A glass with ice-cold beer was [passed, handed] to everyone.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wanabee, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Dear all,

    When a glass with ice-cold beer was [passed, handed] to everyone, a senior member gave a toast.

    I made it up. Would "passed" and "handed" mean exactly the same thing here?
     
  2. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Your sentence says there's only one glass of beer and it goes around the room and only the senior member gets to have a drink.
     
  3. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    I agree with Myridon and wonder if you don't mean
    After everyone had been handed/given a glass of ice-cold beer, a senior member gave a toast.
     
  4. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    This interpretation is so unlikely that I'm sure you really meant "When glasses of ice-cold beer had been passed/handed to everyone..." In that case, both passed and handed are perfectly possible.
     
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Who knows what goes on inside a secret society?
    When the peace pipe had been passed to everyone, the chief made a speech.
    (For some reason, everyone can smoke from the same peace pipe, but I'm not willing to assume that they drink from the same glass of beer.)
     
  6. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    I like your thinking, Myridon! :D
    This thread proves once again that it is absolutely necessary to provide the full context.
    Who are these "members," Wanabee?
     
  7. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Myridon, Keith, and LH!

    It's not an underground secret society:), but a small, celebratory party at a firm after a project is done. Every member is seated around a table at a casual restraunt, and once each of them gets a glass filled with ice-cold beer, one of the seniors gives a toast.

    When a glass of ice-cold beer was [passed, handed] to each member, a senior member gave a toast.

    Any difference between the two verbs? Would you use one over the other consciously?
     
  8. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Given the defects in the sentence (number of glasses and choice of tense) and not knowing how the beer was served (waiter, tray of glasses at the end of the table) it's difficult to prefer either.
     
  9. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    You could use either. :)

    I think I prefer "handed" which suggests to me that someone brought a tray with all the glasses on and walked round giving one to each person. If you say "passed" I would get the impression that the tray was placed at the end of the table and then they passed the glasses along from person to person, taking one each.
     
  10. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Andygc and DonnyB!
     

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