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ESL Quantifiers: Short Stories - Groceries, Costs, and Art

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Determiners are words used before nouns and adjectives. A quantifier is a type of determiner that says how many or how much. Quantifiers: a lot, lots, much, many, some, any quantifier + [adjective +] noun

A Short Story - A Trip to the Supermarket

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Lily who needed to do some grocery shopping. Her mom gave her a list of things to buy, and Lily was excited to help out. She grabbed her shopping bag and headed to the supermarket.

At the store, Lily saw lots of shelves filled with different items. There were many fruits and vegetables neatly arranged in colorful piles. Some apples were big and red, while others were small and green. Lily picked out some juicy oranges and a bunch of ripe bananas. She also found a bag of carrots and some fresh lettuce.

Next, Lily went to the aisle with canned goods. She saw many cans of soup, beans, and vegetables. She grabbed a few cans of tomato soup and some corn. Lily's mom liked to make hearty meals with these ingredients.

Lily then walked over to the bakery section. The aroma of freshly baked bread filled the air. She saw lots of loaves of bread, some were plain, and others had seeds on them. Lily chose a baguette, which looked crusty and delicious.

After that, Lily went to the dairy aisle. There were many bottles of milk and cartons of yogurt. She grabbed a bottle of milk and some yogurt for her family. She also found a carton of eggs, which were a staple in their household.

As Lily continued her shopping, she realized she needed some cleaning supplies. She found an aisle with lots of cleaning products. There were many bottles of cleaning solution and some packs of sponges. Lily picked up a bottle of all-purpose cleaner and a pack of sponges to help her mom with the chores.

Finally, Lily headed to the checkout counter with her shopping cart full of items. The cashier scanned each item and put them in bags. Lily was happy that she had found everything on her mom's list. She paid for the groceries and headed home.

When Lily got home, she helped her mom put away the groceries. Her mom was happy to see that Lily had bought so many things from the list. Lily felt proud of herself for being able to find everything they needed.

And so, Lily's trip to the supermarket turned out to be a successful one. She had found lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other items for her family. Lily realized that with a little bit of planning and some careful shopping, she could help her mom keep their home stocked with much-needed groceries.


  1. Grocery Shopping: The activity of buying food and other items from a store.

  2. List: A written record of things to be done or items to be bought.

  3. Excited: Feeling eager or enthusiastic.

  4. Supermarket: A large self-service store selling foods and household goods.

  5. Shelves: Flat, horizontal surfaces used for storing items, usually on walls or in cabinets.

  6. Fruits: Edible products of plants, usually with a sweet taste.

  7. Vegetables: Edible parts of plants, often green in color.

  8. Neatly: In an orderly or tidy manner.

  9. Arranged: Organized or put in a specific order.

  10. Colorful: Full of different colors.

  11. Piles: Stacks or heaps of items placed on top of each other.

  12. Apples: Round fruit with smooth, often shiny, skin that can be red, green, or yellow.

  13. Juicy: Containing a lot of liquid; succulent.

  14. Oranges: Round, orange-colored citrus fruit with a sweet and tangy flavor.

  15. Bunch: A group of things (like bananas) that are fastened or held together.

  16. Ripe: Fully grown and developed, ready to be eaten.

  17. Carrots: Orange root vegetable that's often used in cooking.

  18. Lettuce: Leafy green vegetable often used in salads.

  19. Aisle: A passage between rows of shelves or seats in a building, such as a supermarket.

  20. Canned Goods: Food items that are preserved and sold in metal cans.

  21. Soup: A liquid dish made by cooking vegetables, meat, or fish in stock or water.

  22. Beans: Edible seeds that grow in pods on certain plants.

  23. Vegetables: Edible parts of plants, often green in color.

  24. Bakery: A place where bread, cakes, and other baked goods are made and sold.

  25. Aroma: A pleasant or distinctive smell.

  26. Loaves: Large pieces of bread.

  27. Plain: Simple, without decorations or additions.

  28. Seeds: Small, hard parts of plants from which new plants grow.

  29. Baguette: A type of long, narrow French bread with a crisp crust.

  30. Dairy Aisle: Section of the supermarket where milk and milk products are sold.

  31. Bottles: Containers made of glass or plastic used for storing liquids.

  32. Cartons: Containers, often made of cardboard, used to package goods like milk or yogurt.

  33. Staple: A basic, essential item that is regularly used.

  34. Cleaning Supplies: Products used for cleaning, such as detergents, brushes, and sponges.

  35. Solution: A liquid mixture used for cleaning or solving a problem.

  36. Checkout Counter: The place in a store where customers pay for their purchases.

  37. Cashier: The person who handles payments and transactions at a store.

  38. Scanned: The process of using a machine to read information from a barcode.

  39. Bags: Containers made of paper or plastic used to carry items.

  40. Proud: Feeling pleased and satisfied with one's achievements.

  41. Successful: Achieving the desired outcome or result.

  42. Fresh: New and not spoiled or old.

  43. Stocked: Filled with necessary items.

  44. Planning: The process of making a plan or thinking ahead.

  45. Careful: Showing attention and thoughtfulness.

  46. Keep: To have something and not lose or use it.

  47. Much-Needed: Necessary and very useful.

  48. Chores: Regular tasks that need to be done, often related to cleaning or maintenance.


Grocery shopping People make lists to help them remember things.
  1. Why might a person make a list? Give some examples.

  2. What are some lists that you make? Why do you make them?

  3. What do you put on your list when you go to the super market?

Cost Food costs different amounts in different countries.

  1. How much do some common foods cost in your country?

  2. What is your opinion about the cost of food in your country? Why?

Beverages Around the world, many people drink coffee or tea at breakfast.

  1. What do people in your country usually drink at breakfast? And at dinner?

  2. Do you drink coffee or tea? Why or why not? What is your favorite hot beverage?

Dairy products Dairy products, such as butter and milk, don't taste good if they aren't fresh.
  1. How do people keep dairy products fresh in your country?

  2. Do you like like fresh butter? What other kinds of food do you prefer fresh?

Compare Prices
Often in conversation people are asked to make comparisons between two things or groups of things.

IELTS Speaking Questions:
  1. How do prices compare in your native country to where you live right now

  2. Describe a traditional dish from your country.

  3. Explain how to prepare your favorite meal.

  4. Describe a memorable dining experience you had recently.

  5. Talk about a type of cuisine you enjoy trying.

  6. Describe a time when you cooked a special meal for someone.

  7. Explain the importance of traditional food in your culture.

  8. Describe a popular restaurant in your city that you would recommend.

  9. Talk about the role of food in bringing people together.

  10. Describe a cooking show or culinary event you have attended or watched.

  11. Explain the benefits of home-cooked meals compared to eating out.

Organic vegetables are often more expensive in Canada for several reasons:

  1. Higher Production Costs: Organic farming practices generally require more manual labor and attention to detail. Farmers may not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which can result in increased labor costs. Organic farms also tend to be smaller in scale, leading to potentially lower economies of scale.

  2. Certification Process: In Canada, organic farms must go through a rigorous certification process to ensure that they meet the standards set by the Canadian Organic Standards. This process incurs costs for inspections, paperwork, and maintaining compliance.

  3. Lower Yields: Organic farming practices may result in slightly lower crop yields compared to conventional methods due to limitations on synthetic inputs. This can lead to a reduced supply of organic produce, driving up prices.

  4. Limited Availability: The demand for organic produce often exceeds the supply, leading to higher prices. Since organic farming methods are more time-consuming and require careful management, the overall production of organic vegetables might be lower than conventionally grown vegetables.

  5. Market and Consumer Trends: As consumer interest in organic and locally produced foods grows, producers are willing to charge higher prices for these products. Many consumers are willing to pay more for perceived health benefits and environmentally friendly practices associated with organic farming.

  6. Transportation and Distribution: Organic farms may be located farther away from distribution centers or urban areas, leading to higher transportation costs. Additionally, organic produce might require special handling and storage conditions to maintain its quality and freshness.

  7. Economies of Scale: Conventional agriculture often benefits from economies of scale due to large-scale production and standardized practices. Organic farming, with its focus on smaller, more diversified operations, may not enjoy the same economies of scale.

  8. Research and Innovation: Organic farming methods require ongoing research and innovation to improve yields and manage pests and diseases without synthetic inputs. The costs associated with developing and implementing these methods can contribute to higher prices.

It's important to note that while organic vegetables can be more expensive, they are often perceived as being healthier and more environmentally friendly, which influences consumer purchasing decisions. Additionally, as the organic farming industry continues to evolve and develop more efficient practices, there may be potential for prices to become more competitive in the future.


A Short Story : The Colorful Art Show

Once upon a time, in a small village, there was an art show happening. The villagers were excited because they had heard that there would be a lot of beautiful paintings and sculptures on display. Many people were talking about it, and some even traveled from nearby towns to see the artwork.

The art show took place in a cozy gallery at the center of the village. Inside, there were lots of colorful paintings hanging on the walls. Many of the paintings featured vibrant landscapes, happy animals, and smiling people. Some paintings were abstract, with lots of bold and bright colors. The artists had worked hard to create these masterpieces.

In one corner of the gallery, there was a sculpture exhibition. Many different sculptures were on display, made from various materials like wood, stone, and metal. Some sculptures were small and delicate, while others were large and imposing. The artists had used their creativity to bring life to the materials.

As the visitors walked through the gallery, they talked about the artwork with much enthusiasm. Many admired the talent of the artists and the effort they had put into their creations. Some visitors even thought about buying a painting or a sculpture to take home.

At the art show, there was also a special section for children. Many young artists from the village had created their own artwork, and it was proudly displayed on a wall. Lots of colorful drawings and paintings covered the area, showing the boundless imagination of the kids.

As the day went on, many people gathered at the gallery. The village headmaster, Mr. Thompson, also came to see the artwork. He was very impressed by the creativity and talent on display. He even thought about buying a painting to hang in the school's hallway.

As the sun set, the art show came to an end. Many visitors left with smiles on their faces, having enjoyed a wonderful display of art. The artists were happy too, knowing that their hard work had been appreciated by so many. The gallery was emptying out, but the memory of the beautiful artwork would stay in the hearts of the villagers for a long time.

And so, the colorful art show became a cherished memory in the small village, where many people had come together to celebrate the talent and creativity of the artists. It was a reminder that much beauty could be created with a lot of passion and imagination.

Discussion :

Section 1: Comprehension

  1. What was happening in the small village?

  2. Why were the villagers excited?

  3. Where did the art show take place?

  4. What types of artwork were displayed on the walls?

Section 2: Art Details

  1. Describe the kind of paintings that were hanging on the walls.

  2. What materials were used to create the sculptures?

  3. What was special about the children's section at the art show?

  4. How did the visitors react to the artwork they saw?

Review and Discussion:

  1. Review key points about determiners and quantifiers.

  2. Have a brief discussion about the importance of using quantifiers to accurately communicate quantities.


Assign a homework task where students write short sentences using different quantifiers to describe quantities of items in various contexts.


This lesson provides students with a practical understanding of determiners and quantifiers through relatable contexts. By using real-world examples from the stories, students will be better equipped to use quantifiers to express quantities in their own writing and speaking.

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