IELTS & TOEFL Vocabulary: Talking about Food
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IELTS & TOEFL Vocabulary: Talking about Food

November 9, 2019

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, I
am going to teach you some great expressions and some great things
you can say about food. Now, this video will
be very, very helpful if you are taking the IELTS, because they often
ask you about food in the speaking section, and same with if you’re doing the TOEFL, because
oftentimes there is a question on food; not always, but often. Also, just this video can
benefit everybody, because food is something a lot of people talk about, and so these expressions
are very good to use in everyday situations. All right, so let’s get started. I have, here, a question. This question comes
up a lot on IELTS, sometimes on TOEFL, and in everyday life.
The question is: “What kind of food do you like? And what kind of food do
you dislike or not like?” So I’ve written here some key
expressions you can use to… Which mean “like” and “dislike”. Now, for
IELTS and TOEFL people, you really want to show off your vocabulary, so these are some
great ways to do that. All right, so let’s look at some of these. The first one: “I really like…” This is better
than just saying: “I like”, because you’re actually, you know, giving an
amount. “I really like something.” So, for me: What kind of food do you like?
I like Korean food, so I can say: “I really
like bibimbap.”, “I enjoy bibimbap.”, “My favourite dish is bibimbap.” “Dish” is similar to
food, but it’s not… We wouldn’t use it for talking about apples
or oranges. We use it for talking about a cooked meal. Okay? So a “dish”
means something that is a meal. So: “My favourite
dish is spaghetti.”, “I’m keen on pizza.” And here, be careful
with this part: “on”. “I’m keen on pizza.” Okay, for these two, if
you’re comparing two foods, you can use these
two expressions. So, for example: “I prefer bibimbap to sushi. I prefer lasagna to pizza.” So it means I’m saying: “I like
pizza better than sushi.” Okay? So, key here, preposition “to”. “I prefer __________
to __________.” Similar-I’ll jump on this side- “I’d rather”, “I’d rather eat”. This means the same thing as “I prefer”.
The “d” here stands for “would”. “I’d rather eat
bibimbap than sushi. I’d rather eat Chinese dumplings
than McDonalds.” Okay? So you can use these expressions, too.
Very helpful for TOEFL and IELTS. Okay, what about for dislike, things
we don’t like? Here are some examples. “I really don’t like…” For me: “I really don’t like McDonalds.
I really don’t like hamburgers. I really don’t like hotdogs.” This has the exact same meaning: “I can’t
stand hamburgers. I can’t stand anchovies.”, “I’m not keen on tuna. I’m
not keen on oysters.” Okay? And finally:
“I really dislike… I really dislike sardines.” Okay? So these all mean “don’t
like”, and these all mean “like”. These are great expressions to use when you’re
talking about food on the TOEFL or the IELTS, or everyday life. So now let’s look at some new vocabulary
we can use when describing food. Okay, so another question they might ask you
on the IELTS or the TOEFL, or maybe one of your friends might
ask you this, is to: “Describe your favourite dish.” Okay, I’m just going to
say this very quickly: The pronunciation of this word:
“favourite”, “favourite”. Okay? Not “fav-our-ite”. And “dish”, what’s a dish
again? A dish is like a meal. Okay? So: “Describe your favourite meal.” This is
a very common IELTS question and TOEFL. So, when you describe your favourite dish, you might want
to talk about how good it is. Okay? “It’s incredible, it’s amazing.” So here are some words we can use that
can help you maybe get a higher score on your vocabulary. The first one… And
these all mean pretty much “delicious”. The first one: “tasty”. Ice cream is tasty.
Chocolate is tasty. We can say “flavourful”. This means it has a lot of different
flavours to it, it has a lot of different taste. So, bibimbap is flavourful. Mexican
food is flavour-, flavourful. You can also use
the word “divine”. “Divine” means it’s
incredible, it’s amazing. “Oh, the pizza was divine. The tacos were divine.” Okay? So
it means really, really good. And then we also have this
one, you can be rich in money, you can also, for food, be “rich
in flavour”. So I could say: “The… The food from last night, dinner last night
was rich in flavour. The cake is rich in flavour.” Okay? So these are all great
expressions you can use. Now, we have the different types of taste
or the different types of flavour. Okay? So I’m going to tell you about each one, and
I’m going to give you an example of each. So the first one: “sour”, “sour”. Okay? So I
know the spelling looks like “sou” or something, but it actually is pronounced: “sow-er”. So,
“sour” is a taste, and it’s like the taste of a lemon. Okay? You know that taste, it’s
very strong, and it causes you to go like…? That’s sour. So lemons are sour, limes are
sour. There are certain types of candy, when you put it in your mouth, it’s very sour.
So it’s like tasting like a lemon. We also have the word “sweet”.
Chocolate is sweet, candy is sweet. We have the word “bitter”, “bitter”,
“bitter”. You’ll notice with the “t”, in North American
English, we pronounce this like a “d”, so I’m not saying: “bitter”,
I’m saying “bidder”, but you can do it either way. If something is bitter, it has… It’s
not sweet, it’s not sour, and it’s not salty. It almost… It has a strong taste, and the
taste is like coffee. If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee with no milk and no sugar,
just the coffee, that taste is very bitter. We have the word “salty”. Okay? So this is
when you put a lot of salt on something. Fish is very salty. If you’ve ever eaten
tuna from a can, it can be very, very salty. Same with french fries. Okay? People put salt on
french fries, it makes the french fries salty. Okay, now we have the word “oily”,
“oily”, “oily”, and “greasy”. Be careful with the pronunciation of these two; I hear a
lot of students make mistakes. So: “oily” and “greasy”. For this one, you actually have to smile when
you say it. So, just like “cheese”, “grease”, “greasy”. An example of something that’s oily
or greasy (they mean the same thing) is a cheese pizza. If you look at a cheese pizza,
the top of it is, like, almost wet, and it’s filled with pretty much fat, so we call that
oily or greasy. Okay? French fries can also be oily or greasy. Usually unhealthy food,
not healthy food is usually oily and greasy. Fast food is usually oily and greasy. McDonalds,
Burger King, all of these fast food chains usually have quite
greasy and oily food. Okay, the next word: “ripe”, “ripe”. If something
is ripe, it means it’s ready to be eaten. So, we usually use this with fruit and sometimes
vegetables, but a lot the times with fruit. If you think about an apple, when an
apple is ready to be eaten, it’s ripe. “Oh, this apple tastes so good.
It’s ripe.” Or mango, if you’ve ever
eaten a mango, you can’t eat it when it’s green; you wait for it to turn a
different colour. When it turns into a red colour or a different colour, we say
it’s ready to be eaten, it’s ripe. So, “ripe” means ready
to be eaten, for fruit. Finally, we have the word “spicy”.
It has the same meaning as “hot”. And so, spicy food or hot food, if you imagine a red pepper…
A red pepper is very spicy, it’s very hot. Indian food is very spicy, it’s very hot.
So, “spicy” means there’s a lot of flavour in it, and usually it makes your mouth feel
like it’s on fire if it’s too spicy. Okay? So that’s the word “spicy” and “hot”.
Again, they mean the same thing. All right, we also have some other words that
are very important when describing food. The first one is “raw”, “raw”. Okay? And notice
how my mouth, it really opens up wide: “raw”. If something is raw, it means it is
not cooked. Okay? So it’s not cooked. If you think about sushi, sushi is fish that
is raw. It is not cooked fish; it is raw fish. Another example is if you eat, you
know, maybe you don’t cook something in your refrigerator, you eat it raw. It hasn’t been cooked.
Broccoli, you can eat broccoli raw. It means it hasn’t
been cooked yet. Oh, and finally… Sorry, there’s a mistake,
here. This should be an “l”, great. “Bland”, so it rhymes with “and”, “bland”. “Bland”
is when something is very boring, there’s no flavour. Okay? So, for
example, imagine eating soup and there’s no salt, no pepper, no spices, it’s just pretty much boiled water,
that would be very bland. Okay? There’s no flavour. A lot of students tell me Canadian
food is a little bit bland. I don’t know if I’d agree, but I’ve heard a lot of students
say that, so it means it’s boring and without flavour. All right, so let’s come back here and
let’s do some pronunciation together next. Okay, so another question that’s very
common if you’re talking about food is: “Do you like to cook? Do you like to cook?” This
comes up a lot on the IELTS test, the speaking test, as well as sometimes the TOEFL.
So, we have two answers here. “Yeah, I can cook. I like it.” I’ve also written:
“I can’t cook.” So the reason I bring this
up is for pronunciation. A lot of students don’t know the difference
in pronunciation between “can” and “can’t”. Because on the TOEFL and IELTS you are marked
on pronunciation, that’s one thing they look for, this is a way to improve your
pronunciation mark. Okay: “I can cook.” “Can” is pronounced… If you know who Barbie is, her boyfriend was
named Ken. So I can put that here, Ken. It’s pronounced the same way: “I can cook.”
This is very different from “can’t”. My mouth, for this, gets very big and wide, it’s almost
like somebody’s pulling my mouth apart when I say: “can’t”, “I can’t cook.” Which one is louder? I
want you to listen. “I can cook.”, “I can’t cook.” This one is the loud one. Okay? So
if they ask you a question about: -“Oh, do you like to cook?” -“Oh yeah, I love cooking.
I can cook really well.” or “No, I hate cooking.
I can’t cook.” Okay. Another thing you can say if you get asked
this question, is you can talk about your specialty. Your speciality is the thing you’re
good at cooking. Okay? So for me, my specialty when it comes to cooking
is gingerbread cookies. I make very, very good
gingerbread cookies. I’m famous for my gingerbread
cookies, so I would say: “Oh, my speciality is gingerbread cookies.
What’s your speciality?” Okay? Some of you might say:
“Pizza”, some of you might say something totally different. So the specialty…
And it’s pronounced “spec-ial-tee”, is the thing you cook the best. So
it’s a good word to use. Okay, finally, last thing I want to talk about,
these are some common foods that students mispronounce. Okay? Again, you’re getting
marked on pronunciation, so let’s just look at these words and how to pronounce
them correctly. The first one: “chocolate”. A lot of students say:
“choc-o-late”, that’s incorrect. It’s like this “o” doesn’t
exist: “choc-late”. We have this word, many students say:
“veg-e-table”. Sorry, four: “veg-e-ta-ble”. We don’t pronounce it this way. First
off, make sure your “v” is good: “veg”. We say: “vegtable”, “vegetable”, “I like vegetables.” Okay, a lot of students make… Make mistakes
with this word, too. The pronunciation of this: “fruit”, “fruit”.
Okay? So not “frete”, a lot of students pronounce
the “i” as a “e” sound. It’s not
“frete”, it’s “fruit”. And finally, similar to
“chocolate”, many students mispronounce the
word “broccoli”. They say: “broc-co-li”, but
it’s actually just: “brocc-li”. The “o”, here, it’s quiet; it’s
a silent “o”, so: “broccoli”. Okay, I hope you’ve
enjoyed this video. We’ve learned a lot of
new words about food, a lot of ways to talk about it. If
you’re doing the TOEFL or IELTS, I hope you use some of these words, because they
can help you in terms of your vocabulary mark, as well as they can help you with
your grammar and pronunciation. I also want to invite you to come
visit our website at There, you can actually do a quiz
to practice all of these words, and to make sure that you understand
them and that you can use them. I wish you luck if you’re doing the
IELTS or if you’re doing the TOEFL, or if you’re simply
learning English. Until next time, take care.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thank you Emma for all your work, I am learning a lot the language.
    As I told you please put some mathematics' videos.

  2. Great video, learned a lot about how we can describe food and use different phrases in day to day conversations.


  4. Today is teacher's day in China,Hope you have a good day .And thank you for you amazing lectures. I learn a lot here and I plan to watch all you lectures.

  5. Hi emma could you clear a doubt for me what's the opposite to ripe in other words how do you say when a fruit is not still ready to be eaten

  6. I like the madam Emma's teaching .very fine and fantastic and useful to beginners and teachers in india and to students community
    By balaguru.v

  7. Emma thank you for all these helpful videos. I really enjoy them. I have watched your videos before taking Aptis exam. They helped me a lot during speaking part. I got 38 out of 40. Thanks a lot again!

  8. Thank you for video. You should eat fish too if you aren't vegan.All the fishes you counted and said you don't like them are my favorites.😂

  9. I like bibimbap too!!! I am so glad you mentioned a Korean dish! So proud hehehe
    You’re such a nice teacher btw! I have an Ielts test on this upcoming Thursday and am studying through your videos! XD

  10. Okay… so on our first date there will be no burgers, hotdogs, anchovies, tuna and sardines but there will be a lot of Bibimbap 😅

  11. Emma is one of the most exciting and wonderful teacher in the world. She is very generous who helps everone in need

  12. I miss Emma I really appreciate your help. You're explanation is very clearly in your pronunciation.thanks a lot

  13. Ma'am,It's my time to appreciate your invaluable effort on boosting
    IELTS .I got 6.5 overall in just 3 weeks practice without getting any
    private tutorials,only depending on several you-tube channels like
    yours .Thank you very much for these videos .(From SRI_LANKA)

  14. Ma'am,It's my time to appreciate your invaluable effort on boosting
    IELTS .I got 6.5 overall in just 3 weeks practice without getting any
    private tutorials,only depending on several you-tube channels like
    yours .Thank you very much for these videos .(From SRI_LANKA)

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