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Shopping Vocabulary, Useful Phrases, Example Conversations and Phrasal Verbs



  • Customer

  • Cashier / clerk

  • Attendant / assistant

  • Manager


  • Wallet (male)

  • Purse (female)

  • Scale

  • Till / Counter

  • Barcode

  • Receipt

  • Gift receipt

  • Aisle

  • Shelf / shelves

  • Trolley / s

  • Basket / s

  • Lift / s

  • Escalator / s

  • Bag / s

  • Fitting rooms / changing rooms

Ways to Pay:

  • Cheques

  • Cash

  • Notes

  • Coins

  • Card machine

  • Chop and pin machine

  • Credit cards / debit cards

  • Loyalty card

Where to Buy:

  • convenience store / general store / newsagents / department store / shop / store

  • chemist / pharmacy

  • toy shop / toy store

  • book shop

  • ladies clothing shop / boutique

  • men’s clothing shop / tailor

  • shoe shop / cobbler’s

  • jeweller’s / jewellery store

  • opticians / optometrists

  • electrical store

  • record shop

  • ironmonger’s / ironmongery

  • charity shop / second hand shop

  • haberdasher’s / haberdashery

  • shopping centre

  • shopping mall / mall

  • market

  • florist / botanist

  • butcher’s

  • fishmonger’s / seafood store

  • greengrocers / grocery store

  • baker’s / bakery

  • delicatessen

  • grocer’s

  • DIY store / home supply store

  • hardware store

  • off-licence

  • post office

  • supermarket

  • gardening store / gardening centre


1. Finding the right store / shop


  • Can you recommend a good toy shop/store?

  • Is there a chemist / pharmacy in this area?

  • Where can I get pet food from?

  • Where is the nearest shopping centre?

  • Could you direct me to the nearest post office please?

  • Do you know where the nearest hardware store is?


  • There is a really good book shop just around the corner.

  • You can buy that here in the hotel.

  • The nearest one is a few mile away.

  • The best toy shop is in the shopping centre.

  • The post office isn’t open on Sundays.

  • The convenience store on the corner might sell that.

2. Opening times


  • What time are you open until?

  • What time do you close today?

  • Are you open on the weekends?

  • Are you open all day?

  • What are your opening hours?

  • Are you open on Sundays?

  • Are you open every day during the week?

  • What time do you open tomorrow?


  • We’re open from 9am to 6pm.

  • We’re open on weekdays only (Monday to Friday).

  • We’re open from 10am to 8pm.

  • We’re open 7 days a week.

  • We’re open 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • We’re closed at lunchtime, between 12pm and 2pm.

  • We’re closed on Bank Holidays (national holidays)

3. Selecting goods

Clerk’s / Assistant’s Questions:

  • Can / May I help you?

  • Can I help you find something?

  • What colour would you like?

  • What size would you like?

  • Is there anything else I can help you with?

  • Would you like to try it on?

  • Is that any good?

  • What can I do for you?

  • How does it fit?

  • How about this one?

  • Anything else?

  • Would you like anything else?

Customer’s Questions:

  • Excuse me, do you work here?

  • Could you help me please?

  • I’m looking for a ….

  • I’m trying to find a ….

  • Could you tell me where the …. is, please?

  • How much is this?

  • How much are these?

  • How much does this cost?

  • How much is that …. in the window?

  • Where can I find the …. ?

  • Do you sell …. ?

  • Do you have any … ?

  • Would you have this in another colour?

  • Have you got anything cheaper?

  • Do you have something less pricey (expensive)?

  • Do you have this item in stock?

  • Do you have a smaller/bigger/larger size?

  • Do you know where else I could try?

  • Does it come with a guarantee/warranty?

  • Where is the changing/fitting room?

  • Is there somewhere I can try it/this/them on, please?

  • Where can I weigh my groceries?

  • Do/Can you deliver?

  • Do you have a refund policy?

  • Is this in the sale?

Clerk’s / Assistant’s Responses:

  • I’m afraid that’s the only colour we have.

  • Sorry, we don’t have any more in stock.

  • Sorry, we don’t sell those / them here.

  • I’m afraid we don’t have any more left.

  • I have exactly what you’re looking for.

  • This one is on sale right now!

  • It comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • It comes with a 1-year guarantee.

  • The changing / fitting rooms are that way.

  • The scales are by the counter over there. That’s where you can weigh your groceries.

  • That one is ….(price).

  • They’re ….(price) each.

  • You can get a refund if you keep the receipt safe, and bring it back within 2 weeks.

Customer’s Responses:

  • I don’t need any help. I’m just browsing, thanks.

  • No, I’m just looking, thanks.

  • Wow, that’s cheap!

  • That’s good value.

  • Oh, that’s expensive.

  • That’s quite reasonable.

  • That’s a little over my budget.

  • That’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

  • I’ll take it.

  • I’ll take this, please.

  • It’s too long / too short.

  • It’s too tight / too loose.

4. Making payment

Cashier’s / Clerk’s Questions:

  • Are you in the queue?

  • Are you being served?

  • Who’s next?

  • Next, please!

  • How would you like to pay?

  • Will that be cash or credit?

  • Do you have a loyalty card?

  • Would you like a bag?

  • Can I help you with anything else?

  • Will that be all?

  • Would you like a gift receipt for that?

  • Would you like me to gift wrap it for you?

  • Would you like that gift wrapped?

  • Would you like any cashback?

  • Put your card into the machine, please.

  • Enter your PIN, please.

  • That comes to ….(price), please.

  • The total is ….(price).

  • That’s ….(price), please.

Customer’s Questions:

  • Do you take credit cards?

  • Can I pay by cheque, please?

  • Could I have a receipt, please?

  • Could I have a gift receipt, please?

  • Could you gift wrap that for me please?

  • Can I put one item back, please? I’ve changed my mind about this one.

  • Could I leave my bags here, and pick them up later, please?

  • Do you offer a cash discount?

  • Does it have a warranty / guarantee?

Cashier’s / Clerk’s Responses:

  • We take / accept all major credit cards.

  • Sorry, we don’t accept cheques.

  • I’m afraid we take cash only.

  • We’re offering 6 months credit, with no deposit, if you’re interested.

Customer’s Responses:

  • I’ll pay in cash

  • I’ll pay by card

  • Here’s ….(money), keep the change!

  • That’s it for today.

  • That’s all, thanks.

  • Thank you. Have a good day!

5. Returns and complaints


  • Who can I speak to about making a complaint?

  • Could I have a refund please?

  • Can I speak to the manager please?

  • I’d like to return this please.

  • I’d like to make a complaint.

  • I’d like to change this for a different size please.

  • Do you have the original receipt?

  • Did you buy it from one of our other stores?

  • Can I ask why you’re returning it please?

  • Can I ask why you’ve changed your mind please?


  • It doesn’t work.

  • It doesn’t fit.

  • It was a gift, but I don’t like it.

  • It was a gift, but the person I bought it for doesn’t like it.

THINGS WRITTEN on SIGNS that you might SEE
  • OPEN


  • Open 24HRS (HOURS) a day

  • Special offer

  • SALE

  • Clearance sale

  • Closing down sale

  • Everything must go!

  • Liquidation sale

  • Great value products

  • Good value

  • Bargains

  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE

  • Buy one get one half price

  • Half price sale


  • Reduced to clear

  • Out for lunch

  • Back in 15 minutes

  • Back at 2PM

  • Shoplifters will be prosecuted

  • CCTV in operation

  • enter your pin

  • please wait

  • remove your card

  • signature


£5.99 = “Five pounds and ninety-nine pence” (long way)

£5.99 = “Five, ninety-nine” (short way)

$12.75 = “Twelve dollars and seventy-five cents” (long way)

$12.75 = “Twelve seventy-five” (short way)

€3.20 = “Three euros and twenty cents” (long way)

€3.20 = “Three twenty” (short way)


Example Conversation 1:

A: Which sofa should we buy? I can’t decide!

B: This one is larger, but it’s more expensive. I prefer the smaller one.

Example Conversation 2:

A: I need a new watch, but I don’t know which one to get. Can you give me any suggestions?

B: Rolex watches are better than Sekonda, but they’re not as affordable. Sekonda watches are better value for money.

Example Conversation 3:

A: I like the red sweater. What do you think?

B: I like the red one too, but I think the blue one is better, and the green one is best. The green colour really suits you.

Example Conversation 4:

A: What do you think of this dress? Does it suit me?

B: It suits you well, but the floral print one is my favourite, and it’s more suitable for this season.

Different ways of asking someone to SHOW you something
  • Can you show me the ….. please? (Informal)

  • Could you show me the ….. please? (Informal / Formal / More Polite)

  • Would you be so kind to show me the ….. please? (Formal)

  • I’d like to see the ….. please.

  • Could you direct me to the …. aisle please?

When you want to TRY something, you can say:
  • Do you have any testers for these (lipstick) colours?

  • Can I try it / them on, please?

  • Could I try it / them on, please?

  • Is it okay if I try this / these on?

  • Where can I try it / them on?

  • Where are the changing rooms, please?

If you’d like the shop assistant to give you a DIFFERENT SIZE or COLOUR, you could say:
  • Do you have it / them in size ….. please?

  • Do you have this/these in a smaller / bigger / larger size please?

  • Can I try the larger / small one please?

  • Do you have it / them in a different colour please?

  • This is a little too tight / loose, do you have another one?

When you finally decide what you want to BUY, you can say:
  • Wow, this one is great. I’ll take it!

  • This one is perfect, I’ll take it thanks.

  • I’ll have this one, please!

  • Can I buy the …. , please?

  • How much is it / are they?

  • I’d like to buy this one, please.

  • I’d like to buy it / them, please.


A: Hi there, can I help you with anything?

B: Yes please, I’m looking for a T-shirt.

A: What size are you?

B: I’m a medium.

A: What colour would you like?

B: Maybe a blue or green one.

A: Here you are. How about these?

B: Thank you. Can I try them on anywhere?

A: Certainly, the changing room is over there.

B: Thank you.

A: How do they fit?

B: They’re both fantastic. I really like them.

A: Yes, the blue looks nice on you, it really brings out your eye colour.

B: Thank you. I’ll buy both of them!

A: Great! Please go to the tills, and pay over there.

B: Alright, thank you for your help.

C: Who’s next please!

B: Hi there, I’d like to buy these please.

C: OK, how would you like to pay?

B: Do you take credit cards?

C: Yes, we do.

B: Okay, here’s my credit card.

C: Enter your pin number into the machine please.

B: Okay, done.

C: Thank you. Shall I put your receipt in the bag?

B: Yes please.

C: Here you go. Have a nice day!

B: Thank you, goodbye!


A: Are you next in the queue sir?

B: Yes, I’d like to buy this watch as a gift for my wife please.

A: Okay, would you like me to gift wrap it for you?

B: Yes please, that would be great!

A: Are you sure this is the right size for your wife?

B I’m not sure, it’s just a guess!

A: I can print a gift receipt so she doesn’t see the price, but can bring it back to change the size if she needs to. Would you like me to do that?

B: Yes please, that would be amazing!

A: Okay, that’ll be sixty-five dollars and ninety-five cents for the watch please.

B: Can I pay by cheque please?

A: No, I’m afraid we don’t accept cheques.

B: Okay no problem, I’ll pay by debit card then.

A: Please insert your card into the machine, and then enter your PIN.

B: Okay, done.

A: Would you like me to put the gift receipt in the box with the watch?

B: Yes please, that’ll be perfect.

A: Here you go sir. Enjoy the rest of your day.

B: Thank you very much!


  • PUT ON (to place something on a surface or person)

  • Put your items on the counter please.

  • Why don’t you put on that new jacket you bought yesterday?

  • TRY ON (to test an item to see if it is suitable)

  • Can I try these dresses on somewhere please?

  • TRY OUT (to test something to see if you like it)

  • I’d like to try out this lipstick colour please, do you have a tester for it?

  • THROW ON (to wear something casually)

  • I’m looking for a simple, comfortable dress that I can just throw on.

  • DROP IN (to visit someone casually)

  • Drop in during your lunch break when you have more time, and I’ll help you find the right pair of shoes for you.

  • POUR IN (enter in high quantity)

  • The supermarket was so busy over the Christmas weekend. The customers started pouring in, as soon as the doors opened!

  • POP IN (to visit someone, informal)

  • I’ll book you an appointment, and you can pop in for a consultation with one of our opticians.

  • BROUGHT IN (to make something new for the first time)

  • We have brought in a brand new summer collection now, so the old winter range is on sale.

  • CAVE IN (to surrender or give up to persuasion)

  • The shop assistant was so convincing that this dress was the best one for me, that I caved in and bought it, even though it was so expensive!

  • THROW IN/CHUCK IN (to include in addition to something – ‘chuck’ is more informal than throw)

  • If you buy this laptop, I’ll chuck in a free laptop case for you.

  • END UP (to finally make a decision abut something, after lengthy consideration)

  • I couldn’t decide which one to buy, so I ended up buying both of them

  • COME UP (when something is approaching/arriving)

  • I need to buy a gift for my friend, his birthday is coming up.

  • TAKE UP (to choose to start doing something new)

  • I’m thinking of taking up the violin, could you buy one for my next birthday please?

  • BRING DOWN (reduce the amount of something)

  • We have brought down the prices, because we’re having a huge sale before the winter!

  • TURN DOWN (to refuse or reject something)

  • He bought a really expensive watch for me, but I turned it down. I couldn’t accept it!

  • POP OUT (to leave to go somewhere for a short time)

  • I’m just going to pop out to the cash machine, could you save these items for me please?

  • I’m just popping out to buy some bread and milk from the local store.

  • OPT OUT (to choose not to be a part of something)

  • They gave me the option of getting everything on credit, but I opted out because I prefer buying things upfront, than being in debt.

  • RULE OUT (to decide that something is not suitable / remove something from a list of options)

  • I’m not sure which laptop to buy. I think I’ll rule out this one, because it’s too expensive. Now I just have to decide between these two.

  • PHASE OUT (to gradually remove something from existence in one place)

  • Sorry, we don’t sell those anymore. We phased them out last year, because they weren’t very popular.

  • SELL OUT (to sell the whole supply of something)

  • I’m afraid all those watches have sold out now; they were very popular over Christmas!

  • HELP OUT (to assist someone)

  • Could you help me out please? I can’t do the zip up on this dress!

  • DO UP (to fasten something)

  • Could you do the zip up on this dress for me please?

  • STAND OUT (to be distinctive or more noticeable than others)

  • This sweater stands out from the rest. I love the vibrant colours!

  • WALK OUT ON (to abandon someone angrily)

  • I was so disappointed with their service, that I just walked out on them, and I didn’t pay!

  • PAY OFF (to pay back all you owe)

  • I have finally paid off all the money I owed on my credit card! It’s such a relief!

  • PULL OFF (to succeed in doing something difficult)

  • Wow, not many people can pull off that outfit, but you look stunning in it!

  • TOP OFF (to end or finish something in a special way)

  • I got an amazing deal on this computer, and to top it off, they gave me an extra three years free warranty!!

  • RIP OFF (to charge someone excessively)

  • They ripped you off! I bought that for half the price in a different store!

  • GIVE BACK (to return something)

  • I’ll have to give this ring back to Tom, because he broke off the engagement.

  • TAKE BACK (to decide on returning something in the near future)

  • I’m going to take this back to the store, and see if I can get a different colour.

  • PAY BACK (to pay what you owe)

  • If you get our loyalty card now, you won’t have to pay the whole amount today, instead you can pay us back in installments each month.

  • TALK OVER (to discuss something before making a decision)

  • I do love this sofa, but I’ll need to talk it over with my wife before committing to buying it.

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