Phrasal Verbs Related To Food And Drink

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  • Post last modified:02/05/2023
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Learn phrasal verbs related to food and drink. Improve your advanced English vocabulary. Use these phrasal verbs in daily conversations in English and sound like a native speaker!

Listen to the podcast Speak Better English with Harry or watch it on YouTube at Learn English with Harry. englishclass101

eating phrasal verbs

phrasal verbs related to food and drink

Hi there, this is Harry and welcome back to my English lessons where I try to help you to speak better English. I do that by trying to help you with phrasal verbs or idiomatic expressions. Improve your grammar, anything that we believe will help you with your English skills.

So what are we going to talk to you about today? We’re going to talk to you about some phrasal verbs, and specifically phrasal verbs connected with food and drink. Of course, all of us like to eat. And we’d like to have a little tipple, a little drink.

So food and drink are really popular, particularly when we’re talking small talk, or indeed when we get together with our friends. We always focus on football and other things, but particularly food and drink. So here are some phrasal verbs connected with food and drink.

So let’s look at the first

to pick at

Meaning: to eat a little bit of food because you’ve lost appetite or you’re not interested in the food

I have tried so many different recipes, but he just picks at vegetables.


to gobble down

Meaning: to eat something very quickly

It’s a real informal phrasal verb. So again, parents always tell kids when they’re eating,

Don’t gobble down your food, you’ll get a pain in your stomach.

If you watch dogs, particularly young pups, and they see food, they eat it in two or three bites, they gobble it down

Or people who are very hungry, of course, haven’t eaten for a long time, they will want to get the food inside them as quickly as possible. So they will gobble it down very, very quickly.

So the act of eating the food really quickly, we say to gobble down. Usually, we use it in the negative,

Don’t gobble down your food, don’t eat it so quickly.

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to wolf down

is another way to say the exact same thing.

Meaning: to eat something at great speed

‘Wolf’ describes exactly what wolves and dogs do. If you watch these nature programmes, of course, they don’t stop to lay out the table or to get the knife and fork. They just eat what they see and they eat it very, very quickly. 

When I got home, I only had time to wolf down the food. I hardly tasted it at all.

I was going to miss the bus, I wolfed down the food and ran up the door.

to fill someone up

Meaning: to get the feeling that you’re as full as you can be

A nice bowl of hot soup will fill you up on a cold winter’s day.

You can use it in the negative to warn the kids not to be eating crisps and other snacks.

Don’t fill yourself up with sweets before dinner.

phrasal verbs related to food and drink

Phrasal verbs related to food and drink. Advanced English learning. Online English lessons on Zoom at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

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to cut out

Meaning: to stop eating something; to eliminate something completely

Cut out sweets and fatty processed snacks like crisps. Have a portion of sweet fruits instead.

But if we use 

to cut back on something

Meaning: to reduce the amount of that food that you’re eating or drinking

So there is a difference between cut out and cut back.

So you go to the doctor for your six-monthly checkup. And he looks at you,

You’re getting a little bit soft around the middle there, Harry, I think you probably need to cut back a bit on the chocolate.

So he’s not telling you to cut it out completely. He’s suggesting that you don’t eat as much of it.

For example, if you used to eat something three days a week, maybe start eating it only two days or once a week.

phrasal verbs related to food and drink

Then the next one

to dig in

Meaning: to start eating

So you go to your granny’s, she has a lovely table full of your favourite food and she says,

Okay, come on in. Just dig in and help yourself.

So what that means is sit down and just help yourself. Just take your plate and help yourself.  When you dig in, that’s exactly what you do. You take your fork and you fill your plate, take your fork and eat it.

Then maybe you’ll come back for a second helping. We have an expression in English, which is

Dig in, you’re at your granny’s.

About six o’clock the dinner was on the table, and everybody dug in. The food was good.

And so my next phrasal verb is

to pig out

It doesn’t mean to eat like a pig, but it means to probably eat a lot.

Meaning: to overindulge; to eat too much of something over a short period of time

Usually, it refers to a time when or a period when you’ve been cutting back in some food or you’ve been on a diet or you’ve been working out. Then at the weekend, you can pig out so we often say,

Oh, come on, let’s just have a day when we pig out. The weather’s terrible.

That’s ordering a couple of pizzas, a nice cake, whatever your favourite food is for pigging out.

Speak Better English with Harry - Episode 340

phrasal verbs related to food and drink

to knock back

Meaning: to drink something very quickly

It doesn’t have to be alcohol, it can be a soft drink, it can be tea, it can be water.

Just knock it back, and we’ll be on our way.

Or perhaps you’ve been playing a football match. Or you’ve been doing some other sport and you go out with your friends for a beer. The beer is nice and cold and you drink it quickly and your friends go,

Wow, you’ve knocked that one down quickly! You must have been really thirsty.

So it’s to do with drinking something quickly, not because it’s greed but because you’re either out of time, or there’s a real thirst.

And then finally, we have

to water down

Meaning: to dilute a liquid; to make something weaker 

Please water down the orange juice a bit,  it’s a little too strong for the kids.

They used to water down their whiskey and then sell it to their customers at the full price. 

So here are the phrasal verbs related to food and drink. Let me give them to you one more time:

  • to pick at 
  • to gobble down 
  • to wolf down 
  • to fill you up
  • to cut out 
  • to cut back 
  • to dig in 
  • to pig out 
  • to knock back 
  • to water down

If you want to contact me well of course you can do so on Always happy to hear from you, always interested in hearing from you some suggestions of things that you want me to include in future lessons.

Of course, if you want or some friends or family want face to face lessons, one to one English lessons for interview technique, whatever it is, come along, we’d be only too glad to help you.

Thanks for listening and thanks for watching. Join me again soon. englishclass101

phrasal verbs related to food and drink

Phrasal verbs related to food and drink. Advanced English learning. Online English lessons on Zoom at #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

English collocations with EDUCATION

25 Collocations with COME

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC.

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