survival english vocab

SURVIVAL ENGLISH VOCABULARY

This is the kind of English you need if you ever find yourself parachuting down into the hinterland of America or the UK. It also works for the big cities, too. The following vocabulary and expressions are the basic building blocks to keep you fed, clothed and housed while you travel around discovering the people and places where English is spoken. They are divided into topics, ranging from greetings to asking how much something costs. These expressions and their answers should be well memorized to help you get around safer and more enjoyably. I thank Paul Nation for this list.


Greetings and being polite

Hello/Good morning, afternoon, evening + reply

How are you? + reply e.g. Fine, thank you.

Goodbye

Thank you + reply e.g. It's nothing, You're welcome.

Please

Excuse me [sorry]

It doesn't matter

Delicious

Can I take your photo?

Buying and bargaining

I want ... 

Do you have ...? / Is there ...?

Yes

No

This (one), That (one) [to use when pointing at goods]

These, those [to use when pointing at goods]

There isn't any

How much (cost)?

A cheaper one

NUMBERS (These need to be learned to a high degree of fluency)

UNITS OF MONEY

UNITS OF WEIGHT AND SIZE

How much (quantity)?

half

all of it

(one) more

(one) less

Excuse me [to get attention]

Too expensive

Can you lower the price? + reply(Some countries do not use bargaining. In others it is essential.)

NAMES OF IMPORTANT THINGS TO BUY(These may include stamps, a newspaper, a map.)

Reading signs

Gents / Men (restroom)

Ladies / Women (restroom)

Entrance / In

Exit / out

Closed

Getting to places

Excuse me (to get attention)

Can you help me?

Where is ...?

Where is ... street?

What is the name of this place/street/station/town?

Toilet / restroom / bathroom

Bank

Department store / mall

Restaurant

Airport

Train station

Underground / subway

Bus station

Hospital

Doctor

Police

Post-office

Telephone

Market

I want ...

How far?/Is it near?

How long (to get to ...)?

Left

Right

Straight ahead

Slow down (Directions for a taxi.)

Stop here

Wait

Ticket

When

Finding accommodation

Where is ...

Hotel

How much (cost)?

A cheaper one

I want ...

Leave at what time?

NUMBERS

today

tomorrow

Ordering food

How much (cost)?

The bill, please

I want ...

NAMES OF A FEW DISHES AND DRINKS

sparkling water / still water

A FEW COOKING TERMS

well-done / medium / rare [for ordering steak or meat]

Delicious

Talking about yourself and talking to children

I am (name)

Where are you from?

I am (Brazilian)/I am from (Brazil)

What do you do? [occupation]

I am a (teacher)/tourist

You speak (Portuguese)!

A little / very little

What is your name? (Especially for talking to children)

How old are you? + reply

NUMBERS

I have been here ... days/weeks/months

I am sick

Controlling and learning language

Do you understand?

I (don't) understand

Do you speak English / Portuguese / Spanish?

Yes

No

Repeat

Please speak slowly

I speak only a little (English / Spanish)

What do you call this in (English)?