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How to be English 2: making a crumpet

This guy is giving us detailed instructions on how to prepare a crumpet. Crumpets are very common in British breakfast. If you can find one, here's what to do with it. (a funny video based on Charlie's "How to be English: a cup of tea")

Hello, my name is Charles, and welcome to another edition of "How to be English". In the last episode we learned how to make a cup of tea. Today. In today’s episode we shall learn how to make a crumpet.

Firstly, we will need some crumpet-making equipment: a toaster, a plate, some butter, one knife, and least, but not last, the crumpet itself.

We must now take the toaster and plug it into the socket. Once the toaster is plugged into the socket it is all ready for crumpeting. We may now place the crumpet into the toaster as demonstrated. The toaster must then be switched on.

While we are waiting for our crumpet to be toasted we may drink our tea, which we prepared earlier. I like to drink my tea in an ergonomically designed mug.

What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
You could spoon sugar into it.
What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
You could stir it.
What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
You could pour milk into it. I like mine quite milky.
What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
You could put it on your head. Yes, you could.
What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
You could downright drink out of it.
What could you do with an ergonomically designed mug of tea?
There’re many things you could do with a mug of tea.

Once the crumpet has been fully toasted you may then remove the crumpet from the toaster and place it onto the plate. We then take the butter and remove the lid. Then, we take our knife and put the knife into the butter. We must then spread the butter onto the crumpet so that the butter melts in and infuses the taste between the butter and the crumpet.

If there is any excess butter left on the knife we must then get rid of the excess butter. We must then replace the lid on top of the butter to make sure that the butter does not go bad.

The crumpet is now ready to be eaten.
Aaah, delicious!
Thanks for watching another episode of "How to be English"

IN TODAY’S EPISODE= The construction we call "Saxon Genitive" (possessor + ‘S + thing possessed) to express possession is used with people, not things. But we can also use it with time expressions, like "today".

WE SHALL LEARN= "Shall" is an old-fashioned way of expressing the future with the first person (I/we), so it sounds much more formal than WILL. Part of the fun of this video is that he uses a very formal language (and dresses formal too) to give detailed instructions about something very simple, just as if he was explaining how to do something really complicated that needs a lot of explanation.
In modern English we use SHALL with the first person to make a promise (e.g. "trust me, I shall do it"). In questions, we use it with the first person singular to make an offer (e.g. "shall I help you?") and we use it with the first person plural to make a suggestion (e.g. "shall we go to the cinema?"). But in normal English, we don’t use it for the future anymore.

CRUMPET= it’s a very typical breakfast thing in England. The look of it is just what you can see on the video. It is soft, but not too much, kind of fluffy, and to know how it tastes... well, you should try one. Personally, I love it. To prepare it, you usually heat it a bit on a frying pan just wetted with oil (or in a toaster, like on this video), and once it’s hot, you put some butter and/or some jam on it, and drink it together with your milk or your tea.

FIRSTLY= We can say FIRSTLY ... SECONDLY... etc. To introduce events or instructions in a chronological order. But we can also say FIRST... SECOND... etc.

CRUMPET-MAKING EQUIPMENT= a set of things for making crumpets. Of course, it sounds funny, because it sounds as if those things were specifically designed for producing something very sophisticated.

PLATE= you can also say DISH

AND LEAST, BUT NOT LAST= this expression sounds funny because it’s been reversed. The correct phrase is: "Last but not least" and we use it to introduce something that goes at the end of the list of things we’ve mentioned, but not because it is less important than the rest of the things mentioned before. For example: "To plant a tree you need good soil, a spade, some water and, last but not least, a little tree".


THE CRUMPET ITSELF= The reflexive pronoun "itself" may be used, like here, to emphasize the noun it goes with. It’s just emphasizing, it means nothing.

TO PLUG IT INTO THE SOCKET= The plug and the socket are the two elements that have to be connected so as to let electricity flow from the wall wire into our machine or device. The plug is the "male" part (with two or three little bars sticking out) and the socket is the "female" part (with two or three little holes to put the plug into). So we can also use the verb "to plug" meaning "to put the plug into the socket.

IT IS ALL READY FOR CRUMPETING= when we say "it’s all ready" we are more emphatic than when we say "it’s ready. The word CRUMPETING is an invention, it sounds like a complex or exciting activity, or like a kind of new sport (like in "surfing", "parachuting" or "sailing")

SWITCH= the switch is the button you press to connect or disconnect an electrical thing, so that it starts or stops working. So the verb "to switch" is to connect or disconnect the electricity of something. We say "switch on" (or "turn on") to connect it, and "switch off" (or "turn off") to disconnect it. Then we can say that the thing is ON (connected) or that it is OFF (disconnected), e.g. "The television is on, switch it off, please".

I LIKE TO DRINK= when you study grammar you probably learned that all the verbs of "likes and dislikes" (like, hate, love, prefer, detest, enjoy...) are followed by –ING except when they go with WOULD (e.g. "I like travelling" / "I’d like to travel to Salamanca"). But they can also be followed by infinitive with TO, only that the meaning is different:
- I like travelling by train= I enjoy travelling by train, I like doing that.
- I like to travel by train= I think it’s the right thing to do, I feel it’s good to do it.

ERGONOMICAL= designed so that people can use it in an easier and more efficient way.

MUG= like a tall cup. Something between a cup and a glass (but made of pottery, not glass), so it’s tall but it’s got a handle to hold it (exactly as the one you can see on the video). Very common in modern times for drinking tea or milk, also for white coffee (not so much for black coffee).

YOU COULD SPOON SUGAR INTO IT= The verb "to spoon" is, obviously, to use a spoon to put something into a place.

STIR= to move a liquid in circular motions so as to mix the different parts in it

POUR= to make a liquid flow from a container into another place

MILKY= with milk. When he says "I like mine [= my milk] quite milky" he’s just being silly (so it sounds funny, because milk can’t be very milky)

DOWNRIGHT= this word is used to give emphasis to a particular aspect of a person or situation, especially (not here) one which is unpleasant or alarming (e.g. "he’s downright stupid"). [anyway, I’m not 100% sure this is the word he says on the video]

FULLY= completely

REMOVE= take away, separate

ONTO= The same as IN expresses position (it’s in the box) and INTO expresses motion (put it into the box), we can use ON to express position (it’s on the table) and ONTO to express motion ( put it onto the table), but most of the times we use ON in both situations (but ONTO sounds more formal, that’s why he uses it here).

THE LID= the top of a box or other container which can be removed or raised when you want to open the container.

SPREAD= if you spread something you put it over a surface, extended.

MELT= when a solid melts, it becomes liquid or creamy

INFUSE= if you infuse something with X, you fill it with X. It sounds very formal and it may be considered incorrect in this situation (that’s why he looks confused when he says this). In modern English we usually use this verb when we infuse a person with something (e.g. "The new general infused hope into the soldiers"). The later use of BETWEEN with this verb makes things even worse.

GET RID OF= if you get rid of something you don’t want, you remove it, dispose it or throw it away.

REPLACE= put back in place

THE BUTTER DOES NOT GO BAD= in conversational English we would use a contraction here (DOESN’T), but saying "does not" makes the language sound very formal. When butter goes bad we say that it is "stale", which means "not fresh and in bad condition; not good for consuming".

THANKS FOR WATCHING= remember that after prepositions and conjunctions we use verbs in the –ING form.

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