English Vocabulary – Shopping

Where do you go shopping for groceries? Do you drive to a large supermarket, or pop into a small convenience store nearer to home? Sometimes large supermarkets have extra services like a florist, chemists or a coffee shop. Usually supermarkets do special offers from time to time. Some people find convenience stores expensive and prefer to shop in a local street market in the centre of town. There are lots of stalls, where you can buy new and second hand books, clothes, and food. Of course, you normally don’t get a receipt for your purchase. Whichever type of shop you prefer, here are some useful words and phrases you will need on your shopping trip.

English vocabulary - shopping for groceries

English vocabulary about shopping

Checkout – where customers pay for their goods.
Trolley – a container on wheels to hold your shopping in the store.
Receipt – a piece of papar which shows you have paid for something.
Queue – a line of people waiting to be served, for example at the checkout.
Special offer – a good deal available for a short time. For instance a product on sale at half price, or three items for the price of two.
Discount – a reduction in the price.
Loyalty card – a scheme to reward customers for shopping at a particular supermarket, by collecting points.
Convenience store – a small store which stays open from early morning until late at night, selling essentials such as milk, bread and coffee.
Promotion – a special offer to persuade customers to buy a particular product.
Bargain – something you buy for a good price.
Hypermarkets – the largest stores, selling clothes and electrical goods as well as food.
To stock up – to buy goods/products in anticipation of a shortage in that product.
From time to time – not on a regular basis.
Shop assistant – a person who works in the shop.


Some phrases you’ll hear in the supermarket:

CUSTOMER: Where can I find soft drinks, please?
SHOP ASSISTANT: You’ll find them on aisle 25, near the checkouts. We have a great promotion on lemonade today.
CUSTOMER: Thank you, I’ll look out for that.

SHOP ASSISTANT: There’s a special offer on cereals this week. You can buy three packets for the price of two. The offer ends tonight so you’ll need to be quick!
CUSTOMER: Thanks. I’ll be sure to stock up on them.

CUSTOMER: Where can I pay for this item?
SHOP ASSISTANT: The checkouts are just over there, sir.

Check your knowledge by doing this short true or false exercise:

1. It’s always a good idea to buy things on special offers.
2. You can always get a receipt for your purchase in the street market.
3. Convenience store is a large supermarket.
4. Supermarkets do special offers from time to time.
5. The checkout is where you pay for your goods.

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