an ice cream or the ice cream

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NickJunior

Senior Member
Khmer
Which one of these is correct?

1) Mom, can you buy me an ice cream?

2) Mom, can you buy me the ice cream?

Thanks
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Both are grammatically correct. If the child is asking for the mother to decide, use the first one.
    If the mother already agreed, and the child is reminding her, use the second one.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Speaking as a regular purchaser of treats for smaller people, I have never heard (2) with reference to a commodity like ice cream. Even if the promise was made, it is still "an" ice cream. "You promised to buy me an ice cream!!!!"

    Can you buy me the Avril Lavigne CD? Possible, though she is much more subtle than that.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Speaking as a regular purchaser of treats for smaller people, I have never heard (2) with reference to a commodity like ice cream. Even if the promise was made, it is still "an" ice cream. "You promised to buy me an ice cream!!!!"

    Can you buy me the Avril Lavigne CD? Possible, though she is much more subtle than that.
    Hmmmm.........I wonder who's much more subtle than what.....:rolleyes:

    I can imagine "Buy me that ice cream!" (pointing at the ice cream), but not "Buy me the ice cream!" :eek:
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Said after discussing the choices available-- a cookie, a coke, some ice cream (which is the most expensive choice):

    Mom, can you buy me the ice cream? (Not the cookie or the coke.)
     
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