Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you share food with others at meal time?

Do you know how to ask for somebody to share food with you in English?

This is one of those topics that has taken on a different meaning since Covid, and it’s important to talk about it.

There may not be as much of a tendency to share food these days, but you do want to know how to talk about it.

You may ask for a bite here or a sip there with close friends or family, and you want to know the right terms to use in English.

Today we are talking about how to talk about sharing food, and this is a great topic of conversation even if it’s not happening as much as it used to lately.

This may be a cultural thing, but it’s definitely something you want to learn about and know how to use in conversation.

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Sharing Food May Not Be What It Used To Be

When you think about life before Covid, there are things that you likely did without much thought.

One thing that you might have done without a second thought was sharing food.

Since we are now living in a time where Covid has changed so much of what we do, things such as this may have gone away.

It may be something as simple as offering a bite or a taste, and now you have to second guess this beforehand.

You may be trying to do something nice and therefore offer somebody that you know food.

You may love the taste of something and therefore want to offer somebody close to you a bite.

You may even want to ask somebody that you know for a bite of their food if it looks good, and this was a very typical situation in the past!

There are several instances where the idea of sharing food may come up.

This may be something that you only do with those closest to you, but you still want to know how to talk about it.

This is the focus today, as it may come up more than you might expect.

You may even find yourself in this situation unexpectedly, and therefore we will help you so that you know exactly what to say.

Knowing How To Address This If It Comes Up

You might be the one who wants to ask for a bite of something, and that’s one conversation to have.

Alternatively you may be asked to share a bite of something, and you want to know how to talk through that as well.

You may very well be approached by somebody that you are close to, but you should be prepared in case it’s someone you don’t know as well or feel as comfortable with.

The reality is that with Covid, so much has changed around sharing food or drinks.

People are likely to be much more cautious so that they don’t spread germs, which is completely understandable.

The situation will likely still come up though, as you may want to offer somebody food or you may want to ask for a taste of what they have.

Think back and ask yourself, did you trade food as a kid?

This is something that transpired in so many school lunchrooms back in the day, and so you may be used to being in this situation.

As an adult it’s different though, and you want to be certain to talk about this in the right way.

When considering if sharing food is appropriate, consider the relationship of the person you may be sharing with.

If it’s family or close friends, then you may feel far more comfortable even in current times.

We are going to give you some different words you can use to describe what you are eating or drinking.

What about this in business?

These are still helpful, even if the situation doesn’t come up as often in that context or environment.

Here are some conversation questions that can get you thinking about this and therefore deciding what you feel comfortable with, as well as how to talk about it.

-Do you ever say  no when someone asks to try your food?

-Is there anyone you don’t even ask to try their food? You just do it?

-What is the best food you have eaten in the past couple weeks?

Think through these before you may be in this situation, and next you will learn the right things to say.

Words About Sharing Food

They are simple enough words, but they are a big part of this type of conversation.

These are the words that you may use to ask for a bit of something or offer to share your food with someone.

You want to know what each one means and how it is best used, because that matters here.

The context by which you may use this is important, as is the way in which you use this.

So think of the relationship that you have with this person, the conversation that you are having, and the way in which you may use this to talk about sharing food in a certain way.

  • Bite: You would say something like “Can I have a bite?” This is not so much as a verb for that wouldn’t work, such as saying “I want to bite your sandwich.” You wouldn’t say that, but you could take a bite or have a bite. This is used only for food, and it tends to be out of something bigger. You would take a bite out of a burger but not out of something like a French fry.
  • Sip: This is used only for drink ad you would say something like “You want a sip?” This could maybe be used as a verb but tends to be more like this. Since it’s a drink that you want a sip of, this may be something that is designated for those that you are closest to.
  • Taste: This could be used as a noun or verb. You could say “Can I have a little taste of your cake?” Another option is that you could say “You have to taste this cake!” It can be used for either drink or food, as it works well in both situations.
  • Try: This can be used as a noun or verb so it’s versatile in this capacity. You could say “Want a try of my mashed potatoes?” Alternatively you could also say “Can I try your potatoes?” As you can see, this works well for either drink or food.

These are the words that you are likely to use in conversations centered around sharing food.

Try them out in the right conversation and you will see how well they work for communicating what you want to share.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Michelle are close friends who are at lunch together.

Lindsay: “Wow those fries look delish!* Can I have a taste?” 

Michelle: “Sure, but only if I can have a sip of your iced coffee.”

Lindsay: “Done. Mmm that’s so good. Ok I’ll try my salmon. Wow, you gotta try this!”

Michelle: “Eh, it’s ok. I’m not in the mood for fish right now. Can I have a bite of your salad though?”

Lindsay: “Yeah, it’s so good.”


The idea of sharing food is quite different nowadays than it ever used to be.

Though you may think twice before sharing food, it is still going to happen.

So when this comes up in conversation, now you know how to talk about it.

We gave you some more interesting vocab for these situations, and we even spoke about the thought behind this act in light of Covid.

We can do a follow up on different ways to ask or to say no, but this is a good starting point for this type of conversation.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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