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In general, learning and understanding words associated with shops and shopping are of primary importance to language learners who intend to master the English language.
Here are some useful words and expressions with their meanings to use to talk about shops and shopping.
20+ Useful Words & Expressions for Talking About Shops
There are various kinds of shops around us. The following list illustrates the most famous and important shops ESL learners should know:
- Florist’s (flowers)
- Bookshop/bookstore (books)
- Mobile phone shop (mobile phones)
- Toy shop (toys)
- Bakery/baker’s (cakes, bread)
- Tailor’s (suits, handmade shirts)
- Fishmonger’s (fish, seafood)
- Sport’s shop (sports equipment)
- Pet shop (pets) Bicycle shop (bikes)
- Furniture shop (furniture)
- Post office (stamps, envelopes)
- Clothes shop (clothes)
- Butcher’s, meat market (US) (bacon, steaks, sausages)
- Antique shop (antiques)
Important List of ESL Shopping Vocabulary
1. Travel agency (holidays)
an agency that makes the necessary arrangements for travelers such as the booking of airline tickets and hotel rooms.
2. Dollar Store/pound store/variety store (US)
a shop that sells inexpensive goods priced usually at a dollar or a few dollars, like food, drinks, sweets, deodorant, paper, plants, toys etc.
3. Delicatessen (deli)
a store selling ready-to-eat food, cold cuts, cheeses, and a variety of salads, olives, as well as a selection of unusual or foreign prepared foods.
4. Greengrocer/grocery store (US)
a retailer of fresh vegetables and fruit.
5. Sweet shop/candy store (US) (sweets, chocolate)
a small shop that sells sweets and cigarettes, and sometimes newspapers.
6. Coffee shop/coffeehouse
a cafe serving coffee and light refreshments. It also serves teas along with food items.
7. Shoe shop
a shop where shoes are sold.
8. Newsagent’s / newsstand (US)
a shop selling newspapers and magazines.
a shop where you can buy medicine, soap, toothpaste etc.
10. Café (tea, coffee, cakes)
a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks. (tea, coffee, cakes)
11. Ironmonger’s / hardware store (US)
a shop selling hardware such as tools and household implements, like nails, tools, wood, screws etc.
12. Stationer’s / stationery store
a shop where you can buy pens, paper, and other things for writing.
13. DIY shop/home improvement store
a shop that sells tools, paint, and other equipment needed for DIY. DIY means Do It Yourself.
14. Petrol station / garage / gas station (US)
a place where fuel is sold for road vehicles and put into these vehicles.
15. Photocopy shop/copy center
also print shop; a small business that prints and copies things such as documents, cards, books, and other materials for customers.
16. Department store
a large shop, divided into departments which sell such products as furnishings, electronics, clothing, footwear, toys, cosmetics, jewelry etc.
17. Second-hand shop/thrift store/charity shop
a shop selling second-hand clothes and other household goods, typically to raise funds for charitable purposes.
18. Hypermarket/superstore (US)
a very large store outside a town with a wide range of goods and a large parking lot
19. Corner shop/convenience store (US)
a small shop, usually on the corner of a street, that sells mainly food and household goods like milk, bread, chocolate etc.
20. Shopping centre/shopping mall (US)
a specially built area containing a lot of different stores with a common area for cars to park.
ESL English Shopping Dialogue Worksheet
The following role-plays provide students with great situation examples of how to behave if they are a customer or a shop assistant, to practice their basic speaking skills.
- Customer: Good morning!
- Shop assistant: Good morning! Can I help you?
- Customer: Yes, please. Do you have a . . . (any . . .)?
- Shop assistant: Sorry! I don’t have any . . . . But I have a (some) nice . . . . Do you want a . . . (any)?
- Customer: Yes, please!
- Shop assistant: Here you are!
- Customer: Thank you!
- Shop assistant: You are welcome!
Shopping Role Play Dialogue
- Mrs. Shmith: I’d like some apples, please.
- Shop assistant: What apples would you like: green, red or yellow?
- Mrs. Shmith: Green, please.
- Shop assistant: How many apples would you like?
- Mrs. Shmith: Can I have five apples?
- Shop assistant: Of course.
Role Play Shop Assistant and Customer
- Mr. Miller: Good morning!
- Shop assistant: Good morning!
- Mr. Miller: I want a loaf of bread, please.
- Shop assistant: Here you are.
- Mr. Miller: Thank you.
- Shop assistant: Do you want anything else?
- Mr. Miller: Yes. I’d like a bottle of milk, a packet of sugar, three pounds of apples and two cans of Cola Cola. How much is all that?
- Shop assistant: Five pounds fifty, please.
- Mr. Miller: Here’s six pounds.
- Shop assistant: That’s 50 pence change. Thank you very much and come again.
Clothes Shopping Role Play: Shopping for Clothes
- Shop assistant: Can I help you?
- Customer: Yes, please. I’m looking for a shirt.
- Shop assistant: What kind of shirt would you like?
- Customer: The one like those on display in the shop window.
- Shop assistant: What about this one?
- Customer: It’s just what I wanted. May I try it on?
- Shop assistant: Yes, please. How is it?
- Customer: It’s nice. How much is it?
- Shop assistant: Three hundred rubles.
- Customer: Oh, it’s very expensive. Have you got anything cheaper?
- Shop assistant: Certainly, look at this one, please. It costs two hundred.
- Customer: I’ll take it.
- Shop assistant: Here you are.
- Customer: Thank you.
At the Shop ESL Speaking Activities
Answer the following questions:
- Do you like to go shopping?
- Is there a shop near your house?
- How often do you go shopping?
- Do you prefer supermarkets? Why?
- When do you like to do the shopping on weekdays or at the weekend?
- Do you agree that women are fonder of shopping than men?
- What do you usually buy?
- Where can you buy it/them?
- What is your favourite shop?
Answer the questions:
- Where can you buy medicine?
- Where can you read books?
- Can you buy newspapers at the bookshop?
- Can you buy a cake at the baker’s?
- Where can you buy pens and pencils?
- Where can you buy a bike?
- Can you buy sausages at the grocer’s?
- Can you buy fruit at the greengrocer’s?
- Where can you buy sweets?