Talking about steak or steaks I can remember when we had barbeques and the grill was full of steaks my brother would wolf one down then go back for another. He would even try for a third but my mother told him not to be a glutton. So, how can we not have singular and plural when you have a hungry teenager.
Thank you and while the sentence without the article might be correct and common there is nothing wrong with using the article. I might want to emphasize that it is only one steak without context we can not be sure. Maybe he's been sick and hasn't eaten anything for days and I'm so pleased he's finally eating "a steak".
You may be correct that the article can be included but it doesn't sound right. I've never heard anyone pluralize steak before. "They are eating steak and potatoes." not "They are eating steaks and potatoes." "Last night he had steak and potatoes." not "Last night night he had one steak and potatoes." Again, it doesn't sound right to the native eat. The same way no one counts 'chicken' unless they are talking about a specific part of it. "He ate a drumstick and potatoes" or "She ate six chicken wings and potatoes." Otherwise you would just say "He ate chicken and potatoes." You would not say "He ate one chicken and potatoes." What can be written vs what can be said are sometimes 2 different things. I'm just trying to illustrate that if you drop the article, then you'd sound more native.
While I do not deny that you have heard "steak" as uncountable I assure you it is also countable. So, we can say "a steak" or "steaks". But rather than try to convince you; let's go to the Internet with its wealth of information:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steak http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/steak https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steak https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/steak https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/steak
There are others but this is a representative selection of both British and American English.
We do appreciate your contribution to helping the course and look forward to other input.
Again. I was referring to speech more specifically. At least in North America we do not pluralize it in speech except for rare specific sentences. In not and didn't say it was wrong but simply when spoken in conversation, if one wants to sound more natural, you'd say "steak and potatoes" vs "steaks and potatoes" The same way that in the written English language one can NOT write "I'm gonna" that is informal slang not proper grammar. One should write "I'm going to". (I went to French school all my life and always got told about these things in English class as I tended to write the way I spoke which isn't always correct. So although "He eats a steak and potatoes" may perfectly well carry proper grammar and syntax, it does not SOUND natural to the native North American ear. In my humble non-PhD opinion.
"He is eating a steak and potatoes" sounds perfectly fine to my Irish/British/Australian ears, I have to say. I also think it's probably best to leave it as it is, at the sentence makes a bit of a point in Greek, which is that the indefinite article can usually be omitted, unless there can be any confusion or ambiguity over quantity. So you'd probably want to use the indefinite in Greek in this sentence, because the man could conceivably be eating two or three or four steaks. But then if we omitted the indefinite from the En, people would be tempted to omit it from the El too, which I don't think would be quite right. There are a few sentences like this throughout the course where the indefinite might sound a little weird to some people in English, but it kind of needs to be there to clarify what's required in Greek.
Again I understand you are accustomed to that way of referring to "steak". I fully agree that we need to take care not to write every casual expression we say since it would not be correct. Let me assure you that we who volunteer, and are accepted by Duo as contributors and moderators have explored the fine details of the languages both as native speakers but also through our study of the language at universities. I myself, for example, have taught English for many years. Btw I also come from North America.
MMMMMMMM! I LOOOOOOVE that combination. Especially when its mashed potatoes and the gravy is basically just the juice from the steak. My mother used to make that for me ever since I was a child. I like to mix all kinds of things with mashed potatoes! <3 (can you tell I'm hungry?)
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