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Learning English — The Flatmates. Lesson 3. At the Pub

Learning English — The Flatmates. Lesson 3. At the Pub

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Buying drinks

Buying drinks

Episode 3: At the pub
Tim: It's your round Alice
Alice:  What, again? Alright, what do you all want?
Helen: An orange juice please.
Michal: The same for me too.
Tim:  Oh come on Michal, you're not in Poland now. Why not try a traditional pint of English bitter?
Michal:  OK then.
Tim: And the usual for me - a G & T, love
Alice: Em, OK.
Helen: Don't call Alice "love".
Tim: Why not, isn't she lovely? Michal, what do you think?

Buying drinks

Alice, Tim, Michal and Helen at the pub

Most people in the UK drink in pubs with their family and friends. They usually drink beer, wine, spirits or soft (non-alcoholic) drinks. Beer can be lager (fizzy and light) or bitter (non-fizzy and dark).
Amount or container Drink
A bottle of  beer
A pint of  lager
A half-pint of  bitter
A half of shandy
Wine is usually served in pubs by the glass but you can also order a bottle to share with friends.
Wine can be described by its colour (red, white or rosé) and its taste (sweet or dry).
Amount or container Drink
A bottle of wine
A glass of champagne
A large glass of dry white wine
Spirits (whisky, gin, vodka, rum etc.) are usually ordered by the glass or by the measure (a single or a double) but never by the bottle in a pub.
Spirits can be ordered with a mixer (water, lemonade, etc.), just with ice or with nothing at all.
Amount  Drink  Mixer
A whisky
A large  vodka and coke
A double rum   with ice

Buying drinks

a shandy (n): a drink made by mixing lager with lemonade champagne (n, uncountable): fizzy white wine a G and T (n, informal): short for a gin and tonic to buy a round (v): often when people are in a group, each person takes it in turn to buy drinks for everyone in the group It's my/your/her/his round: I'll buy everyone a drink Addressing people informally: If people know each other very well or if one person is much older than the other one, they might address each other informally using love, dear, hen, or pet. But it's not usually appropriate for a man to use these terms with a woman, in the way that Tim does with Alice



Tim's ambitious and very competitive. He'd like to start up his own business and is always on the lookout for people and ideas that can help him make his dream a reality. Until recently, he was working as an assistant manager in a department store, selling jewellery. What's new? Tim's been having a hard time of it lately. Some customers returned watches they had bought at his store. when Tim sent them back to the factory where they were made, the manufacturer said that the watches were fakes. Before long the police became involved and Tim was in serious trouble. Tim realised it was his boss who was behind the fake watches and in a show-down with him, Tim resigned. He was unemployed for a while and was feeling quite sorry for himself. Then, his rich friend, Janet, helped him find a job. A friend of hers, Henry, was retiring and Janet persuaded him to let Tim take over his cafe. Tim wants to make a success of the cafe but does he really have what it takes to run a business?


Helen was born in China but has lived in Britain since she was 12. She is at university studying politics and economics. Helen is worried about her exams. She wants to get a good degree but doesn't study as much as she should. What's new? Helen's feeling a bit blue just now. She fell quite hard for Michal and, when he had to go back to Poland to look after his dad, she really missed him. He wrote to her recently to say he's fallen in love with someone else in Poland and won't be coming back. Although she's heart-broken she has also realised she's been neglecting her books lately. She knows she needs to concentrate on her studying but will she be able to or will her day-dreams of Michal get in the way?


Khalid was born in Bahrain, but he is studying English at a language school near the flat. He is also a part-time business student at the University. He loves sport, especially football, and is interested in music and fashion too. What's new? After Michal went back to Poland, the flatmates advertised for a new flatmate. They found Khalid, who was a friend of Michal's. He's been settling in and has been getting on with the others well but after a chat with Tim recently, he realised there might be some tension between them. Tim found out that because Khalid is a student he's paying a lot less rent than Tim. Will the guys be able to be friends or will the difference in their rent payments come between them?


Alice is a nurse from London. She loves her job and gets a lot of satisfaction helping people get better. She wants to get married and have kids but she never seems to meet the right man. What's new? Alice has been dating Paul Laver, a doctor from the hospital where she works. Although he's split up from his wife and has two children, Alice is still trying to make the relationship work. She baby-sat for one of his children, Ellie, recently but it didn't go at all well. Paul and Alice had a huge row after that and the question now is - will their relationship survive?


Michal is Tim's cousin from Poland. He came to Britain to improve his English. He was a student in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) school. At first he was shy and he missed Poland a lot. What's new? Michal started dating Helen. He thought the relationship was casual but Helen thought that it was much more serious. When Michal's dad had a heart attack, he told Helen that he wasn't ready to settle down with her and that his first priority was his family in Poland. He wrote to her recently to say he's fallen in love with someone else and won't be coming back to see Helen. Michal has left but has he gone forever?
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