10 phrasal verbs we use to talk about food and eating

Learn 10 phrasal verbs we use to talk about food and eating, like run out of, cut down on and polish off. You’ll see how we use them in action and also learn about English food that Vicki can’t find in the US.

Click here to learn 24 essential phrasal verbs for computers and technology
Click here to learn 8 common separable phrasal verbs
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Phrasal verbs for food video

So something very exciting has arrived in the post. It’s a parcel full of British stuff.
Vicki orders this box every year so that she has British foods and British goods for all our friends.
Yes. It’s lots of food that I can’t buy in America.

This lesson is about phrasal verbs that we use to talk about food and eating. A great way to learn the meanings of phrasal verbs is to see them in action and so we’re going to play a game. Watch us unwrapping our parcel and see how many phrasal verbs you can spot. You’ll hear ten that are connected with food. Ready?

OK, so first one. Here we go. What do you think, Jay?
Oh my goodness! I know what’s in here. These are what you call ‘sweets’.
That’s right. And you call them candies.
Candies. And these are chocolate, right?
Yes. They’re chocolate.
Oh wow. I can’t wait to have some.
No, you’re not having any because you’ve got to cut down on chocolate.
Oh no.
Yeah, you eat too much of it.
OK, next one. I’m going to give them to our friends. Next one. Baked beans!
Now this is really very interesting. This company, Heinz, is based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, three hundred and fifty miles from where we are in Philadelphia.
Yeah, but the American baked beans that you can buy in the stores here have too much sugar, I think.
So Vicki gets her baked beans imported from the United Kingdom.
You can snack on them any time you like. They’re great.
I like them too.
OK, what have we got next? Oooo. I love these. I could live on them. Can you see them?
I can see them. What are they?
Pickled onions.
Pickled onions.
Yeah.
How strange!
I’ve given you these before. They’re lovely. And they’re just onions that have been pickled in vinegar.
[sigh]
When I say ‘pickle’ what do you think of?
Well, a pickle to me is a small cucumber that’s been kept in brine or vinegar. That’s a pickle.
OK. We call that a gherkin. And our pickles are things like this. Like this is Branston pickle. It’s a bit like a chutney.
But it’s not a pickle at all!
My English friends will wolf this down.
You can use it to make ploughman’s lunches.
A ploughman’s lunch.
Yeah. Bread, cheese and Branston pickle.
OK.
OK. Next thing.
Mmmhmm.
It’s gravy granules! OK, now gravy is like a sauce that we serve with meat, and English people love gravy.
I mean I love gravy on chicken and on beef, but one of these says onion gravy.
Yeah, it goes well with sausages.
Hmm.
OK. Next one. Errr. Oh, and speaking of gravy, something similar. I’ve got some lamb stock cubes.
Now this is also very interesting. This company makes stock cubes and you can find them on the shelves of American stores. But not lamb stock cubes. Americans don’t buy those. And so for Vicki, who makes wonderful lamb dishes, for them to be just as wonderful as I like them, she has to have lamb stock cubes. How many of these packages did you buy?
Errr, nine. I didn’t want to run out.
Good thinking.
OK. Next one?
Mmhmm.
Right. Oh, you’re going to like this one, Jay. Look. Mince pies. These are little sweet pies that have got… Do you know what’s inside them?
I think there’s some jam and some nuts and some …?
It’s currants and sultanas and dried fruit, and they’re lovely.
So here’s a very interesting thing. ‘Mince’ in British English refers to meat that has been chopped up, like you would make hamburgers with.
You call it ‘chopped meat’.
Chopped meat, right.
OK.
So when first I heard the term ‘mince pies’, I assumed there was chopped meat in it.
No. They’re sweet, and they go very well with custard. I think we’ve got some… ha ha… custard! Here we go. This is what I’ll serve up with the mince pies. I’ll serve it warm.
I love it when you pour warm custard over mince pies. It is delicious.
OK. Ready for another one?
Yes. Yes.
OK. I think we’re getting near the end now. But hang on. What’s this? Aha! Tada!
Oh, Christmas crackers.
OK. These are not crackers you eat. They’re made of paper and I need to make another video about these too because they’re full of jokes and hats and things like that.
I’ll give you a hint. When you pull them apart they go ‘boom!’.
That’s right. They blow up. No, they don’t blow up. But they do make a popping noise.
A bang.
A bang.
Great! OK. Well, I’m ready for Christmas now.
Well, wait a minute.
Oh, what’s that?
More mince pies, right?
We’re going to pig out on them.
I don’t know if we can finish this.
I’m sure we can. We’ll get our friends to polish them off if we can’t.
Perfect. What a great idea.

The first one was cut down. If you cut down on a particular food then you reduce the amount you consume. For example, I’m trying to cut down on sugar so I lose weight.

Yes. They’re chocolate.
Oh wow. I can’t wait to have some.
No, you’re not having any because you’ve got to cut down on chocolate.
Oh no.
Yeah, you eat too much of it.

We can also say cut out – but that means stop eating or consuming something completely. People often try to cut out caffeine or sugar or bread and carbs.
OK, next one. Snack on. Now a snack is a small amount of food that we eat between meals, often when we’re in a hurry. So when we snack on something, we eat a small amount of something as a snack.

So Vicki gets her baked beans imported from the United Kingdom.
You can snack on them any time you like. They’re great.
I like them too.

Baked beans are a nice snack, but I wouldn’t want to live on them. Pickled onions on the other hand are wonderful. They’re so good, I think I could live on them. To live on is when you only eat one food, or you eat a lot of it.

Oooo. I love these. I could live on them. Can you see them?

OK, next one. Now a wolf is an animal – it’s a member of the dog family. But what about wolf down? This is all about speed. If you wolf down your food you eat it very fast. Perhaps because you’re hungry, or you’re in a rush, or maybe you just like the food so much that you eat it very fast.

But it’s not a pickle at all!
My English friends will wolf this down.

Next one. If different foods taste good when you serve them together then they go well together. Syrup goes well with pancakes. And peaches and ice cream go well together. The combination works.

I mean I love gravy on chicken and on beef, but one of these says onion gravy.
Yeah, it goes well with sausages.
Hmm.

Next one. If we run out of something, we use it up so it’s finished, and we don’t have any more left. I don’t want to run out of lamb stock cubes.

She has to have lamb stock cubes. How many of these packages did you buy?
Errr, nine. I didn’t want to run out.
Good thinking.

Next one. Perhaps you know the verb chop. When we chop food, we cut it into small pieces. But we also say chop up and it means the same thing. Why don’t we just say chop? I don’t know. Sometimes English is tricky. like that.

‘Mince’ in British English refers to meat that has been chopped up, like you would make hamburgers with.
You call it ‘chopped meat’.
Chopped meat, right.
OK.

So we can say ‘chop’ or ‘chop up’ and the next verb is similar. We can say ‘serve’ or ‘serve up’. Waiters serve us in a restaurant when they give us our food or drink. And when we’re talking about eating at home, we’ll often say serve up – it’s when we give food to someone as part of a meal.

I think we’ve got some… ha ha… custard! Here we go. This is what I’ll serve up with the mince pies. I’ll serve it warm.

OK, we’re near the end now. Just two more.
Pig out means to eat a very large amount of food all at once. Probably too much. You’ll feel very full if you’ve pigged out. It’s informal, so you can use this verb with close friends, but probably not people you don’t know very well.

Oh, what’s that?
More mince pies, right?
We’re going to pig out on them.

And the last one. Now ‘to polish’ means to make something shiny and smooth by rubbing it. We might polish a floor. But polish off has a completely different meaning. It means to have the last of some food, so to eat what’s left and finish it. Again it’s informal.

I don’t know if we can finish this.
I’m sure we can. We’ll get our friends to polish them off if we can’t.
Perfect. What a great idea.

Now there was just one other phrasal verb you heard that wasn’t about food. It was when we were talking about the Christmas crackers. Did you spot it? Tell us in the comments if you did. And what did you think of these English foods? Would you like to try some? Let us know. We love hearing from you.
We make a new video every Friday so subscribe to this channel, if you haven’t already, and click the bell so you can get notified when we upload a new video. Have a great week everyone and see you next Friday.
Click here to learn 24 essential phrasal verbs for computers and technology
Click here to learn 8 common separable phrasal verbs
Click here to see our grammar videos

2 thoughts on “10 phrasal verbs we use to talk about food and eating

  • December 10, 2017 at 9:29 am
    Permalink

    You are the best Vicki and Jay! =)
    Tks for your videos!

    Lucy
    Brazil

    Reply
    • December 12, 2017 at 3:36 am
      Permalink

      Thanks so much Lucineia! So glad you like it.

      Reply

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