Hello everyone. I’m currently living in the U.S. I’m a Japanese native speaker.
Now I have a question. If I go to the buffet style restaurant and want to be
served some breads..meats, vegi... which would be the best way for me to say to
staffs. 1.One potate and a piece(?) of tomato, please. 2.I want one
potate......, please. 3.Can I get one potate.....? 4.Can I have one potate....?
5.May I be served one potate....? I am a married woman and in my 30s. Thank you
for your help🥰
Hi Jasmine :)
If I were in that situation I would either use ‘Could I get...’ or May I have...’ I’m not a hundred percent sure about what would be most natural in the US, so I’ll just explain for the UK!
In British English ‘Could I get one/a/some potato and one/a/some tomato please?’ would be a nice combination of polite (‘could I’) and friendly/colloquial (‘get’)
Your tone and intonation is actually the main thing that makes it sound ‘polite’ to the listener in requests.
However if I wanted to be more clearly polite make I would use ‘May I have...’
I realise it seems strange to suggest ‘a/one/some’ potato. In that context or situation (being served at a buffet, being served by a friend at a dinner table etc) it is a sort of shortened version of ‘one portion’ or a portion’. E.g
Could I have a (portion of) potato please?
May I have a (slice of) mushroom (pizza) and a (slice of) margarita please?
Hope that helps in some way!