Consider you are at a cafe and you tell the waiter that you would like to order drink.What would you say?

  1. I would like to have an orange juice please.
  2. I would like to have some orange juice please.

(I know the word juice uncountable noun and we don't normally use "a/an" before uncountable nouns as long as they are packed and there was not " a glass of " phrase before the orange juice either.So this is original question.)

  • One can also use the zero-article and say I'd like orange juice (to drink).
    – user6951
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 17:15
  • You could also use "the orange juice" in a restaurant. For example, if you point to the item on the menu, so the waiter/waitress can see which one you want.
    – user3169
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 17:46

4 Answers 4


For orange juice, which is usually sold in jugs or cartons and dispensed into smaller portions of uncertain volume, "some" is probably the choice that your test was looking for.

Unfortunately there are situations where "an" would be perfectly appropriate, for instance in a restaurant or if you were selecting from single serving bottles/cans of juice. To use a more common example:

Someone asks me to choose which soft drink I would like from a selection of cans, or someone asks me at a bar or restaurant what I would like to drink.
"I'll have a Coca Cola."

Someone is pouring drinks from a 2 liter bottle into glasses and asks what I would like in my glass.
"I'll have some Coca Cola."

I don't want to invent a grammatical rule on the fly, but it seems as if definitely sized portions (bottles/cans/quantities served by a restaurant) use "a/an" and indefinitely sized portions (poured from a larger container, for instance) use "some."

  • 4
    I think your rule is at least somewhat right. I would state that a menu item can be ordered with "a/an"; it's like there is an implied "serving of". "I'll have a (serving of) orange juice"
    – eques
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 13:50
  • 1
    Agreed; it's the fact that there's a standard amount per serving at a restaurant. It turns a fluid quantity (Coca Cola) into a countable noun (a [serving of] Coca Cola). If someone's just pouring from a bottle, there's implicitly no standard serving size. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 22:10

You would order

"an orange juice"

in a restaurant as it is a specific item (with a fixed measurement) on the menu.

"Some orange juice"

would be fine if you are visiting someone at their home (as there is - normally! - no menu)


Either way people will understand you I guess.

I would order the/an orange juice. - this way you refer to the menu.


I would like to have some orange juice please. - which doesn't really point out how much you want.

sounds good to me, too (not native).

  • well I know it sounds both ways work but I came across this question on a test so I want to learn the right answer but I am not quite sure the word "the" works here.
    – Mrt
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 10:30
  • Imagine there are several juices and you want to point out that you want to have the orange juice. "I'll have the steak".
    – Avigrail
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 10:36
  • @Murat "The" does work in the context of ordering from a menu. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 13:25
  • 1
    @Jason Actually I would use the orange juice if I have been to a particular place where I often go or/and order the same orange juice which is specially made or has a particular "feature".
    – Mrt
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 16:24

actually I don't have specific answer for your Eq. but I will put an Example I hope its help you to increased your background Ideas

"I’ll have a glass of orange juice,” you’d say, “I’ll have an orange juice.” Orange juice is a Mass noun, but in this context it’s implied that you’re referring to a glass of orange juice.

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