“I get the whole beans and grind them myself.”

English Lesson: I get the whole beans and grind them myself.

You're chatting about coffee. You're an enthusiastic coffee drinker. You describe how you make yours.

I get the whole beans and grind them myself.

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grind (something)

When you "grind" something, it means you rub two hard things against each other until they start to rub parts of each other off. This word is most often used to talk about preparing food. Things that people often "grind" include:


coffee beans

wheat or corn (to make flour or corn meal)

the gears on a car (when someone doesn't know how to drive a stick shift well)

The adjective (and past tense) form of "grind" is "ground", so you will often hear people talk about powders such as:

ground pepper

ground coffee

Some processes that are similar to "grinding" but have different names are:

  • "Chopping" something means cutting it into small pieces with a knife.
  • You can "blend" something like a milkshake or smoothie in a blender, which is a machine that uses a fast-spinning blade.
  • "Grating" food means taking small pieces off of the outside by rubbing it with a tool that has lots of sharp holes in it. You "grate" things like cheese and carrots.
  • You can "smash" something by pressing on it really hard until it loses its shape.

(do something) (oneself)

If you do something "yourself", you do it without paying for it or having someone else do it. For example:

Would you like a cookie? I made 'em myself.

This means that the speaker made the cookies at home, rather than buying them at a store. You use the phrase "I did it myself" for things that people usually don't make on their own.

To do something "yourself" is a little different from doing it "by yourself". When you do something "by yourself", it means that there is no one else with you:

I usually eat lunch by myself.

But doing something "yourself" just means that you did it, not another person:

A: Did you make that yourself?

B: No, my wife made it.

whole beans

In English, we call coffee seeds "beans" instead of "seeds".

You can buy coffee beans in two ways: "whole bean" or "ground". The whole beans have not been broken up into small pieces yet, so you do that yourself before brewing the coffee.