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Preposition - Of - Part 2

Preposition - Of - Part 2

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Preposition "of" part 2


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn to use some common expressions which use the preposition "of". In a previous lesson, we learned several ways of using the preposition "of". This lesson will concentrate on special expressions related to food. Some foods are referred to with special words. For example, we can say "I want some corn.", but corn grows in a specific way; it grows on a cob. When we talk about that corn on the cob, we call it "an ear of corn". Some food might commonly be bought or ordered in a restaurant in a specific way. For example, pork ribs are generally ordered as a "slab of ribs" or a "half slab of ribs". If you go to a bakery, you might want to order bread to take home with you – in that case, you might want to order a "loaf of bread". But you might want only enough bread to eat in the bakery – "a slice of bread", perhaps. Some portions are easy to figure out – "a slice of pie" or a "piece of cake", for example. But others are specific to the food and have to be used in a specific way.
Let us listen to the dialog. In this dialog, Jennifer and David are talking about David's office party. The people from David's office all went to a restaurant together and brought their spouses.

Jennifer: I do not remember – did you order a slab of ribs?
David: No, I didn't. Mr. Johnson ordered a slab of ribs. I ordered a slice of pizza.
Jennifer: Who ordered a filet of fish?
David: I think Mrs. Johnson did. Mrs. Smith ordered a cup of coffee.
Jennifer: Yes! Mrs. Smith always orders coffee! I was surprised she did not order a pound of coffee!
David: Who had an order of fries?
Jennifer: Mrs. Wilson, I think.
David: What did you have?
Jennifer: I had a slice of chocolate pie.

Jennifer starts by asking David "Did you have a slab of ribs?". She might also have asked "Did you have a half slab of ribs?". He would have understood if she had asked "Did you have ribs?", but the amount of ribs would be indefinite, whereas "a slab" and a "half slab" are definite amounts of ribs.
David says "No, I didn't. Mr. Johnson ordered a slab of ribs. I ordered a slice of pizza.". David might also have said "I ordered a piece of pizza." or "I ordered some pizza.". Either way is understandable, but pizza is generally eaten "by the slice".
Jennifer then asks "Who ordered a filet of fish?". While she could have asked "Who ordered fish?" or "Who ordered a piece of fish?", a "filet of fish" signifies a specific way of cutting the fish, so these other expressions are not as specific as "a filet of fish".
David says "I think Mrs. Johnson did. Mrs. Smith ordered a cup of coffee.". When Mrs. Smith ordered her coffee, she probably asked for "a cup of coffee", but "some coffee" would have been understandable, or even "coffee" only would have been understandable. However, people usually ask for "a cup of coffee".
Jennifer answers by saying "Yes! Mrs. Smith always orders coffee! I was surprised she did not order a pound of coffee!". Of course, Jennifer was making a joke. A person could never seriously order "a pound of coffee" at an office party in a restaurant. "a pound of coffee" would be dry coffee or coffee beans in a canister or a sealed bag; it would not be the familiar "cup of coffee" ready to drink.
David asks "Who had an order of fries?". Of course, David could have asked "Who had French fries?" or "Who ordered French fries?", but the way he said it is more common. Many side dishes are referred to as "an order of …". David might have asked "Who had an order of onion rings?" or "Who had an order of mixed vegetables?".
After David asks Jennifer "What did you have?", she replies "I had a slice of chocolate pie.". She might have said "I had pie." or "I had some pie.", but "a slice of pie" is more common and much more specific.
Now that we have heard how these common expressions are used, let us listen to the dialog again. Listen for the preposition "of" – a small word which makes a big difference.

Jennifer: I do not remember – did you order a slab of ribs?
David: No, I didn't. Mr. Johnson ordered a slab of ribs. I ordered a slice of pizza.
Jennifer: Who ordered a filet of fish?
David: I think Mrs. Johnson did. Mrs. Smith ordered a cup of coffee.
Jennifer: Yes! Mrs. Smith always orders coffee! I was surprised she did not order a pound of coffee!
David: Who had an order of fries?
Jennifer: Mrs. Wilson, I think.
David: What did you have?
Jennifer: I had a slice of chocolate pie.
Great! A common idiom in English when something is very easy to accomplish is to say that it is a "piece of cake." David might say "Learning English is a piece of cake." Another common idiom in English when something is very easy to accomplish is to say it is "as easy as pie". Jennifer might tell us that "Learning English is as easy as pie."
Make learning English "as easy as pie" by practicing often and using your many new expressions as soon as you learn them to cement them in your memory. Enjoy your conversation in English – "It's a piece of cake!"