American Culture California Food and Dining Grammar Lesson of the Month International Student Life

Future Time Clauses + 5 Cold-Weather Foods to Try Before Spring

February 1, 2017


One of the grammar concepts you will learn with IEC’s curriculum is Future Time Clauses. Do you know what they are, and how to use them? After learning about Future Time Clauses, read about some cold-weather foods international students should definitely try while studying English in the U.S.! 

What are Clauses?

A clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb.

There are many types of clauses. Independent clauses express a complete thought: they are complete sentences. Dependent clauses do not express a complete thought: they need to be joined with an independent clause in order to make a complete sentence.


She drank hot chocolate (independent clause) after she ate lunch (dependent clause).

He tried the delicious chili (independent clause) when he lived in San Francisco (dependent clause).

If we change the order of the clauses (dependent clause + independent clause), then we add a comma to the sentence. We place this comma between the clauses.


After she ate lunch, she drank hot chocolate.

When he lived in San Francisco, he tried the city’s traditional and delicious clam chowder.


One of the cold-weather things to try while a student in the SF Bay Area? The delicious coffees! Check out our article “The Best Coffee Shops in the Bay Area” for recommendations!

Future Time Clauses 

Future Time Clauses also have a dependent and an independent clause. Future Time Clauses begin with words like these: when, as soon as, after, and before. They are used to express the time relation between both clauses (if one clause happens before, after, or during the time of the other clause).

The Future Time Clause is the dependent clause using a future tense.


When I am a student at IEC@DVC, I’m going to try these foods listed below.

As soon as I arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m going to try chicken tortilla soup!

After I get settled in my new life in California, my roommate and I are going to go to dinner and eat chili fries.

Before I leave IEC@DVC, I’ll definitely go to SF and try the clam chowder from Boudin.


Delicious Cold-Weather Foods 

Before you leave IEC@DVC to attend a U.S. college, make sure you try these delicious and traditional foods! As you can see, some of these dishes have an influence from Mexican cuisine. California cuisine is all about fresh ingredients and a fusion of flavors from other cultures, like our neighbor, Mexico!



Chili is so beloved by Americans that many cities have chili cooking contests (called “chili cook-offs”)! Recipes vary depending on personal tastes and regions, but chili typically consists of beans, meat (usually beef), spices, and tomato sauce. Many people finish their chili with melted cheese and onions. Chili is also delicious on top of french fries and hot dogs! Check out this traditional chili recipe.

Clam Chowder Bread Bowls 


San Francisco Bay area students have the luck of being close to Boudin, an SF-based restaurant and company that bakes fresh sourdough bread and uses the bread as a bowl for their delicious clam chowder! Clam chowder is a soup with cream, clams, and potatoes. It’s a perfect winter food! Visit Boudin at one of its many locations: we suggest the Wharf restaurant and shop.

Chicken Tortilla Soup 


Tortillas are not just for chips and salsa! With tortilla soup, boiled chicken and broth (flavored with tomatoes and spices) are mixed with tortilla strips and topped with cheese, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro and onions. Make it on your own, or visit a local Mexican restaurant to try it out!

Mexican Hot Chocolate


While many students have tried the delicious traditional version of this drink, few have had the Mexican version, which includes spices such as cinnamon and cayenne. Tasty! You can also make this simple drink at home using this recipe.

Pumpkin Soup


On restaurant menus, you’ll see this as “pumpkin soup” or as “squash soup.” This sweet and savory soup is often topped with a little cream and some pumpkin seeds. It’s delicious and filling!

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese


It’s an American tradition to eat warm tomato soup with a grilled cheese, and many consider it the perfect winter day meal! Some dip their grilled cheese in the soup while others are “purists” who keep the two separate. Try it to see which way you prefer!


Keep Learning: Use this post in the classroom!


  • What are some traditional winter foods in your culture? Do you make them at home or enjoy them at restaurants?
  • Do you like to cook? Why or why not?
  • What are some of the cooking shows in your country? Do you watch them?


  • Describe your favorite food and then include a recipe for how to make it. Be sure to include detailed steps for how to prepare this dish!
  • It is said that some people have a natural talent for cooking. Do you agree or disagree? Explain why in an argumentative essay.


  • What’s the difference between cooking and baking? A chef and a cook? Look these words up in a dictionary!
  • Make a list of as many cooking-related words you can.
  • Make a list of as many adjectives as you can think of to describe foods.


  • How do you use the imperative when writing recipes? Make sure you know the imperative (command) version of the verbs you need to know.


  • Become familiar with the Australian accent by watching MasterChef Australia! Season One is available on YouTube.
  • Watch the movie Julia & Julia: it’s all about the famous American chef, Julia Child!


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