“Can you pick up a loaf of that wheat bread that I usually get?”

English Lesson: Can you pick up a loaf of that wheat bread that I usually get?

Your husband is going to the supermarket to buy groceries. He asks if you want anything in particular. You do, so you tell him what you want.

Can you pick up a loaf of that wheat bread that I usually get?

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Can you (do something)?

This is a way to ask someone to do something. It's appropriate for:

  • a boss to use with the people who work for him or her
  • a customer to use with a store employee
  • a parent to use with his or her children
  • asking a friend to help you with something

"Can you ___" is more direct than asking "Could you..."

Sometimes a person will include "maybe" in this question:

Can you maybe call him and tell him to meet us there?

Can you maybe turn the volume down just a little?

pick up (something)

The phrase "pick up ___" can mean to buy something at a store. When you use this phrase, it sounds like you are buying something quickly while you are on your way to somewhere.

a loaf of bread

In English, “bread” is uncountable. We say:

Do you want some bread? 

If you want to count bread, you have to use one of the following counters:

  • a piece of bread can be any size
  • a slice of bread is a flat piece that can be used for toast or for one side of a sandwich
  • a loaf of bread is the “whole bread” - the bread as it looks when it comes out of the oven

We use “loaf” when we talk about buying bread:

I bought a loaf of bread, some milk, and some apples.

that (thing)

Instead of saying “the wheat bread,” saying “that wheat bread” is more specific. The speaker, using “that,” points out one kind of bread, and not others.  In fact, when we point at something with a finger, we usually say “that (thing).” In this case, the speaker can’t see the bread, but using “that” shows that the speaker and listener both know this specific brand of bread. Here’s another example:

Look at that puppy over there!

You can also include a clause after “that __”:

Do you know that guy who’s always outside the library?

Did you find that book you were looking for?

wheat bread

“Wheat bread” is bread that’s a little brownish. It’s made with flour that still has the brown outside layer of the wheat that it’s made from.

The opposite of “wheat bread” is “white bread”, which is made with refined flour. Refined flour is pure white.

get (something)

“Get” is often used to mean “buy”:

I need to get better boots.

Can you get me a double shot soy latte?