Have you ever made toast over an open fire?

Have you ever made toast over an open fire?


Have you ever toasted bread on a campfire?

It is not Easy

It is not easy.

There are several steps and it takes time

It takes a lot of time.


It is faster to make toast in the kitchen with an electric toaster than it is to make toast over an open fire.

Have you ever done it?

The Steps to Making Toast over an Open Fire.

There are several steps.

The First Step

The first step is to build a fire.

Have you ever built a fire?

Read about building a fire at this link: Building a Fire

The Second Step

After you have built the fire, you have to put on a lot of wood and then let it burn down.

Phrasal Verbs

You have to let it burn down.
You have to let it die down.


Did you notice the metaphor?

“To die down” is a metaphor.

First Conditional

If you try to make toast on a big fire, it will burn.
If you try to make toast on a hot fire, it will burn.
If you try to make toast on a raging fire, it will burn.


You should let the fire die down.
You should wait for the fire to burn down.

After the fire has died down, you will see coals

Two Meanings of Coal

Coal comes from the earth.

Coal is a black substance which burns.

There are coal mines in the United States.


Charcoal is wood which has been burned in a pit with no flames. It is a type of arrtificial coal. It is used as fuel for cooking.

Have you ever cooked on a a charcoal fire?

The Coals in the Fire

When we look at a fire which has died down, we see hot orange coals. These are lumps of wood which are burning but there are not many flames and there is not much smoke.

Toast over the Coals

Put the toast over the coals.

If you use your hand, you will burn your hand.

If you put the toast directly on the coals you will burn the toast.

Various Meanings of Burn

Language is arbitrary and the verb “to burn” is used in several ways:


It will burn.

In this case the toast burns itself. It is the subject of the verb “burn” and there is no object. We say this is an intransitive verb because it has no object. There is no “transit” through the verb from the subject to the object. The pattern is simply “subject verb”.


You will burn it.

In this case the subject is “you” and the object is “it” which refers to the toast.

Another Transitive Verb

The coals will burn it.

In this case it is not “you” (the agent) who is said to burn the toast. It is the coals which actually do the burning.

Arbitrariness of Language

Language is arbitrary. There are three ways to look at the same action. There are three ways to say the same thing. It is simply like that. There is no logic. It is simply so. You have to copy when you learn language. Don’t think too much. Just copy.


It is interesting to think about language.

Of course it is interesting to think about language. But this is the realm of philosophy. It is not the realm of language-learning. When we learn a foreign language we have to copy a lot and asking why is often not helpful.

Holding the Toast above the Coals

Once you have made the fire and lket it burn down so the coals are ready, you have to make a holder for the bread.

You have to make a holder.
It is necessary to make a holder.
You need to make a holder.

You have to make a holder so that you don’t burn your fingers.

A Piece of Wire

A piece of wire is useful to hold the toast.

1. Bend it into the right shape so that it holds the bread.
2. Put the piece of bread in.
3. Hold it above the coals until it is golden brown.

Toast Joke

Say “the Gold Coast” three times. Say it again, very fast. Now answer this question:

What do you put in a toaster?

Did you say “toast”?

The Answer

The answer is “bread”


What do you like on toast?

People usually spread something on toast. “Spread” is a verb but we call the thing that we spread “a spread”.

Some Common Spreads

strawberry jam

Processed Food

All of the above products are processed food, except one. which one is raw or natural (unprocessed)?

natural food
raw food

processed food

Which type of food is healthier?

Do you eat a lot of processed food?

Links to More Lessons

Grammar – Passive Voice

An Interactive Story with Lessons on Passive Voice

Vocabulary link Page – Links to Many Lessons

Site Map – Links to all pages on this website

Interactive Stories

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