Let’s go shopping!
There are so many things you can purchase when shopping. Of all things we can buy, food is an essential!
Knowing the names of the food on offer in markets or supermakets, will help you make selections and ask for the things you need. Making a shopping list also helps to organise yourself, whether you shop on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and if you’re shopping for particular meals, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
This shopping list has some of the food items you could purchase, like fruit and vegetables. Make sure you know how much of each item you’d need when you make your list!
Notice the items on the shopping list are written with either an indefinite article, a number or with a weight in front of them. Uncountable nouns usually have a single form. Here they refer to substances and liquids e.g. rice, milk. Because these nouns cannot be counted in the same way as countable nouns, they need a quantifer to measure and show how much. With food, these quantifers are usually containers e.g. a packet of crisps.
The table below has some uncountable nouns and their quantifiers. Note that some items such as rice, can be packaged in more than one way.
|Quantifier (container)||Uncountable Nouns|
|a bag of||flour, rice|
|a bottle of||coca-cola (soft drink), cordial, water, wine|
|a box of||cereal, rice|
|a can of||beer, lemonade (soft drink)|
|a carton of||fruit juice, milk|
|a jar of||honey, jam|
|a packet of||jelly|
|a pat of||butter|
|a six-pack of||beer, soft drink, yogurt|
|a tin of||fruit, tuna|
|a tub of||margarine|
These containers can also be used for countable nouns:
a bag of potatoes, apples, onions, (and other groceries)
a box of crackers, chocolates
a carton of eggs
a jar of olives
a tin of beans
Other quantifiers of fruit and veg.
a bunch of grapes, bananas
a head of lettuce, cabbage
an ear of corn (corn on the cob)
- Weights and Measurements – Read this information from GOV.UK to familiarise yourself with the law surrounding weights and measures.
- Shopping – An ESOL Nexus module to learn new words about shopping and make your own shopping list.
- Going to the Market – Speaking practice activities.
- Taking Food Orders: counter service – Vocabulary, listening and comprehension practice.