Phrasal Verbs and Expressions about FOOD


Hello. My name is Emma, and today, we are going to be talking about something I love

to talk about. And that is food. Okay? So today, I'm going to teach you many, many words

that have to do with food. Specifically, we are going to be looking at phrasal verbs.

So your first question might be, "Emma, what is a phrasal verb?" Well, I want you to look

at all of these sentences, okay? "Pick at", "snack on", "pig out", "polish off". These

are all phrasal verbs. So which part of this is the verb? If you said "pick", "snack",

"pig" -- surprisingly -- and "polish", you're right. We have verbs here, and then we have

something -- "at", "on", "out", "off". These words are called "prepositions", okay? So

a phrasal verb is a mix of a verb with a preposition. English has many, many phrasal verbs, and

this is one of the reasons why English is sometimes difficult because if we say, "look

up", "look down", "look around", "look to", "look at", these each have a different meaning.

The preposition is very important to the meaning of the word. Okay.

So I'm going to teach you various phrasal verbs that have a verb and a preposition.

Let's get started.

So the first verb I want to teach you is "pick at". Okay? "Pick at." So you'll notice that

the part of this word I say louder is the preposition. "Pick at." "I'm sad, so I pick

at my food." Can you guess what this means based on the sentence you see here? When you

are sad, do you eat a lot, or do you eat a little? Well, some people eat a lot. But many

people, when they're very sad, they don't want to eat. "Pick at" means you don't eat

a lot; you eat very, very little. You might pick at your food when you are sad or when

you are sick. Okay? So that is the word "pick at". And I've drawn a face here because this

person is maybe sick or sad, so they're not eating a lot. They are picking at their food.

The next word we use, "snack on". Okay? When you "snack on" something, you don't eat a

lot, but you're not going to a restaurant and snacking on food. It's usually you snack

on, maybe, popcorn, potato chips, junk food, candy, maybe sunflower seeds. When you "snack

on" something, it means you're eating some of it, but it's not your dinner. It's not

your lunch. You're eating it, maybe, between meals. Okay? Because you're a little hungry.

So for example, "Tonight, I will see a movie. At the movie theater, I will snack on popcorn."

Okay? Popcorn is not my dinner, but I will eat some popcorn. I will snack on popcorn.


So again, these two words have to do with eating. This means eating very, very little.

And this means eating a little bit more.

Then, we have the next word. I love this word, "pig out". Okay? If you know what the animal

-- a pig is -- if you know what a pig is, you can probably guess that this word means

to eat a lot. If you "pig out", you eat a lot of something. Okay? So if you went to

a restaurant and you ate five hamburgers -- maybe not a fancy restaurant, but if you went to

a restaurant and ate five hamburgers, you probably "pigged out". You ate a lot. Okay?

So our example sentence, "I pigged out. On Friday, I went to a restaurant. The food was

so good, I pigged out. I ate a lot."

Then, we have this word, "polish off". And you'll notice there's a smiley face here.

And this is when you eat even more than "pig out". Okay? "Polish off" is when you take

all the food. There's no food left on your plate. Everything is gone. You've eaten everything

on your plate. You polished it off. Okay?

So for example, "Jen polished off her dinner." It means she ate all of her dinner. There's

not even a crumb. She ate everything. She polished off her dinner. You can also use

"polished off" with drinks, too. Imagine if somebody loves wine and they drink the whole

bottle, okay? "They polished off the wine." There's no more wine left. So that means there's

none left because you ate or drank it all.

So let's look at some more expressions about food and phrasal verbs.

Okay. The next phrasal verb we're going to learn is "live on". When you "live on" something,

it means you eat a lot of it. It is the main thing you eat. So for example, a lot of students,

they don't have a lot of money. They can't afford to go to restaurants. They can't afford

to, maybe, cook very healthy meals. And maybe they don't have a lot of time. So what do

they live on? Well, they live on macaroni and cheese. Very common for students to live

on macaroni and cheese. Other students live on ramen noodles, okay? Or instant noodle

cups, I think. So "live on" means this is the main food you eat. I could live on chocolate.

No. I couldn't. I think I would get sick after a while. But you can "live on" different foods

means it's the main food you eat.

If you live on something or if you eat a lot of something, sometimes, it becomes important

to "cut down" on something. This means to eat less. "Live on" is you're eating a lot

of something. "Cut down on" means you want to eat less or drink less. So for example,

imagine if I drink a lot of beer. It's not true, but imagine I drink lots and lots of

beer and I decide I want to cut down on the amount of beer I drink. Okay? I could make

this sentence, "I cut down on beer." It means I drink less beer. "I cut down on sugar."

It means I eat less sugar. "I cut down on candy." I don't eat so much candy. I eat less

candy. Okay? So if you ever go on a diet, if you ever try to lose weight, you will probably

cut down on junk food or cut down on McDonald's. This is a very, very common expression. Very

important that you know this one.

Okay. The next one is also very common, "order in". Okay? This refers to -- if you're at

home and, maybe, there's a snowstorm out or maybe you're very lazy; you don't want to

go outside to a restaurant. You also do not want to cook. So what do you do? You call

the pizza guy, or you order food in. So it means that you call someone to bring you food.

So a lot of pizza delivery is when you order in. Okay? So let's look at some examples for

this sentence. "Let's order in. I'm lazy today. I'm too lazy to cook. Let's order in." Okay?

So the food comes to your house."

Then we have the next expression, "eat out. Okay. Here, you're at home. Here, when you

eat out, you're actually going somewhere. You're going to a restaurant or maybe a fast

food chain. So when you eat out, you go outside. I don't like to cook. I love to eat out. I

love to go to restaurants. I love to eat out. Okay?

So our example, very simple, "Let's eat out."

The last expression, "dig in". Okay. "Dig in." It's a very common expression, too. "Dig

in" means, pretty much, "eat". Okay. So if you have your friends over to your house for

dinner and you've just given them food and everybody's waiting, you can say, "Dig in.

Eat." Okay? So it just means, "Eat the food." For example, "The food is getting cold. Dig

in." Eat the food. All right?

So these expressions are very useful. They're very common. And you will hear them a lot

if you go to restaurants, if you're talking to people about food. So they're very important

to know. Feel free to come visit our site at There, you can actually

do a quiz to practice these expressions and to make sure you really, really understand

their meaning. All right? You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more videos on

various topics including food, you know, phrasal verbs -- all sorts of different things.

So until next time, take care.