How to Speak English in a Pub

Going to the pub is a very popular tradition in the UK. Pubs and bars are a great place to socialise and make new friends. If you are studying English at one of our schools in the UK,  it is also a great way to practice your speaking skills!

Going to the pub is very British tradition; here is my local one!
Going to the pub is very British tradition; here is my local one!

If you would like to know how to speak English in a pub or a bar, here are some of the key phrases and words you might hear:


"Cheers": Used as a toast at the beginning of drinks

"A round": A serving of drinks to each of a group. Usually everyone in the group takes a turn to get a round.

"On me": If a drink is "on" someone, he is the person paying for it.

"A tab": Rather than paying for your drink each time you go to the bar, you can start a "tab", which keeps a list of all the drinks you've bought. You can then pay at the end. Be careful, on a wild night out, tabs can be quite dangerous!

“Last orders!”: The final time you can order a drink that evening.

"Table Service": A bar tender comes to you and asks what you would like to eat/drink.

"Bar Service": You have to go up to the bar to make your order.

(When in the UK) “Chips”: A plate of hot chipped potatoes that go very well with vinegar and ketchup.  Not to be confused with….

(When in the UK) “Crisps”: A salty potato chip snack. They come in many flavors. Ready Salted is a classic.

“A pint”: A pint is a measurement of beer. A pint is a large glass. It is the most common drink you’ll see in a British pub.

“A half pint”: For those who enjoy beer, but would like a smaller amount. A half pint is half the size of a regular pint.

“A pitcher”: A jug.

“A soft drink”: A non-alcoholic drink.

“A mixer”: A non-alcoholic drink mixed with a spirit, such as whiskey.

“Bartenders/Bar staff”: The lovely people who provide you with drinks and food during your time at the pub.

A "round" of drinks


"Would you like a drink?”: Asking someone to go for a drink is a great conversation starter if you are with a group of new people.

"What can I get you?": This is another way of asking what someone would like to drink. Usually bartenders say it to customers.

"Do you serve food here?": Lots of pubs also serve food. Trying this food is a chance to sample traditional British cooking. If you are staying in the pub a long time, it is probably a good idea to eat something.

"Do you fancy a game of pool?": “To fancy” something means to be interested in something. Pub games are another great way to start socialising. Other typical pub games include quiz machines, table football and darts.

Bar games are a great way to start talking to someone
Bar games are a great way to start talking to someone



"The next round is on Martin"

"I'm going to be here a while. I'd like to start a tab please"

"Last orders please! The bar is closing in fifteen minutes!"

"Whose round is it?"

“I’ll have a pint of lager and a packet of crisps.”

"Who fancies a game of table football?"

“Rob, would you like a pint or a bottled beer?”

“Can I have a plate of chips please?”

“Hazel doesn't want to drink beer tonight, she prefers mixers.”

“Apart from coke, what other soft drinks do you have?”

“What time do you stop serving food?”

Have you been to a British pub before? Do you know any other phrases that could be useful?