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  5. "フォークとナイフをください。"


Translation:A fork and a knife, please.

May 25, 2017



I know the question is written as "a fork and a knife" (or "forks and knives")...

However, here where I live in England anyway, we always say "a knife and fork" when referring to those two eating utensils as a pair.

The other way round—"a fork and knife"—would sound slightly strange however.

It's like, if you're at the beach and want a spade and also a bucket, you'd say "Can I get a bucket and spade?" rather than saying the two items separately. And it's always that way round; it's never "a spade and bucket".

Just my thoughts. Maybe I'm crazy and just imagining it? Maybe it's different elsewhere or in other countries?

But I know this one probably isn't going to be accepted in my sentence problem reports. It's just annoying that I type it as a pair almost every time without thinking and getting marked as incorrect. So I thought I'd see if people have opinions on this in here. ^^;


It's called "Siamese twins" or "irreversible binomials": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_twins_(linguistics)


Thank you! I didn't know it was an actual thing. Was interesting to me to read that page.

I notice "knife and fork" is in the list on that page, but not "bucket and spade" (nor, thankfully, "spade and bucket").

I feel a bit more justified about having used the report function on that sentence now. I'm not completely crazy after all. ^^


I think you were justified. In the Dutch course, I think they only accept "supply and demand" for "vraag en aanbod," even though the later literally means "demand and supply."

EDIT: and in other sentences in the Japanese course, inversions of the given order in such cases are simply accepted, even apart from irreversible binomial considerations.


Hi there, a native Dutch here, "supply and demand" is definitely more common than the other way around in English isn't it? Well, "aanbod en vraag" simply sounds very unnatural in Dutch, so I can get Duo on this one


Yep, it's said as "supply and demand" in English (or at least in American English.)


Caught me out too. I've reported as "this answer should be accepted". British English aside, Japanese doesn't have articles so it should be acceptable.

Edit: Doing this question again "a fork and knife" is accepted. So the issue is the noun order. Formally, "and" is commutative in English.


AND just to wind you up "pepper and salt" :-)


"Pepper and salt" sounds sssooooo wrong! XD


Pepper and salt is a description of appearance, but quite archaic. Salt and pepper is the condiments. (uk English )


That's interesting! In America we call the black and white/grey hair "salt and pepper." Though, we also call the condiments "salt and pepper." Basically, you won't hear "pepper and salt" over here unless the person has ties to the UK somehow (visits regularly, has relatives there, etc.)


In the US it is definitely the other way around XD. Fork and knife is the natural way to say it while I dont think ive ever heard anyone refer to them as "knife and fork" before now.


There is reasonably strong evidence your experience is not representative of US English as a whole. "Knife and fork" is three times more common than "fork and knife" in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. Granted, the distinction does appear stronger in UK English than in US English. Google NGrams puts the "knife and fork" to "fork and knife" ratio at 7:1 for the US but 30:1 for the UK.


That's very interesting! I had no idea there was such a resource. I can definitely see this, since the US is such a big place with many very different speech patterns depending on where you live. I wonder if "fork and knife" is just a midwest thing. The east and west coasts speak differently ("in line" vs "on line" etc.) and hold the largest population densities.


I'm on the west coast and either order sounds fine to me. Knife and fork seems to roll off my tongue just a tad easier.

Incidentally, for 'in line' vs 'on line', apparently New Yorkers are the only ones who say the latter.


Absolutely! It's "fork and knife" in the states for sure. I've never heard it the other way around before, though the other way around doesn't sound too weird to me.

I'm also west coast. East coasters speak some weird language I can't understand lol (my working theory is that they retained more "British-ness" than those who migrated west.) Like..."orange." Why do they pronounce it "ah-ranj?" Do British people say it that way, too?


That's really interesting! I feel like the opposite is true in the US. It's not extremely weird to say "knife and fork," but "fork and knife" feels much more natural to me.


How do you know when do use と vs も for "and"?


I think と is for listing a set of objects that are just together, not being described, while も is used to say the objects all share a subsequent description. Such as the sentence, "my father and mother are fine," 父も母もお元気です. I may be wrong though.


in these cases, と is used for exclusive listing and も is used for inclusive listing.

「父も母も元気です 」(only use お~ when asking) would be "dad and mom are both fine",

but if you say「父も元気です」it would mean "dad is also fine" (maybe in comparison with your mom?).

While in「フォークとナイフをください」 you only need a fork and knife, nothing else.


Why do they use an imported word for knife? Surely Japanese had knives long before the word was imported?


ナイフ is the kind of knife that goes with a fork. I don't think it has another word in Japanese.

Of course there were other 刃物 (はもの, bladed tools) there, such as 包丁(ほうちょう, big kitchen knife) or はさみ (scissors), but I doubt they were used for eating like ナイフ is. There are of course other kinds of ナイフ too, like the dangerous one you use in camping, or a blunt バターナイフ (butter knife).


フォークとナイフを下さい is not accepted?


A good way to catch english natives off as we would typically say "Knife and Fork."... no idea why in that order though, might just be tradition.


That's less a native language thing and more a dialect thing, speaking as a native English speaker who finds it more natural to say "fork and knife."

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