HomeQ&ACan I leave this food?

Can I leave this food?

6
votes

Imagine a girl who does not want to go on eating a part of her food. What would she ask me? Is "can I leave this food" correct?.

In Spanish, it would be "¿puedo dejar esta comida?". But, in English I am not sure.

Thank you beforehand.

9185 views
updated ABR 8, 2012
posted by nila45
ok just say please excuse me duh! - mol56, ENE 24, 2010
What a good question nila45!! Qué buena pregunta nila45!!! - Benz, ENE 24, 2010
De siempre, preguntas otra buena pregunta. - webdunce, ENE 24, 2010

22 Answers

11
votes

No one would say "May I leave this food" or "Can I leave this food". We would just say "I can't eat anymore". or "Is it OK if I don't eat anymore of this food?". The word "leave" does not convey the proper meaning here. "Do I have to eat this? I'm not hungry anymore." Something like that.

updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by jeezzle
Estoy lleno. Good one Jeezle!!! - Nicole-B, ENE 24, 2010
7
votes

I have to agree with martinj, and disagree with those who say, "no one would say it that way." Yes, they would!

"May I leave this food?" might not be the most commonly said thing at the dinner table, but I assure you that if I, jeezle, Heidita, and all the rest of us were at Nila's home for dinner and a child asked, "May I leave this food?"---

1- the child would have said a perfectly well constructed English sentence.

2- everyone at the table would have known exactly what the child meant.

3- not a single soul present would have corrected the child, for it would be unreasonable to do so.

When I was in elementary school, we had to eat every last bit of everything given to us for lunch before we could go outside and play in the recess that immediately followed our lunch time. The rule given to us was that we were not allowed to "leave food on our tray," and much conversation surrounded my childhood lunches about leaving food in that context.

Here are some Google references on that: Google

updated ENE 24, 2010
edited by Goyo
posted by Goyo
My mom gave me the same intructions cuando yo era joven! Do not leave food on your plate! - wallpaper, ENE 24, 2010
5
votes

I find "May I leave this (food)? quite reasonable.

Alternatives such as "May I be excused?" are not always workable. Perhaps the child wishes not to finish the appetizer or the soup course while the fish, game, cheese and fruit and dessert courses have not even been served yet.

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by samdie
4
votes

Back in the 1950s, children asked: "May I please be excused from the table." Today, children say "Can I go now?" or "Do I have to finish this?"or "Do I have to eat this?"

Usually, but not always, the child will precede this request with one of the following handy phrases (or something similar):

  • I'm full.
  • I'm not hungry any more.
  • I don't want any more.
  • I can't eat any more.
  • My stomach hurts.
  • This is yucky.
  • I hate spinach.

For example: I'm full. Can I go now?

updated ENE 24, 2010
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
4
votes

I agree with Jeezle. We also say in Spanish ,

No puedo más, ¿tengo que comerlo todo?

To me, may I leave this food, sounds like you want to leave the food somewhere in a charity or something.

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by 00494d19
3
votes

In English: May I please leave this? I don't care very much for this. Is it o.k. if I leave it? I can't eat any more is acceptable.

In Spanish: No puedo mass. Puueado dejar lo?

Al depends on a situation (formal or informal settings).

updated ENE 25, 2010
posted by spanelsko
3
votes

Imagine a girl who does not want to go on eating a part of her food. What would she ask me? Is "can I leave this food" correct?

I think that grammatically the phrase is correct, but it does not convey the meaning you are looking for. It makes me think the girl is asking about where the food is located. "Can I leave this food here?" or "Can I leave this food on the counter?"

To make clear that she wants to get away from the food, she would have to add: "Can I leave this food behind?" But if she is simply asking about not eating part of her food, this would be an odd way to ask it.

I would go with Jeezzle's suggestions.

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by chaparrito
3
votes

May I leave this food? would be the correct question. You know the difference between can and may?

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by 00e8f2fa
Well, it is true. In any case, I would say "may" to ask for permission since "can" could mean something similar to "be able to". Is that it? - maremar, ENE 24, 2010
Yes, that is exactly it. You would politely ask, "may I leave this bit?" - 00e8f2fa, ENE 24, 2010
2
votes

If you don't finish what was on your plate, the uneaten portion is referred to as "leftovers" and this has nothing to do with left/right but rather "what you decided to leave (uneaten)". The term "leavings" also survives (although it's not very common anymore).

Of course, in polite society one finishes what one is served (barring, perhaps, sudden illness). It is the individual's responsibility to request a smaller portion (or the omission of some particularly objectionable ingredient) before it is actually served.

updated ENE 25, 2010
posted by samdie
2
votes

Imagine a girl who does not want to go on eating a part of her food. What would she ask me? Is "can I leave this food" correct?.

In English the girl would not normally say anything about the food, but rather declare something about herself: :"I'm full"

"May" is rarely used in modern spoken English.

updated ENE 24, 2010
edited by lorenzo9
posted by lorenzo9
1
vote

OK, you guys that keep on insisting that this isn't said in English are hysterical, given the fact that several of us say we grew up saying it that way.

Martin is in Britain.

I grew up in Indiana, USA.

And we both grew up saying it. I think that fact alone should be a clue that this is, in fact, an expression used in the English language by more than a few people. (Though clearly not everyone has heard it.) smile

updated ENE 25, 2010
posted by Goyo
Same in Spanish Goyo!! Not everybody says it but it's not incorrect... my daughter does!! hahaha but many other kids don't. Gracias por tu comentario! - Benz, ENE 24, 2010
I certainly wasn't contradicting you. If you said it, you said it. But I am curious. Did you actually use that exact phrase? Or was it something very similar? Because I never said or heard it in the context of Nila's question. Just curious. :-) - chaparrito, ENE 24, 2010
I never said it, and never heard it said, but, of course, it is not grammatically wrong and could be used but it would sound very odd here in NW Florida. Though, in context, it certainly could be understood. - webdunce, ENE 24, 2010
One thing, though, I don't remember kids saying this in television shows. So, I think it is not too standard...not for American English at least. - webdunce, ENE 24, 2010
1
vote

I have eaten everything on my plate except for one pea. I hope you don't get offended, but this pea had a worm inside it. May I leave it on the plate please?

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by 00e8f2fa
NO doubt, this is THE answer of the day, jejeje, lol - 00494d19, ENE 24, 2010
:-D I didn't notice that Nila was involving worms, but if I found a worm I think I would just toss my cookies right there! :-D - chaparrito, ENE 24, 2010
hahahaha... muy divertido!!! me has hecho reír!! (you made me laugh) - Benz, ENE 24, 2010
1
vote

Why not Heidita? I hear that sentence from my girl almost everyday... "Estoy llena, no doy más... ¿puedo dejarlo? (what is left on her plate)

The question is: do kids say something like this in English?

(maybe it depends on countries and regions like so many other things)

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by Benz
No they don't. They stop after "I'm full". - lorenzo9, ENE 24, 2010
I see... thank you lorenzo9 for your answer!! Gracias lorenzo9 por tu respuesta! - Benz, ENE 24, 2010
1
vote

In Spanish, "¿puedo dejar esta comida?" is an option. At least, where I live.

And, "no dejes nada en el plato" is a typical sentence that I can still remember from my parents. And, "no vayas a dejar el pimiento".

And my answer used to be this: why not?.

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by nila45
jeje at the "¿Porque no? - webdunce, ENE 24, 2010
1
vote

"May I leave this food?" might not be the most commonly said thing at the dinner table, but I assure you that if I, jeezle, Heidita, and all the rest of us were at Nila's home for dinner and a child asked, "May I leave this food?"---

1- the child would have said a perfectly well constructed English sentence.

2- everyone at the table would have known exactly what the child meant.

3- not a single soul present would have corrected the child, for it would be unreasonable to do so.

Muy pragmatico, Greg;9

I did not say it sounded incorrect, or that this could not be said. I did agree with Jeez at this moment the only one who had commented on this sentence. I still do, it sounds like she is leaving it somewhere in a place behind...

Funny how one can always see how natives disagreewink

We have so far,

persons who think anybody would think this a good way to express herself: 3

and people who think this would not be the way to say it: 8

So far, I agree with the mayority, I think the sentence is perfectly correct, but one would not hear this from a child.

updated ENE 24, 2010
posted by 00494d19
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