The Dining Room

English Vocabulary

In the dining room there is usually a dinner table. This is the place where the family usually eat dinner. If you have soup for dinner, or cereal for breakfast you will eat it out of a bowl. If you eat soup, you will use a soup spoon, which is rounder and deeper than a dessert spoon. A soup bowl is sometimes deeper than a cereal bowl.

When you eat dinner, you eat your food off a plate. The table might have a big salad bowl in the middle that you can take salad from.

If you eat a lot of bread your table will probably have a breadbasket, and you might probably also have a butter dish, which is a little plate especially for the butter. A butter knife is a knife that doesn't have a serrated edge, while a steak knife is sharper, and does have teeth (a serrated edge). Most of the time the table has just a knife to cut the food and fork to pick it up and put it in your mouth.

A cup is what you drink tea or coffee out of, but a mug is a bigger, heavier cup. In the morning the part of the coffee machine that contains the liquid is the coffee pot, and the teapot is the pot (usually made of metal) that you brew the tea in. You use the little spoon called a teaspoon for putting sugar in your coffee or tea. You will get the sugar from the sugar bowl. When you drink tea you might use a saucer, which is the little plate that goes with your tea cup. Some people pour milk or cream from a creamer into their coffee or tea.

Sometimes in the morning you just have a glass of juice, and some families have a large jug or a pitcher of juice on the table, because a jug holds more liquid.

For afternoon tea, you might have a cake on a cake stand, which is a raised flat plate that you put the cake on. Sometimes people use a small plate called a side dish, for the cake. Usually there is always a little piece of paper called a napkin or serviette, so you can wipe your mouth (or your fingers) after you eat the cake or other food.

Cutlery is generic term for spoons, forks, and knives, and a placemat is the piece of material you put on the table under your plates and cutlery to protect the tablecloth that covers the table. But, for putting under your glass, cup or mug, you use a coaster, not a placemat!

The silverware doesn't have to be made of silver, but it includes the candlestick and sometimes the cutlery too. For a romantic dinner you will usually use candles to have a little bit of light, or you might have a chandelier - the big old style lights that hang from the ceiling.

When you want to drink wine, you usually drink from a wine glass, which is different from a champagne flute which is tall and thin especially used for champagne.

Before you sit down, make sure the pepper shaker (for the pepper) and the salt shaker (for the salt) are both on the table.

If you like flowers, the centerpiece of the table might be a vase of flowers in the middle of the table.

In an expensive restaurant the waiter may use the little cart with wheels called a serving cart, to bring your food to the table. You probably use a serving platter at home, which is a big platter to carry a few different types of food on it, maybe in bowls or on plates or if at a party, it might be food for eating with your fingers.

You might be surprised that we sometimes have china on the table. China is not just a country, china or chinaware is also the name we use for fine porcelain. Most people don't use it everyday, instead they keep it in the china cabinet. The buffet is where we might keep the other cups and plates.

Finally, before you ask people to come to the table, make sure there is a chair for each person to sit on!

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