What is the difference between using "without" and "with no"?
In the US, I see people asking in McDonald's like "Burger with no meat..."
The other day I asked like "Burger without meat..." and McDonald's man got confused...
Later I had to explain him to remove the meat in the burger.

Please explain me on this...

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Comments  (Page 2) 
The word “burger is so strongly associated with “meat” that it’s hard for the McDonald counter guys to tell them apart. In fact, a burger is a sandwich with or without meat. It is not a short form of hamburger or beef burger. That’s why people can ask for, say a cheeseburger.

In the States there is in fact a “meatless burger”. Only problem is, the McDonald counter guys might not have heard of it. Here is the recipe for the meatless burger:

1. Tear bread into pieces and place in a blender or food processor. 2. Pulse blend into breadcrumbs.

3. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into 6 patties.

4. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat until hot.

5. Add burgers and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Burgers can also be grilled.

6. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments.

It is not the grammar that is confusing people. (with no and without are the same.) It is the other word choices that are confusing. It is impossible to understand what you are ordering when you order a burger without meat. Part of the definition of a burger is that it is something made from meat. Only a 'veggieburger' or 'vegetarian burger' has no meat. The reaction you're getting is the reaction anyone would have toward an impossible concept!

Here are some equivalent orders:

a glass of water with no liquid
sausages with no meat
ketchup made without tomatoes
chicken without meat
a mug of beer without alcohol

You might want to enjoy these items while sitting on a chair with no seat while looking through opaque windows. Emotion: smile

You need to order a vegetarian burger (if that's what you want) or say, "I'd like a burger, but I don't want the meat patty that usually goes in it. I just want the bread, cheese, and other things that go into it, not the patty. Please leave out the patty." They will still be aghast, but you may have a better chance of getting what you want!

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Thanks CJ. Reading the recipe, I feel hungry. The time is 11.45 AM here in Japan.

Lunch!!! Bon apetit!

I just had a burger myself!


I'm a native english speaker and your order for a burger without meat (or no meat) makes perfect sense to me and that's exactly how I would ask for it. But maybe that's because I grew up in California where vegetarianism becamse somewhat trendy and adapted itself to the standard food chains. A burger without meat, to my ear, simply means you start with a whole hamburger and remove the meat patty. I would never eat such an abomination from somewhere as nasty as McDonalds but it's a perfectly reasonable request and you should use it with total confidence.
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I am a linguist ad really interested in the difference between without and with no. There must be some, May be somebody can advice me something to read on this topic?

The McDonald's man gets confused all day.

Consider the source.

Technically there is a difference between ¨with no¨ and ¨without¨. The word ¨no¨ is used as a negative article or determiner. It does not specify the kind of meat.
English is tailored more to change with the way people speak.
¨With no¨ can be seen as a contradiction in terms in other languages.
The preposition ¨without¨ clarifies context.
Since both are interchangeable in most sentences it´s acceptable to adopt both.

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There is no difference in terms of concept or meaning. Without and with no mean exactly the same thing.

There is a difference when to use them and that is why there is a difference in the number of results any search engine will return.

Without is predominantly used in writing (the main type of data search engines can search).

With no is predominantly used in speaking.

Non-native English speakers will most likely not be aware of this subtle difference and use without in a common conversation or a restaurant/fast food order. This, in turn, will confuse the human being(s) on the other end of conversation.

Of course there are going to be cases in which people will use the word without in a spoken sentence, but most likely than not, a good percentage of the listener will be thrown off by the use of the term. If the listeners do not have a reaction to its use, it will be because they are speaking of a particular topic and the phrase is commonly used in that area (e.g. legal, scientific, or religious conversations).

So basically, without is more formal than with no. Native speakers know it because it is natural. Non-native speakers will get confused by it.

Disclaimer: Non-native speaker here. I got the same reaction of the burger without meat, but while ordering something like a burger without mayonnaise.