some/a potato salad

luneface

Senior Member
Spanish
I would like to know what is the correct word to complete the next sentence. "We have an apple and ____ potato salad in your lunch box" What is the correct A or SOME? When do I need to use each one? Because salad is countable or uncountable.

Thank you so much
 
  • wolfram_beta

    Senior Member
    English - American
    At least in American English, "potato salad" would never take the indefinite article. You would eat potato salad, or some potato salad, but not "a" potato salad. Potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, etc., are generally considered mixtures. You wouldn't use "a" with any of them. However, other dishes like the Waldorf or Caesar Salad would take "a" ("Waiter, I'll have the Caesar salad, please.").
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    At least in American English, "potato salad" would never take the indefinite article. You would eat potato salad, or some potato salad, but not "a" potato salad. Potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, etc., are generally considered mixtures. You wouldn't use "a" with any of them. However, other dishes like the Waldorf or Caesar Salad would take "a" ("Waiter, I'll have the Caesar salad, please.").
    I basically agree, but while I would almost always say "I made potato salad," I wouldn't consider it unnatural to use the indefinite article there.

    As to the OP's question, however, "some" is surely the intended correct response.
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    I would like to know what is the correct word to complete the next sentence. "We have an apple and ____ potato salad in your lunch box" What is the correct A or SOME? When do I need to use each one? Because salad is countable or uncountable.
    You're right. Both are ok.


    I think it depends on how you consider the question.

    If you talk about what you prepare at home, a mixture (as Wolfram comments on #2), then it is 'some'.

    But if you consider it as a unit - an 'item', or a product for sale in a supermarket or in a restaurant -, you can use 'a'.

    'I want a potato salad. Do you have any?'


    Besides, here the name is 'salad', not potato, and you would treat it as you would by itself; either as a unit ('I want a salad'), or as a substance ('I want some salad').
     

    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    This is how we would use it in Spanish, but it seems it's not the same thing in English according to what native speakers say.
    However I think there could be some cases where it could take an indefinite article, when we talk about types of potato salad. Am I right?
     
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