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Cooking verbs for ESL students

When you learn about food as an ESL student, you should certainly focus on learning the different English words for foods. However, you might also find it useful to learn about food and cooking verbs. For example, if you go to a country where pizza is popular, it is important to know how to say "slice the pizza," which means cut the pizza. When you are traveling (or if you meet someone who is traveling in your country), it's great to talk about food. You can talk about food at restaurants, when you are shopping at a market, or if you are a guest at somebody's house!

A slice of pizza

Cooking verbs:


  • To fry: To put something into a shallow pan and cook it with oil


          "Martha is frying eggs for breakfast."

  • To boil: To cook something in hot, bubbling water


          "The water is boiling. Now I can cook the           pasta."

  • To pour: To spill a liquid into a container


          "Please pour me a glass of milk."

  • To slice: To cut

          "I will slice bread for my sandwich."

  • To stir: To mix a liquid with a spoon

          "Henry is stirring his tea."

  • To bake: To cook something in an oven


          "My mom and dad baked me a cake for             my birthday!"

Practice using cooking verbs in sentences

(click the answers to check if you are right!)


1. My grandmom ____ the soup with a big wooden spoon.


a. boiled

b. baked

c. stirred



2. Can you ____ some water, please? I want to make coffee.


a. fry

b. stir

c. boil



3. I am ____ bread right now. It is in the oven.


a. baking

b. slicing

c. pouring



4. Please ____ the pizza! I am hungry and want to eat a piece!


a. bake

b. slice

c. fry



5. Don't drink the tea yet! The waiter just ___ it in the cups, and it is too hot!


a. poured

b. boiled

c. baked



6. I use peanut oil when I ____ potatoes and vegetables in the pan.


a. boil

b. slice

c. fry


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