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Test your vocabulary, listening or reading skills with the quizzes below.
Vocabulary Quiz
specialty • operations • fire up
pastries • hours
  1. We only start about 30 minutes before we open, so if you get here too early, you will have limited options.
  2. I'm not the best cook, but Mexican food is my .
  3. These hamburgers are ready to cook. Why don't you the grill?
  4. What are your like during the week?
  5. There will be and coffee at the meeting.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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#543 The Baker

Alan talks about being a baker.

  • Transcript
  • Vocabulary
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview. Learn more here.


My specialty, what I did a lot of was, different varieties of bread.

Your 'specialty' is something that you are good at making or doing.  Notice the following:

  1. His specialty is pasta.  The sauce is always incredible.
  2. I didn't know that cookies were your specialty.

start operations

Generally most bakeries, especially bakeries that sell bread, they start operations very early in the morning.

To 'start operations' is to begin production of something.  This usually happens before the store is open to the customers. Notice the following:

  1. We don't open until 8am, but we usually start operations around 5am.
  2. The store isn't open yet, but the factory has started operations.

fire up

They’ll get everything going, fire up the ovens and start mixing the bread dough.

To 'fire something up' is to turn it on and prepare it for use.  Notice the following:

  1. Make sure you fire up the grill thirty minutes before you want to start cooking.
  2. Did you fire up the heater?  It's really cold in here.


The best thing about being a baker would be making all those fancy pastries.

A 'pastry' is a very rich sweet bread, sometimes made with nuts, fruits or icing.  Notice the following:

  1. She brings pastries to work every Friday morning.
  2. Coffee is always best with a pastry.


Specifically, I didn’t like the hours.

When used like this 'hours' refers to the schedule of a job.  Notice the following:

  1. I feel like I never sleep.  These hours are killing me.
  2. After she had a baby she decreased her hours at work.


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