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Can I get ...? Options
Fruity
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 1:13:44 AM

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"Can I get ..." is commonly used to place an order, isn't it? Is it correct to say "Can I have ..." or "Can I take ..." to mean "Can I get ..."?

♥ Get into the habit of considering the feelings of others before you react to circumstances around you. ♥
El-Jefe
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 2:11:30 AM

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Location: Kuwait City, Al Asimah Governorate, Kuwait
"Can I have.." would be correct to replace "Can I get..", as for "Can I take.." would be another meaning for the example you provided. "Can I take a baked potato..." would mean that the baked potato is yours and "if you don't want that baked potato, can I take it?"

...but why?
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 3:41:54 AM

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You can use it for orders, although 'could I?' is more polite than 'Can I?'

But here it is not actually placing the order, in terms of the actual question, although of spcourse the member of staff does infer the order from it.
It is asking if that is possible.

A potential answer could be, "Sorry, I am afraid we don't serve baked potatoes. Would you like onion rings instead?"
Or, "Yes, ma'am, we can do that."


Question -can I?
Answer - no you can't.

Although of course put far more diplomatically!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:20:51 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I think perhaps Fruity is asking if "Can I get...?" can be used to place an order, yes?

And I think, in AE, that it may actually be a perfectly common way or ordering; i.e. "Can I get a hamburger and chips?"

However, elsewhere it would be considered rather impolite. In fact, I heard a guy in take-away one day saying "I dunno mate, can you?" when someone asked "Can I have....?" (that's an old way of teaching kids the way to distinguish between 'can' and 'may')

In a restaurant, however, I don't imagine even in AE that it would be ok? However, I have no idea, so let's hope an AE speaker can help. And, in any event, 'please' has to go in there somewhere!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 7:51:41 AM

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I have to join in here.

Besides all the things which have been said (and are right), the verb 'get' does not work here.
Some of the other replies have changed it, but no-one said why.

"Get" means, among other things, 'go somewhere and pick something up and bring it back'.

"Could you get me a coffee, please?" means "Would you please go to the kitchen and bring me a coffee?"

"Can I get a coffee, please?" means "May I go to the kitchen and make myself a coffee?"

"I'd like the steak, but can I get a baked potato instead of fries?" means "May I go to the kitchen and take a baked potato?"

It doesn't mean "Would you give me a baked potato instead of fries?" - even if you add 'please'.

*********
Maybe it would work in a buffet-style cafe, where you get your own food from a selection on a counter.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:43:38 AM

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Here in the US, it is quite common to hear, "Can I get...?" if one wants to know if it is possible to substitute a baked potato for fries, for example.

And while it might not be said often, I wouldn't discount hearing, "Can I get a steak/hamburger/order of onion rings...?" as a way of ordering food in a restaurant/cafe. At certain times of the day in some establishments, some items are not available, so this would be a way of asking if they are available.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:46:06 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India


"Can I get ..." is commonly used to place an order, isn't it? Is it correct to say "Can I have ..." or "Can I take ..." to mean "Can I get ..."?

IMO, By and Large, all these sentences convey the same meaning.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:51:38 AM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
The youngsters now have failed to learn how to place an order at a restaurant. They're using the "can I get a...?" instead of identifying what they want to order. They seem to be asking permission, instead of initiating a retail transaction.

Correct: I would like a cheeseburger with fries, please.
Instead, they are saying: Can I get a cheeseburger with fries? To which, I would ask in return, "Do you have permission from your mother?"


Correct, which an actual question to be asked: I would like a cheeseburger meal. Can I substitute a salad for the fries, please?


(Off-Topic-Rant: These same folks also don't know how to form a queue (get in line). They swarm around in the general area, but nowhere near the counter, and still expect to be served in the order in which they arrived. Yikes!)

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