See to it / ensure / make sure

brandonkim

Senior Member
Korean-Korea
Hi,

simple and quick question,

Can you use all of the following three sentences in the restaurant in the same meaning?
Also Do they all sounds natural in normal speech?

" SEE TO IT THAT the food is non greasy"
" ensure that the food is non greasy"
"make sure that the food is non greasy"

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wouldn't use any of them, especially the first, if I didn't want trouble from the kitchen. Try to remember you're talking to someone who can drop your food on the floor before it goes into the pan.

    "Could you ask the chef to use very little oil, please?"
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    They all have the same meaning, but "see to it" sounds a little more officious than the other two, which are more polite. I'd say no.3 myself.

    I'm assuming that these are instructions from the manager or the chef, not from a customer? Otherwise, follow Copyright's advice in #2.
     
    Last edited:

    brandonkim

    Senior Member
    Korean-Korea
    Thank you for kind explanation and comments . Copyright and Keith Bradford.

    As for "See to it", I saw this expression from Utube ESL teacher(I assume her to be a native speaker) teaching useful expressions which can be used in the restaurant.
    i.e)" SEE TO IT THAT the food is non greasy", "SEE TO IT THAT the food is non spicy" etc...


    but on the other hands, from the net searching by myself, I found "SEE TO IT" could imply a sense of formality and abstract, which is non causal and non direct. So that's why I was confused if it was proper or not in causal speech in the restaurant.
    Thank you for the explanation between SEE TO IT and the other.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "See to it that <whatever>" is the sort of statement an imperious boss might use with a low-level employee, either right from the beginning or when something hasn't gone well the first time.

    See to it you're on time for the meeting tomorrow.
    See to it that it's done right this time.


    In a restaurant, you're asking for special attention, so you're going to want to be much more polite than that.
     

    brandonkim

    Senior Member
    Korean-Korea
    "See to it that <whatever>" is the sort of statement an imperious boss might use with a low-level employee, either right from the beginning or when something hasn't gone well the first time.

    See to it you're on time for the meeting tomorrow.
    See to it that it's done right this time.


    In a restaurant, you're asking for special attention, so you're going to want to be much more polite than that.
    Thanks a lot for your clarifying it.
    I see the differences now. Thanks. :):thumbsup:
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    New question added to previous discussion.
    Cagey, moderator

    Coronavirus: How to ensure you and others can stay safe during Memorial Day barbecues

    “We are looking at moving around a little bit more and having these barbecues. If we’re doing them, make sure that we’re doing the barbecues outdoors with as much space as we possibly can," said Bromage.

    Coronavirus: How to ensure you and others can stay safe during Memorial Day barbecues

    I read other threads related to these two words and that made me think that this "ensure" and this "make sure" have the same meaning.
    Is there any difference in anything besides meaning between the two?
    Does ensure sound more formal?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    'ensure' is more formal – which is an important difference, as we would therefore use the words in different contexts.
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    'ensure' is more formal – which is an important difference, as we would therefore use the words in different contexts.
    I see. It's better not to use ensure in an informal context like everyday conversation?
     
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