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Worktop/counter etc. in informal language - for native English speakers. In Danish we call most level surfaces that are used for eating, writing, working at etc. “tables”, regardless of their having legs or not. So the surface in the kitchen that one uses when preparing the food we call a “kitchen table”. If I understand it correctly, in British English this surface is either called a “worktop” or a “work surface” and in US English it’s called a “kitchen counter”. Is that correct? (you only have to answer what you call it in your native country). But what do you normally say when you talk about this surface informally? Let’s say you are in the kitchen and a friend of yours is carrying a bag of groceries. You then say to your friend “Just put the bag on the ______”. Which word would you use to fill in the blank? Thanks for your help!
Oct 28, 2017 10:22 AM
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Answers · 16
I would say 'just put the bag on the counter.' Or (lazy way) 'just put the bag on the side.''Worktop' too is possible, although I would probably say 'counter' more often. 'Work surface', I have to say, I've never heard it in a home kitchen context. In restaurants, as Christine wrote above it is quite common.
October 28, 2017
In the US, one would say, "put the groceries on the counter." Counters also exist in a store (e.g., display counters where items for sale are placed) or in an office, referring to flat surfaces that are not free-standing with legs. Typically a "counter" is wider than a "shelf" and is neither very high or low. A "work surface" is a very general term that applies to the top of anything where "work" can be done. For example, in a restaurant, a boss could instruct the employees in the kitchen "to clean all work surfaces at the end of each day." This would apply not only to the "counters" on which plates of food are assembled, but also to the surface of a stove or a wooden chopping block where meat is cut. No one would say, "put the groceries on the work surface" when referring to doing so in a kitchen.
October 28, 2017
I'd say "work surface". It's a bit of a mouthful, but at least it's clear what you mean. And you're right that "table" can't be used here - a table is a free-standing piece of furniture.
October 28, 2017
I think here it would be 'Kitchen Bench'.
October 28, 2017
You are correct. We call it a "counter" here in the US. I don't think there is a generic term for "surface top" though; we simply call it what it is.
October 28, 2017
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Chinese (Mandarin), Danish, English, German, Swedish
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