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31 / 03 / 2009

CAN I TAKE YOUR PLATE?: meaning and examples

Good morning.

Today we look at another question from one of our readers.

Dear Matthew, Thanks for your informative and useful Daily Vitamin. Sometimes I remember that 5 years ago I was working in a restaurant in England. However I've never known if when I was asking "Can I take your plate?" I was saying it correctly and properly. In Spanish, the correct expression would be: ¿Puedo retirar los platos de la mesa? I hope it may help other people too. Thanks for your fantastic work! Enric Gómez Mas.

First of all, thanks for your question Enric. Yes, I think the phrases "Can I take your plate?" or "May I take your plate?" sound fine. Another possibility is "Would you like me to take your plate?"

If you are pretty sure that everyone at the table is finished, you could say "May I clear your table?"

The clients can then answer affirmatively (Yes, thank you) or negatively (No, not yet. I'm still eating).

I hope that answers your question Enric. If anyone has any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (

Enjoy the rest of your day!