Water with/without gas, sparkling, fizzy, ...

tomtombp

Senior Member
Hungarian
The waiters usually ask back "with or without gas?" if someone is asking for a mineral water here. "With gas" means carbonated, "without gas" is uncarbonated.
However, one of my friends was not understood in the USA when asked for mineral water "with gas."
What was he supposed to use:
sparkling
carbonated
soda
anything else?

Is with/without gas understood in BrE/AuE regions? Is it just used in non-English EU countries?
 
  • Broccolicious

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi there

    We wouldn't say 'with / without gas' in BrE. The most common terms are 'still' and 'sparkling'. You might occasionally hear 'fizzy' instead of 'sparkling', but that would be very informal.

    We don't really say 'soda water' for sparkling mineral water - in fact, I seem to think that's something else entirely, but could be wrong!

    Broc
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Anyone ever heard "with/without gas" outside of Hungary? Other non-English countries? I'm sure I was asked it abroad too but I can't recall where it happened.
     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've never heard it in English, Tom. (I have heard con o sin gas in Spain/Spanish, which means exactly the same thing.) Gas has unfortunate connotations in English, as it means 'flatulence'.
     

    miss.meri91

    Senior Member
    English - South Africa
    Down here on the bottom of Africa we'd use sparkling water in reference to fizzy water (the waiter would look at you funny if you asked for fizzy water), but cool drinks/cold drinks in reference to fizzy drinks such as Coke etc. I find it fascinating how all these different countries that 'inherited' English from the same place have such different ways of saying things!
     

    CORALINNA

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brasil
    What is more common to say?

    1) Sparkling water
    2) Fizzy water
    3) carbonated water
    4) soda water
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    All are OK. Carbonated and Soda water generally mean that the water has had the 'fizz' added artificially. You wouldn't use these terms when referring to naturally sparkling water.
    (Recently, though, I have noticed that many so-called, naturally sparkling, waters have been doctored)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    This is going to vary widely by region and exactly what kind of water you have in mind.
    In some places, "soda water" means the same as "soda pop", i.e. I know people who say that Coca-cola is a type of soda water.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    As the others have said, all are fine. I would venture to say "sparkling water" is probably the most widespread for a drink like "perrier". "Fizzy water" I hadn't seen before coming to Europe, but I believe it's very widely used in the UK. 3) and 4) might cause some confusion with some people in some areas where they might give you another type of drink (if you wanted Perrier, San Pelegrino etc.)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    A great deal depends both on locale and context. Here, "soda" can refer to any aerated soft (nonalcoholic) drink. But if someone asks for a "Scotch and soda", the latter word specifically means aerated water, not cola or ginger ale or some other beverage.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I have a question regarding "sparkling water." A Wikipedia article for "carbonated water" gives the following:
    "Carbonated water (also known as club soda, soda water, sparkling water, seltzer, or fizzy water) is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, a process that causes the water to become effervescent."

    So should I say "sparkling mineral water" to make sure there's no misunderstanding (if I want mineral water, that is)? merquiades suggests it wouldn't be necessary. So which way is it?
     

    catlady60

    Senior Member
    English-US (New York City)
    What is more common to say?

    1) Sparkling water
    2) Fizzy water
    3) carbonated water
    4) soda water
    It depends on the part of the US.

    I hear soda water in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York; another term in my region is seltzer.
    Carbonated water is used in most of the US, especially in the Western states, as far as I know. Sparkling water is a fancy word for carbonated/soda water or seltzer, a term beverage companies use to justify overcharging consumers. Notice that sparkling water and seltzer are the exact same thing, the only difference being that the former costs a lot more.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I have a question regarding "sparkling water." A Wikipedia article for "carbonated water" gives the following:
    "Carbonated water (also known as club soda, soda water, sparkling water, seltzer, or fizzy water) is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, a process that causes the water to become effervescent."

    So should I say "sparkling mineral water" to make sure there's no misunderstanding (if I want mineral water, that is)? merquiades suggests it wouldn't be necessary. So which way is it?
    Do you want mineral water with bubbles or without bubbles? :) "Sparkling water", ordered in a restaurant, will get you a bottle of brand name sparkling mineral water such as Perrier, for example. You will get the whole bottle, along with a glass to fill from the bottle. I'm not sure if that is what you intended to order. If so, "sparkling water" will get you what you want, in my experience.

    Ordering "club sode" will get you a tumbler of club soda with no bottle. This would be a typical order in a bar. Ordering "soda water" will usually get you a large glass of soda water the size of a soft drink. This is not as common an order, in my experience. In the days of soda fountains it would have been understood but you might have to explain yourself these days. In many restaurants it wouldn't even be an option; you would have to choose between tap water, still water (bottled uncarbonated water) and sparkling water.

    Many self-serve soda fountains in U.S. fast food restaurants have a tab for filling your own glass with pure soda water. I love this feature.
     
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