How to ask for two "breads"?

Bilyana

Senior Member
Bulgarian
As bread is an uncountable noun, I was wondering how one can ask for two loaves of bread. Can I say: Two breads, please following the model: Two coffees, please.

Thank you.
 
  • illuminaut

    Senior Member
    Germany
    You already said it, two loafs of bread. What's wrong with that? Two coffees isn't really correct either (even if some people do order their coffee that way); it should say two cups of coffee.
     

    Bilyana

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Do you think that people use the not-so-correct phrase: Two breads, please?

    I maybe wrong but "loaf" just does not seem to me to be the high frequency word that will be used in such an ordinary situation as buying two "breads".
     

    DavyBCN

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    Do you think that people use the not-so-correct phrase: Two breads, please?

    I maybe wrong but "loaf" just does not seem to me to be the high frequency word that will be used in such an ordinary situation as buying two "breads".

    Perhaps the main difference is that when you ask for two coffees it is usual to assume that you are asking for the drinks in a normal container - cups or mugs. Bread, however, can come in many shapes and sizes and there are many different names depending on the shape and size and your locality - loaves, cobs, baggettes, sticks, batches, etc,etc,etc. So it is necessary to be specific.

    This argument is completely destroyed by other examples however :) , such as we ask for two glasses of wine not two wines, but asking for two red wines is fine.:) So it depends - sorry.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Do you think that people use the not-so-correct phrase: Two breads, please?

    I maybe wrong but "loaf" just does not seem to me to be the high frequency word that will be used in such an ordinary situation as buying two "breads".
    Sorry, but I have never heard anyone say "2 breads" when 2 loaves is meant.

    The only time that "breads" could be used, is if different types of bread is meant.

    For example.
    I have to buy three breads: a loaf of gluten-free for Rose, two loaves of sour-dough rye for Daisy, and a white loaf for Hyacinth.

     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    [...] I maybe wrong but "loaf" just does not seem to me to be the high frequency word that will be used in such an ordinary situation as buying two "breads".
    I suspect the reason for this is that we so rarely buy bread in an interactive shop. Most bread is bought in a supermarket.

    My friendly local bread shop, of course, does offer an interactive shopping experience. There you would hear loaf and loaves mentioned all the time:
    Two crusty loaves and ... .
    Could I have a big seedy loaf and ... .
     

    illuminaut

    Senior Member
    Germany
    Sorry, but I have never heard anyone say "2 breads" when 2 loaves is meant.

    The only time that "breads" could be used, is if different types of bread is meant.

    For example.
    I have to buy three breads: a loaf of gluten-free for Rose, two loaves of sour-dough rye for Daisy, and a white loaf for Hyacinth.
    Even here I would prefer "I have to buy three kinds of bread: ..."
     

    Bilyana

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thank you all.

    I got the idea that "breads" can be an acceptable form in a particular situation; and "loaf" is not at all a rare word :)
     

    Sabelotodo

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    You are correct, Bilyana, loaf is not at all rare. (By the way, the correct plural is loaves, not loafs.) In a restaurant you might ask for another slice of bread, another bread stick, or another piece of bread--depending on the particular form of bread they are serving.
     

    boonognog

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I've been thinking about this, and I believe it may be possible to say "we'd like two coffees and two breads" at a restaurant and have the wait staff understand the request. Of course, this depends on context.

    There is a restaurant nearby that serves a basket of breadsticks to each table. I think if a group of people went to such a restaurant, and they requested "two breads", the wait staff would assume that this meant two baskets of breadsticks, in order to have enough for the group.

    Note that this is completely dependent on context, and that normally the phrase "two (or more) breads" does not make sense.
     

    umm asmaa

    New Member
    USA/eng
    As bread is an uncountable noun, I was wondering how one can ask for two loaves of bread. Can I say: Two breads, please following the model: Two coffees, please.

    Thank you.

    Consider this!

    May I have two loaves of bread please?
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Sorry, but I have never heard anyone say "2 breads" when 2 loaves is meant.

    The only time that "breads" could be used, is if different types of bread is meant.
    I agree with Brioche here. It seems to me that in some restaurants I've been in, a waiter might say something like: The chef is featuring two breads tonight, a cracked poppyseed rosemary roll and a whole wheat walnut. In this instance, you are not being served in loaves, rather in rolls, so "bread" is used in a generic form.

    If I were to go the bakery, I suppose I could order in a variety of ways:

    Option One: I'd like two loaves of olive rosemary, one loaf of pumpernickel, and one loaf of cracked wheat.

    Option Two: I'd like two loaves of olive rosemary, one pumpernickel and one cracked wheat. In this instance, one assumes all of the bread being served is in "loaf" form. After using "loaf" in the first instance (with olive rosemary), it is not necessary to repeat it with the other two types of bread.

    Option Three: I'd like two olive rosemarys, one pumpernickel and one cracked wheat. Here it doesn't matter how the bread is formed (loaf, baguette, boule, etc.) as you are only ordering by the type of bread.

    For example.
    I have to buy three breads: a loaf of gluten-free for Rose, two loaves of sour-dough rye for Daisy, and a white loaf for Hyacinth.
    Keeping up appearances, are we? ;)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top