English at University

Intermediate level

Episode 9 - Dinner time

Episode 161107 / 07 Nov 2016

Episode 9 - Dinner time

It's the most important time of the day – dinner time – and Mary's gone to the canteen with Abi. But Mary's hasn't quite worked out the system for getting what she wants.

Language focus

Learn phrases you can use in a canteen:

Excuse me, can you tell me if you have any food suitable for vegetarians please?
Has this got meat in it?
Where can I find…?
Do you have any…?

Vocabulary

Words and phrases about eating and food.

grub
fill your boots
pigging out
tuck in to
stuffing yourself

Transcript

Narrator
Welcome back to English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad. It's the most important time of the day – dinner time – time for some grub – I mean food - and Mary's gone to the canteen with Abi but Mary's hasn't quite worked out the system for getting what she wants.

Abi
…some of that… and some of that… ooo, and a bit of that…

Mary
Gosh, that's a lot of food Abi. 

Abi
Yeah but you can eat as much as you like here – it's the same price – so go on, fill your boots! I'll see you over at the table.

Mary
Fill my boots?

Narrator
She means eat a lot! Abi may be pigging out on lots of food but you don't have to. Do you need some help Mary?

Mary
Yes please. I can't remember where anything is – and I'm a vegetarian but the food labels are so confusing.

Narrator
Don't worry. Before you tuck in to a vegetarian meal, just ask 'can you tell me which food is suitable for vegetarians?' or 'has this got meat in it?' and then when you want to find stuff like the cutlery – the knives and forks – just ask 'where can I find…' or 'do you have any…?' Go on give it a go.

Mary
OK then. Excuse me, can you tell me if you have any food suitable for vegetarians… please?  

Dinner lady
Dunno…  have we got any veggie stuff? Well there's the spaghetti bolognaise over there.

Mary
Ermm… has that got meat in it?

Dinner lady
Well a little bit.

Prof. Not
Hi Mary…  looking for something veggie? I'd recommend the lentil dal over there… delicious… a real taste of Asia.

Mary
Thanks Professor. But what are you doing here?

Prof.Not
Well err… my wife… Mrs Not… likes me to eat out sometimes… since I… err…not to worry.

Dinner lady
Right, anything else? I just need your meal ticket. No… that's a blue one… for breakfast… you need a red one for dinner.

Prof. Not
Allow me… I have a spare ticket… there you go.

Mary
Thanks. Now, where do I find the knives and forks?

Prof. Not
Just over here…. Oh no, it's that idiot Daniel.

Daniel
Hello Mary… Professor Not… can I join you, tell you about my business idea?  I got the idea from your book…. look…  ooops…

Prof.Not
Idiot! Now I have lentil dal all over my suit – what will Mrs Not say?

Mary
Oh dear. Excuse me, do you have any serviettes?

Narrator
What a mess! Daniel has certainly left his mark on Professor Not but at least Mary has managed to find her way around the canteen. Here are some of the phrases she used…

Excuse me, can you tell me if you have any food suitable for vegetarians please? 

Has this got meat in it?

Where can I find…?

Do you have any…?

You can practise these phrases, pick up a few more plus learn some top tips for studying in the UK on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Now, back to dinner – and Daniel won't be stuffing himself with food – he's got some clearing up to do.

Daniel
So sorry about that… if I just scrape this bit off… err you'll be fine. 

Prof.Not
So what was your 'business idea'? Dry cleaning perhaps?

Daniel
No… it was an idea to… 

Prof.Not
Never mind. See you at tomorrow's lecture. It starts at 10am sharp. Goodbye.

Mary
Oh dear Daniel. Would you like to share my food?! 

More

If you're studying abroad and need help with your English, we have lots to offer on our BBC Learning English website.

Next

In the next episode, Mary finally gets down to business and goes to a lecture - on her chosen subject of  Business Studies.

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