Although it is not essential to know what the names of the different things you eat and drink with at a restaurant (or at home), they are very useful to know.

If you are having a meal with English speakers you will probably have to say (or hear others say) the names of them (e.g. 'can you pass me the..., please.'). In addition, if you need something from the waiter/waitress (e.g. 'could we have another..., please.'), then it is good to know what the things are called in English.

In this first part of three exercises on the English names of the things we eat and drink with, you'll learn and remember the names of the objects we use to eat food with and what we eat food from.

The other two exercises on the English names of things we eat & drink with are coming soon.

After you've done this exercise, do the the second part where you'll learn the names in English of the things that we used to drink with and that are used with liquids.

In the third part, you'll learn the names in English of the other things you can find on a table when eating at a restaurant.

Click here to see more of our free online exercises on food, drink and restaurant vocabulary


Exercise:

In the following conversation, two friends (Peter and Juan) are eating at a restaurant. Peter is explaining to Juan the names in English for things that are used to eat food with.

From the context, try to guess what object the words in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Peter:'The food looks good, doesn't it?'

Juan:'Yes, it does. But I don't have, what do you call it, the metal thing to cut my food with.'

Peter:'Do you mean a knife?'

Juan:'A knife, that's what you call it. So, what do you call the other metal things that you eat with?'

Peter:'Well, the metal thing you use with a knife to pick food up with is called a fork.'

Juan:'And I know that the metal thing which is circular and used to eat liquid food (like soup) is called a spoon.'

Peter:'That's right. But there are different size spoons and they have different names. Do you know the name of the small spoon, which you often use with tea or coffee?'

Juan:'A drink spoon?'

Peter:'Close, but it's called a teaspoon. And the bigger spoon which you use to eat soup or other things with, is called a dessert spoon.'

Juan:'What's the name for all the metal or wooden things (like knives, forks and spoons) that you use eat to food with? I know you have a name for them in English.'

Peter:'We do. We call them cutlery. So knives are a type of cutlery and so are forks.'

Juan:'But not everybody uses knives or forks to eat food with. In China and Japan, they use two sticks to eat their food with. What are they called?'

Peter:'In English, we call these two sticks to eat food with chopsticks.'

Juan:'Ok.'

Peter:'So now you know the English names for the things we eat food with, I'll tell you the names of the things we eat food from.'

Juan:'I know one. You call the round object which is flat that you eat food from a plate.'

Peter:'That's right. But you have different sizes of these. We normally just call the big one (that you eat your main course of a meal), just a plate. But what do call the one which looks like it, but is smaller?'

Juan:'A small plate?'

Peter:'Some people do say that, but it is more normal to call it a side plate.'

Juan:'And what's the name of the thing you eat soup from? It has the shape of a half circle. Is it called a soup plate?'

Peter:'No, it isn't. We call the type of thing that you eat soup from, a bowl.'


Click to see more food & drink vocabulary exercises


Quiz:

Below is a photo/picture of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word from the question's selection box which you believe matches the photo/picture. Only use one word once. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...). In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Bowl:
(noun) A 'bowl' is the name in English for something which has sides and is deep and used to eat food from. Most 'bowls' have a shape which looks like half a circle.

Normally, 'bowls' are used to eat soups or stews (which is like a soup but has big pieces of meat or vegetables in it) from. In some countries they also use 'bowls' to drink liquids from as well.

There are both different sizes and shapes of 'bowls' and each type often has its own name. But very few people either know these names or use them in conversation. So it is not important to know them (just call them all a 'bowl').

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Bowl:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. office exercise photo

The metal object here is called a              

Teaspoon:
(noun) A 'teaspoon' is the name we use in English to call a small spoon. Although 'teaspoons' are most commonly used with drinks (e.g. tea or coffee), they can also be used for eating desserts with.

Unlike with a 'dessert spoon' (where you can just call it a 'spoon' instead), a 'teaspoon' should always be called a 'teaspoon'.

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Teaspoon:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Side plate:
(noun) This is the commonly used name for a small plate (which you will hear some people just call them). There are both different sizes and shapes of small plates and each type often has its own name. But very few people either know these names or use them in conversation. So it is not important to know them (just call them all a 'side plate').

The exception is where the small plate is used to put a cup in (like when drinking tea or coffee). With this type of plate, you should always call it a 'saucer'.

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Side plate:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Dessert spoon:
(noun) This is a medium size spoon (bigger than the small 'teaspoon'). People will often just called a 'dessert spoon' just a 'spoon'. So, if you hear people say 'spoon' you know what people are talking about.

A type of spoon which is a similar size, but has a different shape (it is rounder/more circular) and which is used to eat soup with is called a 'soup spoon'. You will only ever hear people say 'soup spoon' if eating at an expensive restaurant or event.

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Dessert spoon:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Fork:
(noun) This is the name for the 'piece of cutlery' that you use to put solid pieces of food (e.g. meat, vegetables etc...) into to your mouth with.

There are both different sizes and shapes of 'forks' and each type often has its own name. But very few people either know these names or use them in conversation. So it is not important to know them (just call them all a 'fork').

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Fork:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. office exercise photo

These are called              

Chopsticks:
(noun) This is the name for the two sticks which are used to put food into your mouth with. 'chopsticks' are only used to eat food in countries in the east of Asia (e.g. China, Japan etc...) or restaurants cooking food from these countries in other parts of the world.

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Chopsticks:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Knife:
(noun) The 'knife' in the image is sometimes (but not often) called a 'table knife'. A 'knife' is the name for the metal object that you use to cut things with.

When using a 'knife' to eat food with, there are both different types and each type often has its own name. But very few people either know these names or use them in conversation (so, just call them all a 'knife'). But there is one type of 'knife' which you should know the name of (because you'll probably hear people say it). This is a 'knife' which is very sharp and is often used to cut meat with. In English, we call this a 'steak knife'.

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Knife:

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8. office exercise photo

This is called a              

Plate:
(noun) A 'plate' is basically the name for something which is flat with raised edges that you eat food off. The plate in the image for this question is actually called a 'dinner plate', but it is just normally called a 'plate' by most people.

There are different sizes of plates. For smaller plates, it is normal to call them 'side plates'.

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Plate:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. office exercise photo

These are called              

Cutlery:
(noun) This is the name in English for all the things that are designed and used to eat food with. These are the metal, wooden or plastic objects that you can use to cut or put food in you mouth with (e.g. knives, forks, spoons) when actually eating food.

Big knives, forks or spoons that are used for cooking or preparing food are not called 'cutlery'.

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Cutlery:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.