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Lesson Transcript

Finally, you're at the table and at your seat. Now it's time to order!
In today's lesson, we'll cover how to ask for a menu and then order your food and drinks.
Normally, to get the waiter's attention you can just raise your hand and simply say excuse me, and then ask for a menu by saying, can I get a menu please? You don't usually have to ask for a menu, since they will give you one when you come in, but just in case they don't, it's a good phrase to remember. So once again, Can I get a menu please?
When they seat you, they may ask for your drink order right away. This is because drinks are the same usually anywhere you go. If you want you can order your drink right away by saying a Coke, please. Once again - a Coke, please. Of course in that phrase, Coke was just an example. If you want an alcoholic drink, they will card you at your table. Of course, if you want more time, you can say, can you give us a minute? In this case, they will give you more than a minute, but it implies that you need some time to decide. Can you give us a minute?
You can look at the menu and decide what you want to eat while the waiter or waitress brings your drinks.
Typically, you will see an appetizers, main, desserts, drinks on the menu. The main dishes may also be categorized depending on the restaurant (chicken, beef, fish, pasta etc.) You don't have to order from every category of course. Appetizers are the dishes you have before the main course, therefore are smaller. However, as mentioned previously, since portions are bigger in the States, you might find yourself well over half full from the appetizer!
Once you have decided, you can call the waiter or waitress, and then say your order. You can say something along the lines of can I get the chicken with fries please? Once again - can I get the chicken with fries please? Can I get is actually a question, however, in English, question forms are often used to make polite requests. So once again, can I get the chicken with fries please? And of course, chicken with fries is just an example here.
Now, if you know Starbucks, you would assume that people in the States like to customize their things. Restaurants are the same. Many times you may have the option of switching perhaps the fries with a salad instead. They may ask you in this case, What kind of dressing would you like? Once again, What kind of dressing would you like? Believe it or not, just like the drinks, the dressings may also be standard as well. By standard there are typically, blue cheese, caeser, French, Italian, ranch, and vinaigrette. It's hard to describe the flavor of all of them, but blue cheese, caeser, French and ranch tend to be creamier, while Italian and vinaigrette are lighter.
Okay, now to close out today's lesson, we'd like you to practice what you've just learned. I'll say the phrase or sentence, and why don't you try saying it out loud? Good luck everybody!
- Can I get a menu please.
- A Coke, please.
- Can you give us a minute?
- Can I get the chicken with fries please?
All right, that's going to do it for today! See you all soon!