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Four meals a day are served traditionally in Britain: breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.

In many countries breakfast is a snack rather than a meal but the English breakfast eaten at about eight o'clock in the morning, is a full meal, much bigger than on the Continent.[35]

Some people begin with a plateful of porridge but more often cornflakes with milk and sugar. Then comes at least one substantial course, such as kippers or bacon and eggs. Afterwards comes toast with butter and marmalade or jam. The meal is "washed down" with tea or coffee.

Most British people now have such a full breakfast only on Sunday mornings. On weekdays it is usually a quick meal: just cornflakes, toast and tea.

English lunch, which is usually eaten at one o'clock, is based on plain, simply-cooked food. It starts with soup or fruit juice. English people sometimes say that soup fills them up without leaving sufficient room for the more important course which consists of meat, poultry or fish accompanied by plenty of vegetables.

Apple-pie is a favourite sweet, and English puddings of which there are very many, are an excellent ending to a meal, especially in winter. Finally a cup of coffee — black or white.

Tea, the third meal of the day, is taken between four and five o'clock especially when staying in a hotel when a pot of tea with a jug of milk and a bowl of sugar are brought in. Biscuits are handed round.

At the weekends afternoon tea is a very sociable time. Friends and visitors are often present.

Some people like to have the so-called "high tea" which is a mixture of tea and supper — for example meat, cheese and fruit may be added to bread and butter, pastries and tea.

Dinner is the most substantial meal of the day. The usual time is about seven o'clock and all the members of the family sit down together. The first course might be soup. Then comes the second course: fish or meat, perhaps the traditional roast beef of old England. Then the dessert is served: some kind of sweet. But whether a person in fact gets such a meal depends on his housekeeping budget. Some people in the towns and nearly all country people have dinner in the middle of the day instead of lunch. They have tea a little later, between five and six o'clock, when they might have a light meal — an omelette, or sausages or fried fish and chips or whatever they can afford.

Then before going to bed, they may have a light snack or supper — е.g. a cup of hot milk with a sandwich or biscuit.

The evening meal as we have said already goes under various names: tea, "high tea", dinner or supper depending upon its size and also the social standing of those eating it.

(See: Potter S. Everyday English for Foreign Students. Lnd., 1963}


Niск: I say, mum, I'm terribly hungry. I haven't had a thing all day. I could do with a snack.

Mother: Why, you're just in time for dinner.

Niск: No soup for me. I'd rather have beefsteak.

Mother: Are you quite sure you wouldn't like some soup? It tastes all right.

Nick: There is nothing like steak and chips. I'll go and wash my hands.

Mother: How's the steak? I'm afraid it's underdone.

Nick: Oh, it's done to a turn, just to my liking. I don't like meat overdone. May I have another helping of chips?

Mother: Yes, certainly. Hand me your plate, please, and help yourself to the salad. Just to see how it tastes.

Nick: Oh, it's delicious.

Mother: Shall I put some mustard on your steak?

Nick: No, thanks, I don't care for mustard. I'd rather take a spoonful of sauce. Pass me the sauce, please.

Mother: Here you are. Oh, isn't there a smell of something burning?

Niск: So there is.

Mother: I've left the layer-cake in the oven.

Nick: For goodness' sake get it out quick.

Mother (coming back): Oh, Nick! How awkward of you to have spilt the sauce over the table-cloth. Get a paper napkin from the sideboard and cover it up.

Nick: I'm terribly sorry. I was quite upset about my favourite cake getting spoiled.

Mother: Don't worry. Here it is, brown and crisp on the outside. What will you have, tea or coffee?

Niск: A cup of tea.

Mother: Any milk? Shall I put butter on your bread?

Nick: No, thanks. I can't see the sugar-basin.

Mother: It's behind the bread-plate. Have a better look.

Nick: I'm afraid it's the salt-cellar.

Mother: So it is. In my hurry I must have left it in the dresser.

Nick: It's all right I'll get it myself.

Mother: Help yourself to the cake. There's nothing else to follow.

Nick: I've had a delicious meal.


— Let's go to the dining-hall. We haven't much time left, but we'll manage it all right if you hurry. You take a place in the queue and I'll see what we can get for dinner.

— All right. What is on the menu?

— Cabbage soup with meat, chicken soup with noodles and pea soup.

— I don't know whether I'll have any. What have they got for seconds?

— Fried fish and mashed potatoes, beefsteak, bacon and eggs.

— And for dessert?

— A lot of things. We can have stewed fruit or cranberry jelly or strawberries and cream.

— Then, I'll take cabbage soup with sour cream and... Well, and what about some starter? We've completely forgotten about it.

— As we are in a hurry I believe we can do without it. I never thought you were a big eater.

— Neither did I. But I wouldn't mind having something substantial now.

— So we'll take one cucumber salad and one tomato salad. That'll do for the time being. I think I can manage a bit of fish-jelly as well and then chicken soup with noodles. That'll be fine.



bacon n napkin n snack n

biscuit n noodle soup n sociable adj

bread-plate n omelet (te) n sour cream n

chips n pastry n starter n

cornflakes n pepper-box (pot) n (beef) steak n

cream n porridge n stewed fruit n

fruit juice n poultry n sugar-basin n

jelly n pudding n sweet n

jug n roast beef n table-cloth n

marmalade n salt-cellar n toast n

mustard-pot n sauce-boat n

Word Combinations

to boil meat (potatoes, cabbage, to fry bacon, eggs, potatoes,

eggs, water, milk, etc) fish (cod, perch, pike, had

to stew fruit (vegetables, meat) dock, trout, salmon)

crust of bread to taste good (bad, deli-

to sit at table (having a meal) cious, etc.)

(cf.: to sit at the table writing to be done to a turn (over

a letter, etc.) done, underdone)

to have (take) smth. for dinner crisp toast

(for the first, second course, to help oneself to smth.

or dessert) to pass smth. to smb,

to butter one's bread (roll, etc.) to dine in (out)

to have a snack (a bite of food) it's to my liking

to have another helping of smth. there's nothing like ice

to roast meat (mutton, pork, cream (steak, etc.)

beef), fowl (chicken, duck, there's nothing else coming

goose, turkey), potatoes for a change

Study themeanings and use of these items of your Essential Vocabulary:

1. Food and Meal. Food is a general term for anything that people eat: bread, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, milk, tinned goods, sweets, etc.

е.g. Man cannot live without food. The doctor said that the patient needed good nourishing food. Where do you buy your food?

Meal is a generalizing collective term for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and supper (cf. the Russian arch, трапеза).

е.g. How many meals a day do you have? Supper is an evening meal. I don't want any hot meal; I think I'll do with a snack.

2. Course is a dish served at a meal; a part of a meal served at one time.

е.g. Dinner may consist of two or more courses. What shall we take for our second course? Soup was followed by a fish course.

3. To fry, to roast, to stew. To fry means "to cook (or be cooked) in boiling fat". We usually fry fish, potatoes, eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc.

To roastmeans "to cook (or be cooked) in an oven or over an open fire." In this way we may cook meat (veal, pork), fowl (chicken, turkey), etc.

To stewmeans "to cook by slow boiling in a closed pan with little water." In this way meat may be cooked, also vegetables, fruit, etc.

4. Starter(pl -s) is a dish served before or at the beginning of a meal (it may be salad, fish, olives, soup, fruit juice, etc.) Hors d'oeuvre (pl -s) is usually used on menucards.

5. Omeletteis eggs beaten together with milk and fried or baked in a pan. The English for яичница is "fried eggs". We eat fried eggs, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, four-minute boiled eggs.

6. Porridgeis a dish of oatmeal or other meal (buckwheat, semolina, millet, etc.) boiled in some water. Milk and sugar or milk and salt are added to it.

7. Toastis sliced bread made brown and crisp on the outside by heating in a toaster. Toast is placed on a toastrack.

8. Chipsare fried pieces of potato, often eaten with fried fish.

9. Soft and strong drinksпрохладительные и крепкие напитки.

Soft drinksare lemonade, fruit drinks, fruit juice, etc. Strong drinksare wine, liqueurs, brandy, vodka, etc.

10. Jellyis usually made by boiling fruit (cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, apricots, etc.) and sugar. Something is added to make the mixture stiff.

11. Marmaladeis a kind of jam made from orange or lemon cut up and boiled with sugar.

12. Puddingis a very popular English dish. It is a thick mixture of flour, suet, meat, fruit, etc., cooked by boiling, steaming or baking. There are many kinds of pudding. Some of them are quite substantial and serve as the main course of lunch or dinner. Others are rather like sweet cake and eaten for dessert.


I. Study Text A and a) spell and transcribe English equivalents of the following:

(первый) завтрак, каша, корнфлекс, бекон, тост, мармелад, сок, достаточный, пудинг, компот; основательная (еда), ростбиф, омлет, сосиски, сухое печенье.

b) give the four forms of the following verbs:

eat, fry, roast, accompany, fill, bring.

c) explain the meaning of the following phrases:

a full meal, plain food, a sociable time, a housekeeping budget, to go under various names, social standing.

II. Try your hand at teaching:

A. Preparation.Write 15questions about Text A. See to it that a word or phrase from Ex. I isused either in each of your questions or in answers to them.

B. Work in Class. Ask your questions in class and correct the students' mistakes (see "Classroom English", Sections I, II, III, VIII, IX).[37]

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