE starter; AE entree = BE main course.
 

jutfrank

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But I don't want my students to answer, "I'd like to start the steak."

Just teach them how to answer correctly, then.

What does it matter about the question, unless they're waiters? Tell them that they will hear both with and without with, then focus on the language function, which in this case seems to be ordering food from a menu.
 
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