a / the big mac sandwich.

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Joe_Learn

Senior Member
Arabic
What is the difference in meaning between using ‘a’ and ‘the’ here?

I want the big mac sandwich.
I want a big mac sandwich.

I want the turkey sandwich.
I want a turkey sandwich.

I can see the difference in the ‘turkey’ example, where a indicates an unknown turkey sandwich and the a specific one, but I am not sure about the 'big mac’ example.

Thank you.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I can see the difference in the ‘turkey’ example, where a indicates an unknown turkey sandwich and the a specific one,
    That's not the difference that it indicates. Let me give you examples of questions to which you could answer with those statements.

    Situation 1
    A - There's a chicken sandwich and a turkey sandwich. Which would you like?
    B - I want the turkey sandwich.

    Situation 2
    A - Hungry? What do you want to eat?
    B - I want a turkey sandwich.

    The same principle applies to the Big Mac example.
     

    Joe_Learn

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Thanks a lot for responding.

    Situation 1
    A - There's a chicken sandwich and a turkey sandwich. Which would you like?
    B - I want the turkey sandwich.
    Does the use of ‘a’ here indicate that there is one of each? And ‘the’ is the one I choose?

    Situation 2
    A - Hungry? What do you want to eat?
    B - I want a turkey sandwich.
    Does ‘a’ here indicate any turkey sandwich or one turkey sandwich (as in I want one turkey sandwich)?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    This is getting a bit far afield.

    In the U.S. we are likely to use either 'a' or 'the' regarding an item on the menu and not think much about it (assuming the item is singular.:))

    If you want more than one, you have to say so.
     
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