How to Talk About Mealtimes

English in Use | Conversations | Speaking

English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.


Conversation or dialogue simulations use the latest technology to bring you as close an experience as you can get to an actual English conversation. By imitating real world conversations, you can practice your communication skills on any device and receive instant feedback on your mistakes and your accuracy. The conversation simulators also give you the chance to look at specific areas of English where you might be having problems.


It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The Activities here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.

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This lesson looks at the vocabulary of meals. It looks at the difference between meal and dish. It looks at the names of the meals that we eat throughout the day including, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, high tea, afternoon tea, teatime, and supper. You will also learn some vocabulary that useful when talking about meals including, course, dietary, dish, filling, foray, full, meal, pastries, pudding, replete, snack, starter, stuffed, and sweet. I have used a video English lesson from the Daily Dose of English series that I made back in 2010. This lesson is finally what I would have liked to have made back then, had the technology been available at that time.

To not eat food for a period of time is known as fasting . When we sleep at night we cannot eat and are technically fasting. The fast comes to an end in the morning when we eat the first food of the day. The first meal of the day is breakfast and its name comes from breaking your fast. | There’s a difference in the naming conventions for meals between the north and the south of England. While breakfast is the same in the north and the south, the midday and evening meals are different. The midday meal in the south of England is normally referred to as lunch , while in the north of England it’s normally referred to as dinner . Confusingly, dinner is used in the south of England to refer to the evening meal. In the north of England, the evening meal is known as tea , or teatime . | There are some minor meals that I did not mention in the video. A meal eaten midway between breakfast and lunch is referred to by the portmanteau word, brunch . A snack in the afternoon is often known as high tea or afternoon tea. It normally consists of a cup of tea with biscuits , cakes, or scones with jam and cream. | course: Part of a meal served before or after other parts. | dietary: Relating to what we eat. | dish: A particular item of prepared food. | filling: A quantity of food satisfying your appetite. | full: Filled to satisfaction with food or drink. | hunger for: A strong desire for something. | meal: Food eaten at a fixed time of day. | pastries: Any of various baked foods made of dough or batter. | pudding: The dessert course of a meal. | replete: Filled to satisfaction with food or drink. | snack: A light, informal meal. | starter: Food served before a meal or as the first course. | stuffed: Crammed with food. | sweet: A dish served as the last course of a meal. 

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