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Speak English Around Town Lesson 6 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

Speak English Around Town Lesson 6 Idioms, Proverbs, Expressions MCQ Test

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LESSON 6 – Complaining at a Restaurant


At Carmen s Bistro, all is not going well. John complains to Kevin, the waiter, about his overdone steak. Tanya complains that her fish is too rare and that the music is too loud.

Kevin: How are we doing?*

John: Not very well. I ordered my steak medium rare, and it’s burnt to a crisp!

Kevin: I’m sorry about that. I can ask our chef to prepare another one.

John: Okay, please do that.

Kevin: You bet. And how’s your fish, ma’am?

Tanya: It’s very rare.

Kevin: Would you like me to have the chef put it back in the oven?

Tanya: No, I’ve lost my appetite for fish.

Kevin: I’d be happy to bring you something else.

Tanya: Okay, let me try the stuffed chicken breast.

(Ten minutes after the waiter has brought the new meals.)

Kevin: How are we doing over here?

Tanya: I was wondering if you could turn down the music. Loud music in restaurants is a pet peeve of mine.

Kevin: Sure, I’ll take care of that. Can I get you another round of drinks?

John: No, we’re all set for now.

(The waiter returns after 15 minutes.)

Kevin: Are you still working on your meals?

Tanya: I’ll need a doggy bag.

John: Would you mind wrapping this up, too?

Kevin: I’ll bring you some containers, and you can box up your leftoversCan I interest you in dessert?

Tanya: I’m stuffed.

John: Could you please bring the check?

* Sometimes waiters will ask, “How are we doing?” instead of “How are you doing?” This sounds very friendly and informal.


Language Lens: Polite Requests

Use one of these phrases to make polite requests:
◼ Could you (please)
◼ Would you mind
◼ I was wondering if you could

Here’s how to form the sentences:

=> Option A: Could you + base form* of verb + “?”:
◼ Could you pick up a pizza on your way home from work?
◼ Could you help me translate this letter?
◼ Could you please** drop my book off at the library?

*The base form of the verb is the verb without any endings
** The “please” here is optional. Of course, it makes the request more polite.

=> Option B: Would you mind + [verb + ing] + “?”
◼ Would you mind picking up a pizza on your way home from work?
◼ Would you mind helping me translate this letter?
◼ Would you mind dropping my book off at the library?

=> Option C: I was wondering if you could + base form of verb + “.”
◼ I was wondering if you could pick up a pizza on your way home from work.
◼ I was wondering if you could help me translate this letter.
◼ I was wondering if you could drop my book off at the library.

Note that Options B and C are less direct than Option A and therefore may sound a little more polite.


  • all set

 not needing anything else

Example: When the waitress asked if we needed anything else, we told her we were all set.

  • (to) box up

 to put leftover food from a restaurant in a container

Example: It looks like you’ve got a half a hamburger left. Would you like to box that up?

NOTE: In the USA, the trend is for restaurants to give customers a white container (“box”) and have them put their own leftovers in it.

  • burnt to a crisp

 completely burnt; very overcooked

Example: Joe put the hamburgers on the grill and then forgot about them for an hour – no wonder they’re burnt to a crisp!

  • Can I interest you in dessert?

 Would you like to order dessert?

Example: When the waitress asked, “Can I interest you in dessert?” I replied, “Yes, we’ll take a look at the dessert menu.”

  • doggy bag

 a bag or container to take home food that a customer could not finish at a restaurant

Example: This salad was huge. I’m going to need a doggy bag.

  • leftovers

 food that is not eaten at a meal; extra food that is eaten later

Example: After our big Thanksgiving dinner, we had leftovers for three days. We were all sick of eating turkey by then!

  • (to) lose one’s appetite

 to not want to eat any more due to a bad experience

Example: After finding a hair in her soup, Andrea lost her appetite.

  • medium rare

 cooked just past the raw stage

Example: This steak is overcooked. I ordered it medium rare, but it’s brown in the middle.

  • pet peeve

 an annoyance; a particular thing that bothers someone more than the average person

Example: Paul hates it when people talk on their cell phones while driving. That’s his pet peeve.

  • round of drinks

 drinks for a whole group

Example: Ed offered to buy all of his friends at the bar a round of drinks.

  • stuffed

 to be completely full

Example: After eating five pieces of fried chicken each, we were all too stuffed to eat any dessert.

  • (to) turn down the music

 to lower the volume of the music

Example: I can’t hear you. Can you please turn down the music?

  • (to) work on

 to eat; to finish eating

Example: When the waitress asked me if I was finished with my lobster, I said, “No, I’m still working on it.”

  • (to) wrap up

 to put in a container or box (to take home)

Example: Sue didn’t finish her meal so she asked the waiter to wrap it up.

  • You bet

 yes; no problem

Example: “If this DVD doesn’t work in my DVD player, can I return it?” -“You bet.”

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