English Lesson: Drinking Alcohol

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Do you like to drink or have a cocktail? In the USA, this coming weekend is our Independence Day celebration, which means we have a three day weekend. Lots of people have parties and barbecues, and where there is a party, there is usually liquor. So, lets take a look at some vocabulary related to drinking:

In general, Americans like to use the word liquor to refer to alcoholic beverages. Hard liquor means spirits like scotch and vodka.

  • Taste the punch I made. There is a little liquor in it.
  • I’ll be serving liquor at my barbecue on Sunday.
  • Jane drinks beer and wine, but not hard liquor.

Alcohol is an ingredient in beer, wine, and spirits, but alcohol is also the liquid the doctor rubs on your arm before giving you an injection. So in American English, we don’t really use the word alcohol when we talk about something we drink. We also have some slang words for beer and liquor. Here are some of them:

  • For beer we say, “brew”, “brewsky”, and  “a cold one
    • Would you like a brew?
    • Jane, can you get me a cold one from the fridge?
    • For liquor we say, “booze” and “the hard stuff
      • There is a lot of booze at the party tonight.
      • I don’t like any of the hard stuff, but I do like wine.

Do you like to drink? Do you not drink too much? Here are some expressions we use to describe that. Note that we don’t really use the word “strong” to describe someone who drinks a lot:

  • He is a heavy drinker. He drinks a lot of liquor Not, He’s a strong drinker
  • He’s a big drinker. I like drinking (I’m a big football fan = I like football a lot)
  • I’m not such a big drinker
  • I’m a lightweight (when it comes to drinking) I don’t drink so much
  • I’m not a whisky drinker. I’m not a beer drinker…

There are many slang expressions and idioms to describe someone who is drunk. Here are just a few:

  • He’s bombed
  • He’s three sheets to the wind
  • He’s plastered
  • He’s wasted (we use this for someone who is on drugs as well)

If you drink too much, you might feel sick the next day. We use have a hangover and be hungover:

  • I have a hangover
  • I am hungover.

Well, I think I will go grab a brew. What do you like to drink?

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