Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 4: Eating Breakfast

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number four. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, the third of our 10-part special series on daily English, I’ll talk about eating breakfast in the morning.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

I walk into my kitchen and turn on the coffeemaker. I always put the coffee, filter, and water in the night before so it’s ready to go. Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored. I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles, but the truth is that I just don’t have the time to cook.

So, I pour myself a bowl of cereal and put in a glass of skim milk, making sure I take a spoon out of the silverware tray. I go outside and pick up my newspaper, and sit down at the kitchen table. I love reading the paper in the morning, though usually I just have time to read a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam. I rinse off my breakfast dishes in the sink and put them in the dishwasher. By that time, my coffee is ready so I pour myself a cup and put the rest in a Thermos for work.

[End of story]

In this episode, we are eating our breakfast. I begin by walking into my kitchen and turning on the coffeemaker. Notice these verbs, “to walk into” or “to walk in,” “to turn on.” Those two-word verbs are very common in English. So, I don’t just walk to my kitchen, “I walk into my kitchen and I turn on the coffeemaker.”

The “coffeemaker,” (coffeemaker) – all one word – is the machine that, you can guess, makes the coffee; that’s the coffeemaker. Usually, a coffeemaker has water on the top—place where you put the water—and then, it has a place for the actual coffee. Now, you take the coffee and you put it into a piece of paper or a piece of plastic called a filter. The “filter” (filter) is something that allows the water to go through it, but doesn’t allow the coffee to go through it.

So, you put the coffee into the filter and the hot water goes through the coffee, it goes out of the filter and goes into the “coffee pot” (pot) the coffee pot is on the bottom. So, you have the coffee, the coffee filter, and the coffee pot. After the water goes through the coffee, what you have to throw out—what you have to remove when you are done—are called the “coffee grounds” (grounds)

Well, “I put in the coffee, the filter, and the water the night before,” meaning, in this case, last night, “so that it is ready to go,” meaning when I walk into the kitchen, it is already ready, I just have to turn it on. Some coffeemakers have clocks that will automatically turn your coffeemaker on in the morning.

“Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored.” The “cupboard” – cupboard – which looks like the word “cup” and the word “board” put together, but is pronounced cupboard — a cupboard is like a cabinet. It’s a place where you store things — a place where you keep things. “To store” (store) – as a verb, means to keep something in a place — to keep something in a cupboard, or cabinet, or a box. Well, the cupboard is what we call the cabinets that are in the kitchen. They’re the like wooden boxes that have doors on them that you can put things in. Usually, if it’s a big cupboard, you have different “shelves” (shelves) the singular is “shelf” (shelf).

Well, I go into the cupboard and I get the cereal out. The “cereal” (cereal) is a very popular breakfast in the United States. It’s usually dry and you put milk in a bowl, with the cereal, and eat the cereal and the milk together. I love cereal in the morning. I really do; I have cereal every morning. Since I was, I think, five years old, I’ve been eating cereal.

I take the cereal out — where it is stored in the cupboard — and I prepare my breakfast. I say in the story that “I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning.” “Ham” is a type of meat that comes from a pig; it usually has a lot of salt in it. Another kind of meat that’s popular in the morning for breakfast is “bacon” (bacon) which is also meat that comes from a pig. It is long and thin usually; it’s cut to be long and thin. Eggs are the things that come from chickens — or does the chicken come from the egg? I’m not sure.

Anyway, we have ham and eggs, which is a very popular American breakfast. Many people in the United States eat what we would call a very heavy breakfast, meaning there’s lots of fat and there’s lots of food. In some countries, this is not done, but in the United States it’s very common for people to have eggs and ham for breakfast. My father used to have eggs every morning for breakfast before he went to work.

Well, I say, “I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles.” A “waffle” (waffle) is something that is made from batter. “Batter” (batter) when we talk about cooking is a liquid, made usually with eggs, and flower, and perhaps milk, and you combine these things together and you get a thick liquid, which we call batter, and you take the batter and you put it into a special cooking machine, which we call a “waffle iron” (iron) And, a waffle iron has a certain shape, usually it’s square, and when you put the batter in, you close the top of it and you cook it from both sides. And, when you take it out, it has little squares in it, and this is called a waffle. It’s a kind of almost like a bread. And, after you make the waffle, you usually put some special type of liquid sugar, which we call “syrup” (syrup). Often, this comes from trees; the best syrup comes from maple leaf trees. It’s called maple syrup; it’s very good. And, you put that thick sugar liquid on top of the waffle. You can also put some sort of fruit on top of the waffle also; I just like the sugar, myself.

Something similar to a waffle is a “pancake” (pancake) – all one word – and a pancake is also made from this batter — this liquid — thick liquid — except it goes into a flat pan on your stove and you flip it over. So, it’s completely flat, there are no squares in it, usually it’s round, and that’s called a pancake.

Both waffles and pancakes can be in stacks. A “stack” (stack) is when you have one long, thin thing on top of another. So, you can have a stack of paper, pieces of paper one on top of the other. The same is true with a waffle or with pancakes. You can have a stack of waffles, one waffle on top of another, or a stack of pancakes. Usually, we talk about a stack of pancakes. If you go to a restaurant and you order breakfast and you want pancakes, sometimes they will ask you if want a “short stack,” meaning just one or two, or you might have a regular stack, which could be four or five. Remember, Americans eat a big breakfast, that’s why there’s so many big Americans.

Getting back to our story, I am not having ham, eggs or waffles; I’m having a bowl of cereal. And, to prepare my cereal, I put it into a bowl and I pour skim milk on top. “Skim (skim) milk” is milk with no or very little fat in it. Milk comes in four different types: you have whole milk, which has the most fat; you have two percent milk, which has somewhat less fat; you can have one percent, which is even less fat; or you can have fat free, or skim, milk, which has little or no fat at all. Well, because I don’t want to be a big American, I have skim milk.

In order to eat my cereal, I have to take a spoon out of the silverware tray. The
“silverware” (silverware) – all one word – is the name we give the knife, the fork, and the spoon together. Sometimes those are called silverware even though they are not made of silver. Other people in a restaurant may call them utensils. “Utensils” (utensils). If you go to a restaurant and you sit down and you don’t have a spoon or a fork or a knife, you would ask the waiter or waitress for some utensils, or you could just say, “I need some silverware.”

A “silverware tray” (tray) is a place where you put the silverware — you put the utensils, the forks, the spoons, the knives — in a drawer. And, usually a tray is like a little box that has holes in it for specific things. That word, tray, can also be used to describe a small, flat piece of plastic or wood that you use to carry things on, like your dishes.

Well, I get my spoon, and I go out and I get my newspaper, which, of course, is what has the news, the sports, and the international and national news. Many Americans like to read a newspaper in the morning, just like people all over the world do. “I “sit down at the kitchen table and I read the paper.” Sometimes we call a newspaper just the paper. Someone says, “I read it in the paper this morning,” they mean the newspaper.

Usually I just have time to read a couple of stories, a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam.” “To grab” (grab) means to take something, usually with your hand. “To grab something with your hand” means to pick it up — to take it with your hand. “I grab a banana,” which I like to eat, and “a slice of toast with jam.”

“Toast” (toast) is bread that you put in something called a “toaster” (toaster) and the toaster heats up the bread until the bread is brown on the outside. “A slice of toast” (slice) is a piece of toast. We use the words slice when we are talking about one piece of bread, or one piece of cake. You can have a slice of cake; you can also have a slice of pie.

This is a slice of toast, which is bread that we put in a toaster, and we toast the bread. We can use toast as a verb as well. And, after I toast the bread, I can put butter on it or I can put “jam” (jam). And, jam is made from fruit — such as strawberries — and sugar, and they put them together and it makes a thick liquid that you can put on a piece of toast. We would say we spread the jam on the toast. We use that verb “spread” (spread) to talk about putting butter or putting jam on a piece of toast, usually with a knife.

When I am done with my breakfast, “I rinse off my breakfast dishes.” “To rinse” means to clean something with water. To rinse off is the verb. You could just say, “I rinse my breakfast dishes,” but we like those two-word verbs in English and so we would probably say, “rinse off my breakfast dishes.”

I rinse them off in the sink, and I put them in the dishwasher. The “dishwasher” (dishwasher) is a machine that cleans the dishes. Some families have dishwashers. The joke that we make sometimes in English is that someone —when someone says, “Oh, do you have a dishwasher?” and you say, “Yes, I am the dishwasher,” which means you don’t have a machine that washes your dishes; you wash your dishes by yourself. We would say you wash them by hand.

But the time I’m finished rinsing off my breakfast dishes, my coffee is ready and so, I pour myself a cup. Notice the use of that verb, “pour.” We use that verb when we are removing liquid from a bottle and putting it into a cup or a glass. We also used that verb, “pour,” when I said, “I pour myself a bowl of cereal.” Now, cereal isn’t liquid, but it is something that you can put into another container, in this case, into a bowl, and it comes out of the bigger container and into the smaller container. So, it comes out of the cereal box and goes into the bowl. So, we use that verb usually when we talk about liquid things like water or milk, but you can also use it when we talk about cereal.

Well, “I pour myself a cup” of coffee and I “put the rest in a Thermos for work.” A Thermos, which is “Thermos,” is a bottle that keeps hot liquid hot and cold liquid cold. So, if you have hot coffee and you put it into a Thermos, the Thermos—this bottle—will keep it hot for a long time.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a regular speed.

[Start of story]

I walk into my kitchen and turn on the coffeemaker. I always put the coffee, filter, and water in the night before so it’s ready to go. Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored. I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles, but the truth is that I just don’t have the time to cook.

So, I pour myself a bowl of cereal and put in a glass of skim milk, making sure I take a spoon out of the silverware tray. I go outside and pick up my newspaper, and sit down at the kitchen table. I love reading the paper in the morning, though usually I just have time to read a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam. I rinse off my breakfast dishes in the sink and put them in the dishwasher. By that time, my coffee is ready so I pour myself a cup and put the rest in a Thermos for work.

[End of story]

You’ll want to grab a copy of anything written by our scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse. It is sure to help you with your English.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan, thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

Glossary
coffeemaker – a machine that makes coffee by passing hot water through ground coffee beans

* Scott has a very small coffeemaker that makes only two cups of coffee each time.

filter – a thin piece of paper that allows liquid to pass though, but prevents the ground coffee beans from getting through

* This morning, his cup of coffee had a lot of small pieces of coffee beans in it because he forgot to put the filter in his coffeemaker.

the night before – the previous night; yesterday night

* I always choose my clothes the night before, so that I can get dressed more quickly the next morning.

cupboard – a wooden box with shelves and a door that hangs on a kitchen wall and is used to store plates, glasses, and other things

* Please dry the plates and put them back in the kitchen cupboard above the stove.

cereal – a food made from grains (wheat, oats, barley) that is eaten with cold milk for breakfast

* I’ve never known anyone who liked to eat cereal as much as he does. He eats it for breakfast and dinner!

to store – to keep; to put something in a place to use later

* Where should we store these bicycles? Do you have room in the garage?

ham and eggs – a traditional American breakfast of fried, salted pork and eggs

* I’m like to order some toast to go with my ham and eggs.

stack – a pile of objects resting on each other that goes up

* When her boyfriend saw that she was carrying a huge stack of books to her class, he offered to help her.

waffle – a square piece of thick, sweet bread with small square shapes on each side, usually eaten for breakfast with syrup, honey, or jam

* To make waffles, you will need flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk.

skim milk – milk that has no fat

* She asked her assistant to get her a cup of coffee with a little skim milk and no sugar.

silverware tray – a container that holds forks, knives, and spoons

* Once the forks are dry, please put them in the silverware tray.

newspaper – large pieces of paper printed with news and advertisements, usually produced daily or weekly

* We get the Sunday newspaper delivered to our house so we don’t need to go to the store to buy it.

to grab – to quickly take something with one’s hand

* He grabbed the child’s hand and pulled her away from the busy street.

slice of toast with jam – a crispy, heated piece of bread covered with sweet, mashed fruit

* I usually have a slice of toast with jam for breakfast, but today I didn’t have time.

to rinse off – to use water to remove dirt or small pieces of food from an object

* She didn’t have time to wash the dishes this morning, but she rinsed them off so that it wouldn’t be too difficult to wash later.

dishwasher – a machine that washes dishes

* The dishwasher broke right before the party and we had to wash all of the dishes by hand.

thermos – a container that has a tight lid that keeps liquids warm or cold

* He always carries two thermoses to work, one for his coffee and the other one for his soup.

Culture Note
Dentists

Dentists “diagnose” (identify the source of a problem or illness) and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, “gums” (the soft, pink material that helps to hold teeth in place), and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on “diet” (what one eats and drinks) choices that affect “oral” (mouth) health.

Dentists use a variety of materials and equipment. They wear “masks” (covering over the mouth or face), “gloves” (covering over the hands), and “safety glasses” (covering the eyes) to protect themselves and their patients from “infectious” (able to be transmitted or transferred from one person to another) diseases.

Dentists also use different types of equipment, including “x-ray machines,” which take pictures of the body under the skin, and “drills,” tools that turn very quickly to make holes in hard surfaces.

Most dental students need at least a bachelor’s degree before entering dental school. All dental schools require applicants to have completed certain required science courses, such as “biology” (the study of living things) and “chemistry” (the study of the substances that matter or things are composed of). “Majoring in” (selecting as one’s main focus of university study) a science, such as biology, might increase the chances of being accepted, but no specific major is required to enter most dental programs.

College undergraduates who plan on applying to dental school must usually take the Dental Acceptance Test (DAT) during their “junior year” (third year) of college. Admission to dental school can be “competitive” (difficult to achieve or get). Dental schools use these tests, along with other factors such as “grade point average” (the average of one’s grades from individual courses) and recommendations, to admit students into their programs.

Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state. In most states, a license requires a degree from an “accredited” (official, having met state or federal requirements) dental school and passing a written and “practical” (using one’s hands to complete tasks) exam.