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namlan

Banned
Vietnam
- Mary is making fruit shake and drinking tomato and carrot juice.

- Can I say "a" in front of "fruit shake"? will it change the meaning of the sentence?

Thanks a lot!

NamLan
 
  • namlan

    Banned
    Vietnam
    Dear you guys!

    - As far as I know, FRUIT SHAKE is an uncount noun, so why do we use "a" here? it means "a glass of fruit shake"?

    Thanks a lot!

    NamLan
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    You make a very interesting point Namlan. I agree with the others, the sentence requires the indefinite article before "fruit shake," and yet we would not say "Mary is making a tomato juice." I don't have an answer for you. I am interested in what the others have to say.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Dear you guys!

    - As far as I know, FRUIT SHAKE is an uncount noun, so why do we use "a" here? it means "a glass of fruit shake"?

    Thanks a lot!

    NamLan
    "Shake" is a singular noun and "fruit" is an adjective. It's no different than:

    "Mary is making a chocolate shake" OR
    "Mary is making a strawberry shake"

    Why do you think that "fruit shake" is an uncountable noun, Namlan?
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've never heard of a fruit shake :eek:... but I agree that it's a very countable noun, just like a milk shake.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If fruit shake is a known item the article is not needed. However, if Mary is going to make a portion for one person the article would make the point clear.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    If fruit shake is a known item the article is not needed. However, if Mary is going to make a portion for one person the article would make the point clear.
    So you'd say that "Sam is going to make milk shake" (a known item) is a normal way of expressing it? It certainly wouldn't be in my neck of the woods.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    If fruit shake is a known item the article is not needed. However, if Mary is going to make a portion for one person the article would make the point clear.
    I agree with Harry. It is possible to say "a fruit shake" or "fruit shake". Yes, with the article, it's clear that just one fruit shake is being made.

    I am making coffee [possibly more than one, maybe a whole pot!].
    I am making a coffee [just one cup].
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I agree with James that it sounds very odd to say "Mary is making fruit shake" (or milk shake). Both require the article to sound right. But why would shake be countable if juice, tea, and coffee are not?

    Mary is making a juice/milk shake.
    Mary is making jasmine tea.
    Mary is making coffee.

    Emma, does it really sound natural to you to say "Mary is making fruit shake"?
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with James that it sounds very odd to say "Mary is making fruit shake" (or milk shake). Both require the article to sound right. But why would shake be countable if juice, tea, and coffee are not?

    Mary is making a juice/milk shake.
    Mary is making jasmine tea.
    Mary is making coffee.

    Emma, does it really sound natural to you to say "Mary is making fruit shake"?
    Yes, it does. Maybe this is a (largely) BE thing.

    Where's Mary?
    In the kitchen, making fruit shake for ten kids.

    Where's Mary?
    In the kitchen, making fruit shake for Alan.

    Where's Mary?
    In the kitchen, making a fruit shake for Alan.

    There was another thread recently about "a tea" or "a coffee", I think.
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Yes, we may have found another AE/BE difference. Although I notice that Harry in post #8 is from the US, but he seems to be agreeing with you. I don't understand what he means by "a known item."
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Although I have never heard of fruit shake myself, it must be a common term, known item so to speak, and if you make it with extra fruiit or make it with the article a, it is going to be understood that you are making more than one portion of fruit shake just as you make malted milk--"What are you making?' 'I'm making malted milk'. 'I'll take some of it.' 'Oh, sorry, I meant to say I'm making a malted milk. There is none for you."
    I ran this fruit shake term by my wife who says it sounds like an Orange Julius.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    "Mary is making fruit shake" sounds fine to me. It treats "fruit shake" as a category of food. Similarly, "Mary is making fruit jam" and "I am making soup."

    Clearly, there are differences in usage, but I don't think it is an AE/BE difference.

    Addition: I think Harry may be correct; the usage may depend partly on familiarity with 'fruit shake' as a type of drink.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Let's be honest here... the original sentence is horrible in the first place - "Mary is making fruit shake and drinking tomato and carrot juice":eek: What exactly does that mean?

    The fact that Mary is drinking the juice leads one to think that she is making herself a fruit shake (smoothie, whatever). And, frankly, whether she's making enough for a party seems to be moot - if so, she's making shakes with fruit flavouring. If only for herself, she's making a fruit shake.

    If two friends go to a place where shakes are made, there is no doubt in my mind that they would order like this:

    "I'll have a chocolate shake, please, and my friend will have a fruit shake" OR
    "We'll have a chocolate and a fruit shake please" OR
    "We're both going to have fruit shakes please"

    If this is an AE/BE difference, then in BE, I assume the conversation would be:

    "I'll have chocolate shake, please, and my friend will have fruit shake"
    OR
    "We'll have chocolate and fruit shake please" OR
    "We're both going to have fruit shake please"

    Is this how they'd be ordered in BE?:confused:
     

    Black Sheep

    Member
    England, English
    Let's be honest here... the original sentence is horrible in the first place - "Mary is making fruit shake and drinking tomato and carrot juice":eek: What exactly does that mean?

    The fact that Mary is drinking the juice leads one to think that she is making herself a fruit shake (smoothie, whatever). And, frankly, whether she's making enough for a party seems to be moot - if so, she's making shakes with fruit flavouring. If only for herself, she's making a fruit shake.

    If two friends go to a place where shakes are made, there is no doubt in my mind that they would order like this:

    "I'll have a chocolate shake, please, and my friend will have a fruit shake" OR
    "We'll have a chocolate and a fruit shake please" OR
    "We're both going to have fruit shakes please"

    If this is an AE/BE difference, then in BE, I assume the conversation would be:

    "I'll have chocolate shake, please, and my friend will have fruit shake"
    OR
    "We'll have chocolate and fruit shake please" OR
    "We're both going to have fruit shake please"

    Is this how they'd be ordered in BE?:confused:
    Definitely not, Dimcl. We use the indefinite article for one fruit shake, and the plural for fruit shakes if more than one are ordered.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    I disagree. It is perfectly possible to say "fruit shake" with or without the definite article for one drink or the food item in general.

    I would like a fruit shake.
    I would like fruit shake.
    We would like fruit shakes.
    We would like two fruit shakes.
    We would like fruit shake.

    I think we have established that, with two exceptions, AE speakers prefer to use the article, whereas, with one exception, BE speakers can do without.

    Edit: actually, I think that our North American speakers are evenly split on the point, having looked through the thread again.
     

    miyamoto_musashi

    Banned
    Canada, English
    "Mary is making fruit shake" sounds fine to me. It treats "fruit shake" as a category of food. Similarly, "Mary is making fruit jam" and "I am making soup."

    Clearly, there are differences in usage, but I don't think it is an AE/BE difference.

    Addition: I think Harry may be correct; the usage may depend partly on familiarity with 'fruit shake' as a type of drink.
    Really? I don't think so. Jam and bread, along with soup, are frequently used in an "uncountable" capacity. This is not really the case with milkshakes, or fruit shakes, in my view.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Canadian vote is that we have to use either the plural "s" or the indefinite article, then.

    What if one were making a great big jug of fruit shake or milk shake to put in the fridge to keep cold until the barbeque later that day? Would you consider saying "I've made fruit shake", then? Or would it have to be "A jug of..."?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    That's an interesting question. I can't imagine preparing a jug of shakes, but I suppose I would say, "I've made a gallon of fruit shake mix."

    Your question got me thinking about something else. I would say "fruit punch" wiithout the article or the plural, but "fruit shakes" fall into a different category for me. I wonder if it is this idea that shakes are made on the spot, for the most part, and are not made up in batches and stored, at least at home. Shakes tend to separate (or melt) if left to sit for any length of time.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The Canadian vote is that we have to use either the plural "s" or the indefinite article, then.

    What if one were making a great big jug of fruit shake or milk shake to put in the fridge to keep cold until the barbeque later that day? Would you consider saying "I've made fruit shake", then? Or would it have to be "A jug of..."?
    I'm with JamesM on this one - that jug of ice cream and flavouring would be pretty mushy by the time the barbecue rolled around!:)

    To my mind, a milkshake is an individual drink. It's not something that I could see making in a large quantity, all in the same jug, for a number of people. And, if that were physically possible (assuming that my blender was was gigantic), when I offer my individual guests a drink, they would each be receiving a milkshake.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Right. The American position is clear. Perhaps it is something to do with the physical properties of the drink. Thinking about it, I have actually never heard of "fruit shake"! I just thought it was a new term for fruit smoothie/y.

    Orange or blueberry, everyone?
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    - Mary is making fruit shake and drinking tomato and carrot juice.

    - Can I say "a" in front of "fruit shake"? will it change the meaning of the sentence?
    Never in the course of human endeavour has so much been written about so little.
    Yes, NamLan, you can say "a" in front of "fruit shake" without (significantly) changing the meaning of the sentence. The insignificant difference will be understood differently depending on whether your reader is American, British or from Mars, so you will need to decide for yourself whether Mary is making a drink for herself, making a jug full of drinks for the bar-BQ, or making the ripe fruit fall off the tree. I suggest you toss a coin: heads, you put in an "a," tails, you leave it out. :)

    There seems not to be any other reliable determinant.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I agree with James and Dimcl, for the simple reason that to me the word "shake" (as opposed to "milk" or "juice") does not refer to a substance but to a portion.

    Words that work like "milk" and "juice":

    water*, coffee*, tea*, beer*, flour, sugar, honey, rice

    (The words with an asterisk can also be countable in specific contexts, as we discussed recently.)

    Words that work like "shake":

    beverage, drink, sandwich, hamburger, steak, brownie, cookie

    Even if I were making 1000 hamburgers, I would say "I'm making hamburgers" and not "I'm making hambuger."

    By the way, Emma, I treat "smoothie" just like "shake." I would never say "I'm making smoothie."
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    But Elroy, it really isn't that simple. We don't actually know what this girl is doing.

    Imagine you are working in a butcher's shop, and today, you're in charge of the mincing machine. Your colleagues bring you all the off-cuts of meat, bits of fat and sinew, the odd owl turd, and you put it all in the mincer. When your wife telephones, you tell her 'I'm making hamburger.'

    Do we know that this girl is not similarly occupied?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    But Elroy, it really isn't that simple. We don't actually know what this girl is doing.

    Imagine you are working in a butcher's shop, and today, you're in charge of the mincing machine. Your colleagues bring you all the off-cuts of meat, bits of fat and sinew, the odd owl turd, and you put it all in the mincer. When you're wife telephones, you tell her 'I'm making hamburger.'

    Do we know that this girl is not similarly occupied?
    I don't know of anyone who would say, "She's making shake", even if she were pouring mix into a large shake machine in a fast food kitchen. As Elroy says, shakes are the individual portions, not the mix. (I thought that was an excellent distinction, by the way, Elroy. I wish I could have been as clear.)

    "She's making hamburger" as the meat makes sense to me, but Elroy specifically said that he was making hamburgers, the sandwiches, not hamburger, the meat. I certainly wouldn't say that the girl standing over the grill at the fast food restaurant is making "hamburger" (singular).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Imagine you are working in a butcher's shop, and today, you're in charge of the mincing machine. Your colleagues bring you all the off-cuts of meat, bits of fat and sinew, the odd owl turd, and you put it all in the mincer. When you're wife telephones, you tell her 'I'm making hamburger.'
    Good point, but I don't think that "shake" can be used that way.

    Or at least I wouldn't use it that way. :) No matter how many times I say it, I just can't get "I'm making shake" to sound right. :D
     
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