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At the Pub


Hi there!

During this lesson we're going to learn what to say and do in a pub or bar.

In the UK, a pub means a public house where people go to socialise and have a few drinks.

When you're in a pub in Britain, there are various ways of saying different things.

Ordering a drink: When you go up to the bar to ask the bar tender or bar person for a drink, you first need to see what kind of drinks are available in that bar. If you would like to have a beer, you have to consider that there are many different kinds of beer, so you need to ask for a specific one, by name.
For example you could say Hi there, can I have a pint of McEwans lager please?

A pint is an old measurement which is slightly more than half a litre, McEwans is the brand name and lager is the type of beer which is a light coloured beer.

You could also say Hi, 2 pints of "Fosters, and a half pint of Caly 80 please?

Fosters is another brand name, but they usually only make lager so you just need to say: a Fosters without specifying a Fosters lager. Caly 80 is short for saying Caledonian 80 shilling which is a kind of ale - an amber or red-brown coloured type of beer.

If you need to drive after you leave the pub, you shouldn't drink any alcholic drinks as, apart from being dangerous, there are many police checks and if they stop you in your car, they can ask you to do a breathaliser test to see if you are over the limit or not.

So in this case, when ordering a drink at the bar you could say I'm driving tonight, so can I have a fresh orange? I'm Driving means that you have your car with you so you don't want to drink and drive. A fresh orange usually means an orange juice in a bottle or can, not a freshly squeezed orange or a fizzy orange juice such as a Fanta.

If you would like to sit down nearby someone you don't know, you could ask someone Scuse me, is this place free? or Sorry, is it ok if I sit here?.
If you need to get another chair to add to your table, you could ask someone Scuse me, is it ok if I take this chair? or Sorry, is this chair free by any chance?

There are often games such as pool and darts in pubs, which are popular ice-breakers for allowing people to meet new friends.
An ice-breaker means something, usually an activity which breaks a cold situation; a situation in which something friendly or funny needs to happen, in order for people to feel more comfortable with each other before they meet or before they get to know each other better.

If there's a pool table in the pub, you might want to have a game of pool with someone and it's normal to ask a complete stranger if they want to have a game with you.

You could hold a pool cue in your hand and then go up to someone and say: Hi there! Want a game of pool?. The person could answer Yeah sure! or Yeah ok!
Then you could say: Singles or doubles? Singles means that just 2 people play against each other, and Doubles means that 2 teams of 2 people, play against each other.

You'll often hear the word Cheers or cheers mate in a pub. Cheers is a word you say when tapping your glasses together as a sign of friendship. Cheers can also mean thanks or bye, or see you later.
Other words which are similar to cheers which are only used when drinking are: Good health which is formal; Here's to life, or Here's to your new job; Bottoms up, which means to lift the bottom of your glass upwards to drink; Down the hatch, which is a slang way of saying: pour the drink down your throat.

Not all pubs serve meals at lunch or at night, so if you get hungry, you can ask at the bar for a snack. You could say Hello again, have you got any crisps at all? or: Hi, do you have any dry roasted peanuts?
The bar person could answer you: Yep, there's salt 'n' vinegar, cheese 'n' onion, smokey bacon, or just plain.
It's correct to say: there's or: there is instead of: there are, because it is referred to the flavour of each packet of crisps which is singular.
At that point you could say Ok, can I have the smokey bacon please.

In British English, crisps are the crispy potato snack in a packet, and in English spoken in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, they are called chips.
Chips in the UK are French fries or Fries in new world English speaking countries.

So, these are a few tips on what to say and do whenever you're in a pub.

Try chatting with some new friends on GoSpeakEnglish and invite them out for a virtual drink, or even ask them to visit you for a drink in your town!

And that's the end of this lesson!

Now you can see if you've understood the video, and do the test on GoSpeakEnglish.

You can also watch many other English video lessons on GoSpeakEnglish.

Thanks, and I hope to see you again soon!

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Comments 3

Oliver Williams on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 15:33

Good old pub life, you can't beat a bloody good beer and a game of pool on a Friday night!

Good old pub life, you can't beat a bloody good beer and a game of pool on a Friday night!
Harry Smith on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 10:58

It's all true! This video lesson says EVERYTHING that we all really say in pubs.
Nice one Go Speak English!

It's all true! This video lesson says EVERYTHING that we all really say in pubs. Nice one Go Speak English!
Julia Fernandez on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 10:42

Hey! I'm travelling to London this July so now I know what kinda things to say when I go in a bar or a British pub!

Hey! I'm travelling to London this July so now I know what kinda things to say when I go in a bar or a British pub!
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