How do you like your coffee/steak? Why "your?"

wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.

While preparing a meal for your guest one can ask them:

How do you like your coffee/steak?


Does one always have to say the word "your?"

Could one omit it and say:
How do you like coffee/steak?

Thank you
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    You could use 'the' instead, but it is less clear.
    How would you like the coffee/steak? - the implication is that this is the steak I am preparing for you, as opposed to any other steak out there.

    It is also possible to say
    How do you like the steak?
    but it means you are already eating it and I am fishing for a compliment.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I asked the question because when I translated the question into Polish the resulting translation with the Polish counterpart of the word "your" sounded a bit strange.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I would say so.

    I can’t claim to speak for AE speakers, but I think without the ‘done’, it may be taken to mean “Do you like steak?”. Not in BE though.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hello.

    While preparing a meal for your guest one can ask them:

    How do you like your coffee/steak?


    Does one always have to say the word "your?"

    Could one omit it and say:
    How do you like coffee/steak?

    Thank you
    If you omit the "your", and ask a general question, you might get the answer: I like steak a lot but I hate the taste of coffee.
    If you include the "your" but it is clear the context is "How would you like me to prepare your coffee/steak?" then you will get answers like "cream and sugar/medium rare".
    If you wait till your guest has started the meal, you may get "Just right" or "Where did you get this lovely steak?":)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I can’t claim to speak for AE speakers, but I think without the ‘done’, it may be taken to mean “Do you like steak?”. Not in BE though.
    For American English, I think I agree with you.
    How do you like your steak? I like it medium rare.
    How do you like steak? I like it more than chicken.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "How do you like your coffee?" can mean two things, depending on the context:

    1) Someone is going to make a cup of coffee for you, and asks the question so that he/she can produce a cup that you will like. The "your" is included because the question is about how you like your coffee to be prepared. The question implies any and all the attributes of a cup of coffee: Strong/weak; with sugar/no sugar, etc. "Milk, no sugar" is a typical reply. We coud change the pronoun and say: "He drinks his coffee with a shot of brandy."

    2) You already have your cup of coffee. The question really means "Are you enjoying your coffee?", "Is it a good cup of coffee?"
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "How" often means "in what way". "How" often means "how much". It depends on the words around it.

    How do you like Boston? (how much)

    How do you want your steak (cooked)? (in what way)
    How do you like your steak (cooked)? (in what way) (this means "usually", not "this steak")

    How do you like steak? (how much)
    How do you like steak cooked (in what way)
     
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