vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar

What’s Your Poison? Vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar

vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar
“What’s your poison?”

Ordering drinks can be intimidating for a non-native speaker.

Picture this:

You’re at a noisy, crowded night club. The music is blaring, the lights are flashing, and there is a long line of people waiting to get their drinks. You make your way to an open space at the bar. You can feel people pushing up from behind.

The bartender finally leans forward and asks the important question:

“What can I get ya’?”

It’s a very simple question, but it’s not easy to answer.

Everything is moving fast, so you quickly blurt out your order. “I’ll have 3 beers and…um…uh…a mojito.” There. You said it right. You start to relax as the bartender starts making the drinks, but suddenly, he asks a second question.

“You want that with a twist and on the rocks?”

You have NO idea what he is asking you! And now, he’s waiting for an answer. “What? Sorry?” you reply nervously. Suddenly, the music stops. You start to sweat. Everyone is looking at you. So what do you say?

vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar

For the moment, just say, “Yes.” You’ll know what he was talking about when you get your mojito with ice and a slice of lime.

But next time, here is some helpful vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar.

vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar

With a twist means with a slice of fruit, typically lemon or lime. On the rocks means your drink will be served with ice, and neat is for a drink with no ice, no fruit, no nothing. You can order any drink followed by these phrases to customize your order.

For example, “I’ll have a whiskey on the rocks.” Or, if you’re feeling flirty, ask for a “martini, with a twist.” That will get you started on the many different ways of ordering drinks!

vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar

Alcohol comes in various containers, depending on how it is served.

If you really want to get the party going, you can start by doing a few shots of tequila. A large shot is also called a double shot. Tilt your head back and gulp it all down. As they say,

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR!

Beer drinkers can be picky. Some like bottles, some like draft beer (beer from the tap), and some don’t mind drinking out of cans. Large groups of friends will want to order pitchers. It’s cheaper than buying it by the glass.

The bartender will ask if you want to open a tab. This means that you can continue ordering drinks and he will add the total to the tab. When you finish your drinks, tell the bartender to close out the tab. This means you are ready to go pay. Hopefully, a friend will offer to pick up the tab, which means your friend will pay for all the drinks. Cheers to that!

The person who decides not to drink so that he or she can safely drive home is known as the designated driver. The “d.d.” will want to order virgin drinks (without alcohol). Make sure you thank your driver, and never drink and drive!

Studies have shown that having a few drinks can actually improve your ability to speak. Alcohol lowers your fear of making mistakes, and actually can improve your pronunciation. It’s true!

I know that after studying English grammar all day, I definitely appreciate a nice glass of wine. So treat yourself to a night out with friends from time to time. It’s a great way to practice your new vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar.

vocabulary for ordering drinks at a bar
Cheers!

history vs. story

History vs. Story: What’s the Difference?

History: The study of past events or people

History is a subject that we study in school. We study the history of civilizations, important people, or topics, like the history of art. We only use the word history when referring to major events or people from the past.

HIS-tuh-ree

I studied art history in college.

Examples:

  • The history of Egypt is fascinating.
  • I have a history test tomorrow.
  • Many students think history is boring, but I love it.
  • The U.S. has a long history of violence.

Story: A re-telling of something that happened, usually to you or someone you know.

Story telling is a big part of language. We tell stories to each other about things that happened at work, like when you accidentally spilled coffee on your computer. Yikes!

telling stories is fun
He tells the funniest stories!

We tell stories about events in our lives, like about how our parents met and fell in love, or things that we remember from our childhood. Stories can be happy, sad, scary, or funny––the best stories are funny, don’t you agree?

We also tell stories to children. Some of my favorite stories are Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. What are your favorite childhood stories?

STOR-ee

Tell me a story about your childhood.

Do you have a favorite childhood story, or a story about learning English? Leave a comment to share your story!

Tricky Verbs: Fall, Feel, Fill

These three verbs are often confusing, especially when it comes to past tense forms and pronunciation. Let’s look at the differences and practice using them.

Fall

Fall has an “Aww” sound. Practice the following sentence:

Aww, did the baby fall?

Feel

Feel has a hard EEE sound. You need to smile when you say this word, making your mouth wide. Practice this sentence:

I feel so happy and free!

Fill

The sound of fill is between fall and feel. Your mouth is slightly open, and it has a short i sound. Practice this sentence to help:

Bill filled the glass with milk.

Now try them all together, making sure to say each word slowly and differently than the others.

Fall, feel, fill, the dog meets Bill. The dog eats meat, Bill drinks milk, Fall, Feel Fill.

Various Forms

Another challenge for students is to use these verbs in different tenses.

Fall—Fell—Fallen—Falling

Feel—Felt—Felt—Feeling

Fill—Filled—Filled—Filling

Try to answer the following questions:

Did the man fall out of the airplane?

Yes, the man…

Did you feel the elephant?

Yes, I…

Did you fill the glass?

Yes, I…

Expressions with the Verb TO HAVE

I hope everyone is having a very Happy New Year so far! I think 2019 is going to be a great year! This year, I’m looking forward to eating healthier, learning new recipes, getting more exercise, and writing many more lessons for all the English learners out there. How about you? Do you have any plans or goals for 2019?

Let’s start the year with a great verb: TO HAVE. 

The verb to have is everywhere in English. It’s used to form the present perfect (Have you ever celebrated New Year’s Eve in another country?) and it’s also used in many common conversational expressions. (Would you like to have dinner at our house?)

We can start with looking at some basic greetings/conversational vocabulary.

  • Have a great day!
  • Have a nice weekend!
  • I had a great time at the holiday party.
  • Did you have a nice trip/visit/vacation/holiday?

Have is used in hundreds of everyday English expressions. Here are some of the different ways you can use have instead of other verbs.

Have = To Own

Perhaps the most obvious meaning is to own something, meaning it’s yours.

  • I have a house.
  • She has a nice car.
  • They have a good job.
  • We have a large family.

Besides ownership, there are more meanings for the verb to have.

Have = To Be Sick, for Diseases and Illnesses

  • I’ve had this cold for a week.
  • I have a headache.
  • She had a stomachache after eating too much candy.
  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?
  • Do you have any allergies?

Have a Dream, a Nightmare

  • have a dream to own my own business.
  • had a nightmare about my job last night.

Have Sex

  • Some people wait until after marriage to have sex.
  • The boss should never have sex with employees.

Have = To Eat and Drink, For Meals

  • had breakfast, but I didn’t have lunch. I’m starving!
  • I’ll have a hamburger and french fries, please.
  • had three beers after work.
  • I’m having dinner at my friend’s house tomorrow night.

Have a Fight, Have Problems

  • We had a huge fight yesterday and we are still not speaking.
  • Call me if you have any problems or questions.

Have an Idea

  • I have a great idea: let’s take a vacation!
  • He has no idea where he parked the car.
  • Steve Jobs had a lot of great ideas for technology.

Have a Party

  • We always have a party at our house for New Year’s Eve.
  • If you have a birthday party, where do you want to have it?

Have a Baby, Children

  • My sister had a baby last month.
  • Most women prefer to have their babies at a hospital.

Have Plans

  • Do you have plans for the New Year?
  • I like to have an itinerary before I travel.
  • I have an appointment with my agent this weekend.
  • We have too many meetings at work, don’t you think?
  • I have no doubt you will understand this lesson.

I hope you had fun and learned some new ways of speaking from this lesson. Do you have any more examples or questions?  Leave me a comment on the post. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day!

Still vs. Until: What's the difference?

Still Or Until: What’s the Dif?

These two very common words are easy to confuse. They both relate to a measure of time. However, they have completely different meanings, and it’s important to know which one to choose. 

STILL

Use STILL to indicate that an action is not finished. There is usually an emotional reaction to a situation. 

  • I’ve been waiting for an hour, and the bus still hasn’t arrived.
  • Do you still have the jacket you borrowed from me last year?
  • She still hasn’t found a job even though she’s been looking for weeks.
  • Are you still watching the TV show, or can I change the channel?
  • I am still at the DMV because the lines are extremely long.
  • I don’t like what you did, but I still love you.

Look at the difference here:

  • The bus hasn’t arrived yet
  • The bus still hasn’t arrived.
Where is the bus!?

Both sentences mean the same thing. Yet states a fact: no bus. Still is used to add emotions to the fact. You’re annoyed or angry or nervous that the bus didn’t arrive when you expected it to.

UNTIL

Until is used to show change. We use until to indicate the time when a change occurred.

  • I didn’t have a car until last week. (Now I have a car. I got it last week.)
  • I will wait here until 3:00, and then I will go home. (At 3:00, I will stop waiting.)
  • I didn’t speak English until I moved to the U.S. (Now, I speak English.)
  • Please wait until Monday to call the library. (Don’t call before Monday.)
  • I didn’t know you were angry until you told me. (Now I know that you’re angry.)

As you can see, until shows that a change has occurred. it shows a moment in time that is different than the past. Note the differences between still and until in the following sentences:

  • I still don’t have a computer. (No computer in the past or present.)
  • I didn’t have a computer until yesterday. (I have a computer now.)

Practice:

Q: Are there things that you still have to do before you go to bed tonight?

A: Yes, I still have to…..

Q: What are some things we can’t do until we are adults?

A: We can’t…..until we become adults.

Choose still or until in your answer:

Q: How late are you working?

A: I’m working still/until 5 p.m.

Q: Are you finished working?

A: No, I’m still/until working.

That’s all there is to it! Now you know the difference between still and until. 

Until next time, have a wonderful holiday and happy New Year!

8 Words Commonly Mispronounced in English

8 Words Commonly Mispronounced by English Learners

English is not an easy language to speak. Because English borrows words from many different languages, the rules for how a word is pronounced can change, depending on the origin of the word, the meaning of the word, or even the region where the word is spoken.

English pronunciation is difficult for different speakers as well, depending on a person’s native language. Here are some common English words that are typically difficult for Portuguese speakers to pronounce.

Pronunciation

Let’s start with a quiz. Choose the correct answers. Only two of them are correct.

a) My pronounce is not very good.

b) My pronunciation is not very good.

c) How do I pronunciation this word?

d) How do I pronounce this word?

It’s common to confuse the noun and verb forms of this word.

Continue reading “8 Words Commonly Mispronounced by English Learners”

What's the difference between go back and come back?

Go Back or Come Back: What’s the Difference?

When talking about travel, it’s easy to confuse the phrasal verbs go back and come backThey both mean to return. So what’s the difference?

It’s actually very simple. It all depends on where you are at the time of speaking. For example, if you are from Italy, but you are in California right now, you would say:

  • I’m going back to Italy in two weeks. (You are in California now, but you are returning to your home country.)
  • I’m coming back to California next year. (You are in California, and you are returning to California next year)

What's the difference between go back and come back?
It depends on the location of the speaker.

Let’s look at a conversation to see some examples.

A: Honey, I’m home! I went shopping, but I forgot to get the eggs.

B: Oh no! I need the eggs to make your birthday cake.

A: OK, I’ll go back to the store and get them.

B: Great. Do you know when you’re coming back home?

A: I’ll be back in 20 minutes.

B: That’s great. Don’t come back without the eggs!

The speakers use come back and go back (and even be back) depending on where they are at the time of speaking. They are both at home, so they use go back to talk about returning to the store, and come back to talk about returning home.

  • I was born in New York, but I haven’t gone back there in many years. (not there)
  • I loved visiting Italy the first time, so I went back there again last year. (not there)
  • I was still tired, so I went back to bed.
  • Our dog ran away a few days ago, but he came back last night.
  • When are you coming back from your trip? We miss you here!

If you have any questions about these phrasal verbs in use, you can always come back to this page to ask questions and practice.

Cheers!

 

 

A visual chart to show expressions that use the verb take in english

Visual Vocabulary – Common English Expressions with TAKE

Take a few minutes to think about the verb TO TAKE.

To Take literally means “to bring something with you.” Take an umbrella, or take a book to read, for example. However, many other activities use this verb, even though you are not really “taking” anything.

Here are some of the more commons expressions that are formed with take.

Take a Photo

pexels-photo-786801.jpeg
Say “Cheese!

Nowadays, everyone has a camera, and people are taking more photos than ever. Use TAKE for phones, cameras, and recordings.

  • take a photo, take a picture
  • take a screenshot
  • take a selfie (but not too many)

 

Take a Shower

Use TAKE for showers and baths.
I’m going to take a shower, but stay in the bathroom.

Use TAKE for a shower or a bath, everyday.

  • After working all day, it’s good to take a nice, hot shower to relax.
  • Do most kids love taking baths?

Take a Trip

TAKE is used for trips, vacations, and tours.
Would you like to take a trip to this beach?

Use TAKE for many kinds of travel and getaways.

  • take a vacation
  • take a trip
  • take a cruise
  • take a tour of the city

 

Take a Taxi

TAKE is used for modes of transportation.
It would be fun to take a road trip in this mini bus.

For modes of transportation, use TAKE to show how you get somewhere.

  • Take a taxi, take an Uber
  • Take the train, the subway, the trolley, the bus, a flight
  • Take a walk, a hike, a swim
  • Take the elevator, take the stairs

 

Take a Nap

Cat takes a nap in a bowl.
Cats take naps wherever they want!

If you get tired from all that moving around, use TAKE for naps and rest, but not sleep.

  • Take a nap
  • Take a rest
  • Take a break
  • Take five (Take five minutes to rest)

 

Take Medicine

TAKE is used for medicine, vitamins, and drugs.
Take two tablets and call me in the morning.

Unfortunately, we can’t always be healthy. When we get sick, TAKING medicine can make us feel better.

  • Take two aspirin
  • Take pills, tablets, painkillers
  • Take antibiotics
  • Take vitamins
  • Take drugs (Please, don’t.)

Take Time

Use TAKE with time expressions to talk about the duration of an activity.
It always takes longer to cook when you’re hungry.

Use TAKE with these time expressions to show how much time you need to do something, or to give yourself more time.

  • Learning a language takes a long time.
  • It takes three hours to drive to L.A.
  • We should all take the time to enjoy life.
  • Take your time on the test so you don’t make any mistakes.

Take a Test

Take time to study before you take a test!
Take your time when you take a test.

Speaking of tests, use TAKE for all kinds of evaluations and classes.

  • Take a test
  • Take a quiz
  • Take an exam
  • Take a survey
  • Take an English class, take lessons

A visual chart to show expressions that use the verb take in english

TAKE(S) / TOOK / TAKEN

Speaking practice

Read these conversation questions using good sentence stress and rhythm. To learn more about sentence stress, click here.

  1. How many pictures do you take every day?
  2. Do you take photos with a camera or with your phone?
  3. Do you takeshower in the morning or at night?
  4. When are you going to take your next trip?
  5. Would you prefer to takevacation with your friends or your familyWhy?
  6. How many times have you taken an Uber?
  7. Do you feel better after taking nap, or do you still feel tired?
  8. Do you take vitamins every day?
  9. How long does it take you to get to work? Do you take your car or the train?
  10. If you tookmath test, do you think you would pass?

If you can remember and use a few of these expressions with TAKE, you’re well on your way to becoming more fluent.

I hope this blog was useful to you all. Take care!