a table = a seat = several seats?

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fdk47

Senior Member
Tagalog
I go to a restaurant with my friend, and find that all seats are full. We want to walk around and kill time and come back in 30 minutes.

I can say "Could you save us a seat? We will be back in 30 minutes.", or, should I say "Could you save us seats?"

I think I can say "Could you save us a table? " (please let me know if I'm wrong.) but not sure if I can say "a seat" in this situation instead, because we are two people so we need two seats.

Thank you.
 
  • fdk47

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    Thank you, SwissPete. Would that change if you were the staff at the restaurant to say to your customer "We can save you two seats."?
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would generally ask for "a table for two" - I would not ask for "seats" unless "table" didn't apply for some reason (for example, seats at a sushi bar).
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To expand a bit on Waltern's post above:

    Note that there's a cultural gap here (not to mention a former thread on the subject: How to ask if a seat is occupied or not?)

    In some countries, it's more common for patrons of a restaurant to share tables than in others.

    Normally, we do not share tables at restaurants in the U.S. (not even at McDonald's)

    Thus, we probably would say "save us a table" if that indeed was where we were going to sit, rather that at the bar or at a counter.
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    I would generally ask for "a table for two" - I would not ask for "seats" unless "table" didn't apply for some reason (for example, seats at a sushi bar).
    For some reason, that's what I had in mind, thus my suggestion of "two seats". "A table for two" makes more sense.
     

    fdk47

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    Thank you waltern and sdgraham. Would that mean that native English speakers in the U.S. ( and perhaps in the U.K. ) would generally say "a table" both as a customer and as a staff at a restaurant?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you waltern and sdgraham. Would that mean that native English speakers in the U.S. ( and perhaps in the U.K. ) would generally say "a table" both as a customer and as a staff at a restaurant?
    Yes - unless, as noted, the establishment had tables that could be shared. They do exist - I ate at one a few days ago, at one end of a large table. There were people at the other end. However, it is an informal place where the only issue was "How many?" - the distinction between table and seats never arose:D
     
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