Everyday British English For Household Tasks And Domestic Chores Ep 740

A bright orange laundry liquid bottle floating on soap suds. Fluent British English at Home.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 3255 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 17 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 10.9 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

Everyday Household British English Phrases & Expressions

#EnglishLesson 🔑 Our latest British English lesson, packed with practical vocabulary for everyday life. Today we learn how we Brits talk in the real world, everything from household chores to the kitchen, and improve your everyday conversational English.

Why You'll Love This Lesson:

  • Learn Useful Vocabulary: From laundry terms to kitchen essentials, expand your English with every listen.
  • Improve Practical Conversation Skills: Engage in everyday English confidently, covering everything from setting the table to air drying clothes.
  • Understand Cultural Differences: Get insider tips on British household terms and idiomatic expressions.

✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-phrases-british-household-chores-vocabulary/

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
⭐ William Morris

This lesson is a goldmine for expanding your English vocabulary in a highly practical way.

By focusing on common household chores and routines, it immerses you in the natural, idioms used by native British speakers for everyday tasks.

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour.
⭐ Anonymous

🌟 Join us now and turn your learning from boring to interesting! Speak English fluently with Adept English—where language meets curiosity. 🌟

More About This Lesson

Are you tired of feeling lost when it comes to household tasks and conversations? This lesson is the key to unlocking practical use of English vocabulary for daily chores and routines. Get ready to improve your fluency and confidence in no time!

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
⭐ Confucius

The benefits of using lessons like this one to improve your spoken English:

  1. Improves vocabulary - Learn new words and phrases.
  2. Enhances listening skills - Better understand spoken British English.
  3. Practices pronunciation - Refine how you say words.
  4. Boosts speaking fluency - Gain confidence in speaking English.
  5. Cultural knowledge - Learn about British life and customs.
  6. Grammar comprehension - Grasp the rules of English grammar.
  7. Real-life usage - See how English is used in everyday situations.
  8. Learning strategies - Discover new ways to learn English.
I’m not a great housekeeper. Every time I hear the term 'spring cleaning' I’m reminded I'm supposed to clean the other three seasons too.
⭐ Anonymous

In this lesson, you'll learn:

  • Over 80 British vocabulary words and expressions for household tasks and routines.
  • Tips on how to talk about doing chores with great idioms and phrases.
  • The missing link to full fluency – the cozy language of British homes and lives.

Subscribe now to our weekly podcast lessons and start improving your English the fun way! With our delightfully practical podcast, you're just one click away from fluent domestic dialogues and truly owning conversations about the most routine tasks.


  1. How can I learn vocabulary for household tasks in British English? One of the best ways to learn practical vocabulary for household tasks is through listening practice. Listen to the podcast transcript carefully, focusing on words like "laundry", "washing up", "setting the table", and "making your bed". Pause and repeat the new words out loud. Look up their meanings and examples. The more you listen to and use these terms in context, the better you'll remember them.
  2. Why is it important to learn household vocabulary when learning English? Knowing vocabulary for household tasks is essential for daily life, even if you primarily use English for work or study. These words allow you to communicate about routine chores and activities at home. They help you feel more comfortable and integrated into an English-speaking household or community. Mastering this practical vocabulary gives you a well-rounded English skills.
  3. What are some tips for remembering new household vocabulary? Try associating new words with visual images or personal experiences related to the task. For example, picture hanging clothes on a "washing line" or putting dishes into a "dishwasher". Make flashcards with the words and their definitions. Practice using the new terms in sentences describing your own household routines. The more connections you make, the easier it is to recall the vocabulary.
  4. How can I get more listening practice with British English? Check out the many free listening resources from Adept English like other podcast transcripts and YouTube videos. Listen to British TV shows, movies, audiobooks, or news. Expose yourself to different regional accents within the UK. The more you listen, the more the vocabulary and speech patterns will become familiar.
  5. Are there other useful vocabulary topics for daily life? Absolutely! Look for material covering vocabulary related to cooking, shopping, health/wellness, technology, transportation, and other aspects of modern living. Building your vocabulary across different everyday themes will help you communicate more naturally and fluently in English no matter the situation.

Learning British household vocabulary is like acquiring a shiny new toolbox - each word a trusty utensil to tackle domestic chores with fluent English. From laundry detergents to dishwasher rinse aids, these vocabulary tools you can polish your linguistic skills to a sparkling finish.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Sieve: A tool with many small holes, used to separate finer particles from coarser ones or to strain liquids from solids.
  • Tin opener: A device used to open metal cans.
  • Cafetière: A coffee pot used to brew coffee by pressing hot water through ground coffee beans.
  • Fish slice: A kitchen tool used for turning or serving fish and other food items.
  • Hob: The top part of a stove where pots and pans are placed to cook food.
  • Laundromat: A place where you can wash your clothes in machines that you pay to use.
  • Pegs: Small clips used to hold clothes on a line while they dry.
  • Cutlery: Knives, forks, and spoons used for eating or serving food.
  • Detergent: A type of cleaning substance used for washing clothes or dishes.
  • Rinse aid: A liquid added to a dishwasher to prevent spots and film from forming on dishes during the rinse cycle.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: Everyday British English For Household Tasks And Domestic Chores

Unravel the Idioms of Home Life

Hi there. How about today we explore some idiomatic expressions and phrases related to household activities and routines? Keen to expand your English vocabulary in a very practical way? One of the things people say to me sometimes, when they’re non-native English speakers, living in the UK - they know the vocabulary that’s needed in say, school or university or in their job. But what they don’t know are the words for things inside their own home, their house or flat! This may be amusing if you have an English partner - that you don’t know the word for a sieve or a tin opener, because you’ve only learned these words in your own language. But you may be in a situation where it’s important to know these words for household items and the words for the domestic chores - the jobs we all do in our homes. That’s ‘chores’, CHORES.You know the vocabulary needed for your studies or career but you find yourself at a loss when it comes to the words used within your own home. Today - let’s plug some of that gap - household tasks and domestic chores - an essential aspect of daily life that often goes unnoticed in language learning. Let’s talk about running your household and what words and expressions are useful in English!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Previous podcasts on the kitchen and cooking

If you would like a couple of previous podcasts that are helpful in this - these are two good ones! Podcast 693 and podcast 519 are all about the words for items in your kitchen. Spatula, kettle, toaster, cafetière, fish slice, hob - if you don’t know these words, check out those two podcasts. You’ll have a better ‘kitchen vocabulary’ at the end of it. Podcast 693 is still viewable on YouTube - while podcast 519 you’ll find on our website at adeptenglish.com. Just put ‘kitchen’, KITCHEN in the search bar - both of these podcasts will show. That’s as well as Podcast 547 on ‘Cakes which are popular in the UK’ and Podcast 405 which talks you through how to make a fruit crumble, a pudding in other words.

Anyway, today, let’s cover some words and phrases that British speakers use every day to talk about the jobs they do in the home.


A basket of colourful clothes in a utility room. Learn Household British English with Ease

©️ Adept English 2024

Doing you ‘dirty laundry’ in private

We all wear clothes - what about when those clothes are dirty? What about when we’ve run out of pants? Well, you do your washing - or if you’re a bit posher or American, you ‘do your laundry’. That’s your ‘laundry’, LAUNDRY. And this is also the word for a commercial business which washes things for people. So the tablecloths from a restaurant or the sheets from the beds in a hotel will go to a laundry. You do also find ‘laundries’ or ‘laundromats’ on some high streets, where you can go in and get your clothes washed. But most people have a washing machine - that’s what you use to do your laundry - in your home. And some people do dry cleaning. That’s ‘dry’, DRY cleaning and it means they take delicate clothes that cannot be washed in an ordinary washing machine to a specialist shop, a shop which specialises in ‘dry cleaning’. And some delicate clothing items may need ‘hand washing’. That means simply you ‘wash them by hand’. I find life is too short to bother with dry cleaning and hand washing. When I’m buying clothes, if it doesn’t go into the washing machine, I don’t buy it. But that’s me - ruthlessly practical!

Drying you clean laundry

So that’s doing your washing or ‘doing your laundry’. What about when the laundry is washed? Well, depending upon your domestic circumstances - that means ‘depending upon where you live’, you may have access to outside space, a patio, a balcony or a garden. Which opens up the possibility of ‘air drying’ your washing outside. This means probably ‘on a washing line’, LINE. That’s a line of rope, suspended between two points, that you can hang your washing on. We call putting the clothes onto the washing line ‘hanging out the washing’. And the things you use to stop your clothes from blowing away? ‘Pegs’ - that’s PEGS. That’s the same word that we use when we’re camping for the things that go into the ground to stop your tent flying away. If you don’t have outside space, then you may have what’s called a ‘tumble dryer’ - that’s TUMBLE and DRYER. A ‘tumble dryer’ is basically a machine for drying clothes and it looks rather like a washing machine. Or sometimes where space is limited, this may the same machine that washes your clothes. We call that a ‘washer-dryer’. And what’s the substance that you put in to actually clean the clothes? Well, usually we’d say ‘laundry detergent’ or washing liquid. Not to be confused with ‘washing up liquid’. The word ‘detergent’, DETERGENT is generally used for household products that clean. That could be handwash, laundry detergent or shampoo - they’re all ‘detergents’. And if you want to your towels and bed sheets to be soft and to smell nice, you might add ‘fabric conditioner’ to your wash too.

What about when you’re going to have a meal?

Tea, dinner and supper in the UK

In the UK, it’s more usual to put everything together onto one plate when you serve dinner, though people do sometimes put a central dish on the table from which people can serve themselves. But if we’re putting the food onto plates, we say we’re ‘dishing up’ or maybe ‘plating up’ or simply ‘serving dinner or tea’. The evening meal is called ‘tea’, TEA up north, ‘dinner’ in the south, and if you’re really posh it’s called ‘supper’, SUPPER!

‘Dishing up’

Before you put food onto plates, you may well put knives and forks onto the table. This is called ‘setting the table’ or ‘laying the table’ - and it means you put out a place setting for each person. The ‘cutlery’, CUTLERY means your knife, fork, spoons. As well as the ‘cutlery’, there may be glasses, placemats, water, pepper and salt - they’re the usual things that you ‘set the table’ with.

Clearing the table and washing up

After you’ve eaten, you remove these items and your dirty plates. That’s called ‘clearing the table or clearing the dishes. Up north in the UK, people do sometimes say ‘siding the table’, particularly in Lancashire, but that’s a variant that many English people don’t know. I’m showing my ‘northern roots’ there! After that you do the ‘washing up’ - so that’s the verb ‘to wash up’ which means exclusively ‘washing the pots’, washing your dirty dishes and plates after a meal. Or this may involve ‘filling’ or ‘stacking’ the dishwasher. And when the dishwasher has finished its cycle - you’ll empty the dishwasher. So the ‘dishwasher’ is a machine that washes dishes. What about the stuff you put into your dishwasher - the ‘detergent’? Well, that’s dishwasher tablets or capsules. And your dishwasher may ask for something called ‘rinse aid’ - that’s to ensure the dishes are properly ‘rinsed. ‘To rinse’, RINSE means ‘to wash with water’ - usually to wash off the dirt, here food - and to remove the detergent used for cleaning. We’d also say that you ‘rinse’ your hair, after shampooing.

Making your bed - and idiom that sounds more challenging than it is!

And when you get up in the morning, you ‘make your bed’. That can sound as though you are constructing the bed with hammer and nails. But ‘making your bed’, means tidying the sheets and covers and plumping up the pillows. A ‘pillow’, PILLOW is the soft thing that you put your head on at night!

Confusing Pronunciation - refuse or refuse?

Getting really down to basics - putting out the rubbish. In the UK, we say ‘rubbish’, RUBBISH and in the US they say ‘trash’, TRASH. And in both places if we’re being more ‘official’, we’d say ‘refuse’, REFUSE. Notice how that is spelt the same as the word ‘refuse’? It’s all in the pronunciation - different pronunciation of two words which are spelt the same - different meaning. ‘Refuse’ and ‘refuse’.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

If you’d like more help with that sort of puzzling pronunciation problem in English, our Consonant Pronunciation Course can help you. That example, along with a many, many others is covered in Chapters 3 and 4 of the Adept English Consonant Pronunciation Course. It’s on our Courses page at adeptenglish.com.

Grow Your English With Famous UK Gardens

Sort out those bins - quite a row of them in the UK!

So back to the refuse. For this weekly task, we might say we’re ‘doing the bins’ or ‘emptying the bins ‘ or ‘putting out the rubbish’. And because we’re fond of recycling in the UK, RECYCLING, it’s likely that there is a ‘food waste bin’, where you put in your waste food. And a ‘recycling bin’, where your cardboard, plastic, glass bottles, newspapers and cartons go. And there’s ‘the ordinary rubbish bin’ or ‘household waste’. You may also have ‘a green bin’ or a ‘garden waste bin’, where your grass cuttings and autumn leaves go. That’s if your local council supplies one.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript

So that’s all very ‘down to earth’, isn’t it? Very practical vocabulary for if you’re living in the UK. Or even if you take an Airbnb for your holiday. You can impress people now with your knowledge of the words for ‘household chores’ or ‘household tasks’.


Let us know if this podcast is helpful and also let us know if there are any other areas that you would like this type of help with!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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