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Speak English Around Town Lesson 5 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 5 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 5 – Ordering at a Restaurant


Tanya and John go to Carmen’s Bistro for dinner. It’s Saturday night and the place is packed! Finally, Kevin, their waiter, comes to take their order.

Tanya: I hope the waiter comes soon. I’m starving!

John: Me too!

Tanya: Why don’t we flag him down?

John: Waiter, waiter!

Kevin: I’ll be right with you! … Sorry for the hold up. We’re packed to the rafters tonight.

John: We noticed!

Kevin: I’m Kevin, and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I start you off with some drinks?

John: I’d like the Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Tanya: Make it two.

Kevin: And did you decide on some appetizers?

John: We’re going to skip the appetizers tonight. What do you recommend for a main course?

Kevin: We’re known for our seafood. The salmon with black bean sauce is our most popular dish.

Tanya: Okay, I’ll try that.

Kevin: Excellent choice. And for you, sir?

John: I’m having trouble deciding. I’m in the mood for steak, but I know you pride yourselves on your seafood.

Kevin: How about trying the surf and turf? That way, you get the best of both worlds!

John: Okay, let’s go with that.

Kevin: I’ll be right back with your drinks. They’re on the house because you had to wait so long to order.


Language Lens: Making Suggestions

These are three great ways to make suggestions:

1) Why don’t we / you / I + base form of the verb*
◼ Why don’t we go out for pizza?
◼ Why don’t I drive you to the airport on Friday?
◼ Why don’t we got out to dinner on Saturday?
◼ Why don’t you call the movie theater to see what time the show starts?

* Note: The base form of the verb is the verb without any endings. Examples of verbs in the base form are: run, eat, play, go, find

2) How about + -ing form of the verb
◼ How about going sailing this weekend?
◼ How about inviting the Smiths over for a barbeque?
◼ How about studying some French before our trip to Paris?
◼ How about getting Chinese takeout* for dinner?

* Takeout is food you order in a restaurant and take with you, to eat at home, in your office, or somewhere else.

3) Let’s + base form of the verb
◼ Let’s take a walk on the beach.
◼ Let’s work on the project tomorrow.
◼ Let’s wait and see how the weather is before making our plans.
◼ Let’s get tickets to a Broadway play.


  • (the) best of both worlds

 the advantages of two things

Example: Waitressing in the evenings gives Sue the best of both worlds: she can attend classes during the day and still earn money.

  • Can I start you off with ____?

 Would you like to start your meal with ____?

Example: Welcome to Amici ‘s. Can I start you off with some drinks?

  • (to) decide on

 to choose

Example: “Did you decide on a main course yet?” asked the waitress.

  • (to) flag down (the waiter/waitress)

 to get the attention of the waiter/waitress
Example: You want another glass of wine? Let’s flag down the waitress.

  • hold up

 delay; long wait

Example: We ordered 20 minutes ago. What’s causing the hold up?

NOTE: See Lesson 23 for the verb “to hold up.”

  • I’ll be right with you

 I’m coming in a minute

Example: “I’ll be right with you,” said the waitress when she saw me waving to her.

  • I’m starving

 I’m very hungry

Example: When we asked Jim why he ordered two steaks, he said, “I’m starving.”

  • in the mood for

 to want; to have an appetite for

Example: Let’s go to a seafood restaurant. I’m in the mood for fish.

  • known for

 famous for; having a reputation for

Example: Chicago is known for its delicious pizza.

  • let’s go with

 I’ll take; let’s proceed with

Example: You recommend the Chardonnay? Okay, let’s go with that.

  • make it two

 I’ll have one too; I’ll have the same thing (as the other person just ordered)

Example: “I’ll take a cappuccino.” – “Make it two.”

  • on the house

 free; paid for by the restaurant

Example: The waitress offered us after-dinner drinks on the house.

  • packed to the rafters

 really crowded

Example: Beth’s Bistro is always packed to the rafters on Saturday nights. If we want to go there, we’d better make reservations.

  • (to) pride oneself on

 to be known for; to be especially proud of something

Example: San Francisco prides itself on its fine restaurants.

  • (to) skip the appetizer(s)

 to not order appetizers

Example: We’re not that hungry, so we’re going to skip the appetizers.

  • surf and turf

 a meal containing both meat and seafood

Example: The waiter said, “Tonight, our special is the surf and turf. It comes with a lobster tail and a New York strip steak.”

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