At the Grocery Store – Beginners

For ESL levels 1 and up

The grocery store is a large store. You can buy food at the grocery store. “Groceries” are food we buy in a store, not a restaurant. We buy groceries and prepare food at home. Sometimes, we call a grocery store a market or supermarket. We have many grocery stores:

  • Earth Fare
  • Food Lion
  • The Fresh Market
  • Harris Teeter
  • Kroger
  • Lowe’s Foods
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods

You can also buy food at Wal-Mart or Target. They have a grocery section.

Watch this video.

In the video, you can hear these words. Here are the definitions.

  • produce – fresh fruits and vegetables
  • beef – meat from a cow (Beef packages might have these words: ground beef, steak, brisket, loin, rib, flank, or round.)
  • pork – meat from a pig (Pork packages might have these words: Boston butt, jowl, spareribs, loin, bacon, or ham.)
  • chicken – meat from a chicken (Chicken packages might include these words: wing, breast, leg, or thigh.)
  • dairy – eggs, milk, and foods made from milk (butter, yogurt, cheese)
  • bakery – a store (or area of a grocery store) where you can buy cakes and bread
  • cupcake – a small cake for one person
  • pastry – a sweet, baked food
  • bun – bread for a hamburger or a hot dog

Your Turn

Talk with your classmates.

  1. Tell 3 vegetables.
  2. Tell 3 fruits.
  3. Tell 3 kinds of bakery foods.
  4. Tell 3 kinds of meat.
  5. Tell 3 dairy foods.
  6. Where do you buy your food?
  7. Are American grocery stores big or small?
  8. Is food in the United States expensive or cheap?
  9. Is American food healthy?
  10. Do you like American food?

English Signs: Beginner Version

Every country has signs on the roads and in cities. Some are the same as in the U.S. Some are different.

It is important to know the signs around you.

Here are the names of the signs:

  1. Poison
  2. Ambulance
  3. Hospital
  4. Handicapped
  5. School Crossing
  6. Railroad Crossing
  7. Pedestrian Crossing
  8. Yield
  9. Do Not Enter
  10. No Trespassing

These are the signs:

1. poisonPOISON (image by SilsorIf you drink or eat POISON, you could die. 

2. ambulanceAMBULANCE (image by Pixabay)

3. hospital HOSPITAL (image by Govt. of Ontario)

4. handicappedHANDICAPPED (image by USDOT)

5. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA SCHOOL CROSSING (image by BrokenSphereCrossing = intersection

6. railroadrailroadRAILROAD CROSSING (images by Frye1989 and Ian Britton

Railroad = train

7. pedestrianPEDESTRIAN CROSSING (image by Mark Buckawicki

                                   Pedestrian = a person who walks

8. yieldYIELD (image by Frye1989)  Yield = wait 

9. do not enter DO NOT ENTER (image by Fry1989)

10. tresspassing NO TRESPASSING (image by Rutebega

No trespassing = Do NOT enter. Do not go in. The place is not your place. 

You can practice some (not all) of the signs at this link. It is a test for drivers.

You can read more about signs at this link.

Enjoy . . . and be safe!

I’m lost! Can you give me directions to…

Do you know how to ask and give directions? What do you do when you are lost? Do you have GPS? Do you ask someone for help? Here is some information about places in the community and how to ask for and give directions.

First, learn some new vocabulary. Practice with the exercises.

  • Community Names 1  (bakery, bank, fire station, hospital, laundromat, house, library, mall, park, pharmacy, post office, school, supermarket)
  • Community Names 2  (police station, parking lot, court house, airport, gym, subway, zoo, bus station, gas station, florist)
  • Community Names 3 (bookstore, clinic, hotel, church, city hall, museum, synagogue, cinema, mosque)

Now, watch these videos to learn how to give directions:

Don’t forget prepositions of location when giving directions. Some examples are:

  • on
  • next to
  • in front of
  • behind
  • between

Now, how do I get home from school?

Black Friday Vocabulary

Thanksgiving is coming soon (we’ll talk about that next week), which means that right now, you are probably seeing and hearing advertisements everywhere for Black Friday sales events. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it is the busiest, craziest day of the year for shopping in the United States.

Black Friday is the day when many people start shopping for Christmas presents, and since most people have a long weekend for Thanksgiving, everyone has free time to go shopping that day. All the stores compete for customers on Black Friday, so they all have special prices and deals (low prices). In the TV and radio commercials, you have probably heard some special words that explain these deals, but you might not know what they mean. Here is a guide to some of the words you hear and see in Black Friday advertisements.

BOGO – Buy one, get one. Sometimes, if you buy one thing, you can get another one for free. If an ad says BOGO 50% off, that means that if you buy one, you can get a second one at half price.

Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving. When the weekend is finished and people go back to work, stores want to continue making money, so they sell things on their websites. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year. It’s the day when people spend the most money shopping online.

cyber sale – low prices only available online. You must buy things from a store’s website to get cyber sale prices. The prices are higher in the stores.

doorbuster deal/doorbuster savings/early bird specials – low prices for people who shop early. If a store opens at 8:00 a.m., the store might have extra-low prices until 9:00 a.m. These low prices early in the morning are doorbuster deals. Listen to commercials closely to find out the hours when you can get these low prices.

exclusions – things that do NOT have a lower price while other things do. Some ads say things like, “40-60% off everything in the store!! Some exclusions apply.” This means that some things are not on sale even though everything else in the store is.

lay-away – the process of paying for something little by little while the store keeps it. If you buy something with credit, you take it home immediately and pay for it later. If you put something on lay-away, the store keeps it until you pay for it completely. When you have paid 100% of the price, you take it home. Not all stores do lay-away. You should ask if you want to buy something expensive.

limited quantities – not enough for everybody. The new PlayStation 4 came out on Friday, and they were all gone from every store before the day was done because quantities were limited. Sometimes stores will give you a free gift when you spend a certain amount of money, but they don’t have enough gifts for everyone, so when all the gifts are gone, you can’t get one no matter how much money you spend.

night owl deals/specials – low prices for people who shop late. Stores want to have shoppers shopping all the time, but they know that people are tired after work and just want to go home. They have night owl deals so that people have a good reason to go shopping late at night when they’re tired and just want to go to bed. Listen to commercials closely to find out the hours when you can get these low prices.

price match – Stores will sell something to you at a lower price if you can prove that another store is selling it for the lower price. If you see a toy at Wal-Mart for $50, but you get an ad in the mail from Target that says the same toy is $45, you can take the ad to Wal-Mart, and they will sell you that toy for $45. They are matching Target’s price.

rain check – buying something at a lower price after the sale has ended. Let’s say you want to buy a toy for your son. You see an ad that says the toy is on sale. Normally, it costs $50, but this week only, it costs $35. You are excited. You go to the store, but they don’t have the toy because other people have already bought them all. They had limited quantities of the toy, and now they are sold out, and the store won’t have any more of that toy until next week (after the sale is over). Ask if you can have a rain check. A rain check is a note from the store’s manager that gives you permission to buy something at the sale price after the sale is over. You can go back to the store next week and buy the toy for $35. Many stores, especially during Black Friday sales, will not give you a rain check.

red dot clearance – low prices on items with a red circle. Sometimes, a store needs to sell all of an item to make room for something new. They will sell these items at a very low price because they want people to buy all of them. This is a clearance sale. They might put a colored sticker on the clearance items so you know which ones they are. Usually this sticker is red, but sometimes a store will have different colored stickers for different discounts. Maybe a blue sticker means 30% off. Maybe a green sticker means 40% off. Maybe a red sticker means 75% off. Each store is different, but there are usually signs that explain the different colors.

sold out – The store has sold all of something. There are no more.

steal – a very good deal (a very low price). Normally, “steal” is a verb that means to take something that is not yours. In this case, a steal is a deal that is so good, a price that is so low, that it feels like you are stealing it (but you aren’t). If you buy a new, 40-inch, flat-screen TV that works perfectly for $75, that is a steal.


Fall Colors in North Carolina

photo by dkirkland

photo by dkirkland

We are so lucky to live in North Carolina during the fall!  This is one of the prettiest seasons of the year!!  You can see the the vibrant autumn colors on the fall foliage from the mountains to the coast.  The changing of the leaves occurs at different times in the fall in different parts of our state.  The colors of the leaves in the Mountains will usually peak first, followed by the leaves in the Piedmont and then the leaves in the Coastal area.

Now until early November, the Mountain foliage will be the most vibrant.  Some trees on the highest parts of the mountains may have lost their leaves, but it is certainly worth a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy some the autumn colors.

For more information on the Blue Ridge parkway, visit:

The Piedmont section of our state includes Charlotte – Mecklenburg, the Triad (Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro)  and the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham andChapel Hill).  Charlotte is at 50% peak coloration and our area of Raleigh is at 25% peak coloration.  The Raleigh area should reach its peak fall foliage the week of November 12th. For a scenic look at our fall foliage, take a drive north on Six Forks Road to view the forest surrounding Falls Lake.  A great place to visit is  Blue Jay County Park.

For more information on Blue Jay County Park, visit:

photo by dkirkland

photo by dkirkland

The Coastal areas are the last sections to develop peak coloration. That area should peak around the week of November 19th.

For more detailed information about the fall foliage in North Carolina, visit:


foliage – leaves

peak – the highest or best point

vibrant – bright