Shopping in English

Shopping
Shopping in English. Getty Images

Use polite questions when shopping or helping a customer in a shop. Polite questions are asked with 'could', 'may', and 'would'. You can also ask for advice in shops using 'should'.

Shopping for a Sweater

Shop assistant: May I help you?
Customer: Yes, I'm looking for a sweater.

Shop assistant: What size are you?
Customer: I'm an extra large.

Shop assistant: Would you like a plain sweater or something else?


Customer: I'm looking for a plain blue sweater.

Shop assistant: How about this one?
Customer: Yes, that's nice. Could I try it on?

Shop assistant: Certainly, the changing rooms are over there.
Customer: Thank you. (goes into a changing room to try on the sweater)

Shop assistant: How does it fit?
Customer: It's too large. Do you have a large?

Shop assistant: Yes, here you are. Would you like to try it on to see if it fits?
Customer: No that's Okay. Thank you. I'll take it. I'm also looking for some nice slacks.

Shop assistant: Great. We have some very nice wool slacks over here. Would you like to take a look?
Customer: Yes, thanks for your help. 

Shop assistant: What are your measurements?
Customer: I'm a 38'' waist and a 32" inseam.

Shop assistant: What do you think about these?
Customer: They're nice, but I'd prefer cotton trousers if you have them.

Shop assistant: Certainly, our summer slacks collection is over here.

How about these?
Customer: Yes, I like those. Do you have them in grey as well?

Shop assistant: Yes, here's a pair. You said you the measurements are 38" by 32", didn't you?
Customer: Yes, that's correct. I'll go try them on.

Shop assistant: Let me know if you need any help.
Customer: Thank you. (comes back) These are great.

So, that makes one sweater and a pair of grey slacks.

Shop assistant: OK, how would you like to pay?
Customer: Do you take credit cards?

Shop assistant: Yes, we do. Visa, Master Card and American Express.
Customer: OK, here's my Visa.

Shop assistant: Thank you. Have a nice day!
Customer: Thank you, goodbye.

Key Vocabulary

Phrases

Could / May I help you?
Could I try it (them) on?
How does it fit?
How would you like to pay?
I'm looking for ...
I'd prefer ...

Words

changing rooms
size - extra small, small, medium, large, extra large - Used with standard measurements
measurements - used with specific measurements for trousers, suits, etc. 
shop assistant / store clerk
trousers / slacks / pants
waist 
inseam 
credit cards

Quiz

Provide the missing word to fill in the gaps to complete this conversation with a store clerk. 

Store clerk: Hello, _____  I help you find anything?
Customer: Yes, I'm looking _____  a blouse and some matching trousers. 

Store clerk: Great. What _____ would you like?
Customer: I'm _____  for a white blouse and black trousers. They're for an important job interview.

Store clerk: Okay. Please follow me to the business apparel section.
Customer: Thanks for your help.

Store clerk: It's my pleasure.

Do you see anything you like?
Customer: Yes, that blouse looks nice.

Store clerk: What _____  are you?
Customer: I'm a small. Now, let's take a look at the pants.

Store clerk: These are nice. Would you like to _____  them on?
Customer: Do you have anything else?

Store clerk: Yes, we also have these trousers. 
Customer: I like those, I'll try those _____ .

Store clerk: What are your _____ ?
Customer: I have a 26" waist and 32" inseam.

Store clerk: Here's a pair. Would you like to try them on?
Customer: Yes, where's the _____ ?

Store clerk: You can try them on over there.
Customer: Thank you. (tries the clothing on, walks out of the changing room to show the store clerk) What do you think?

Store clerk: You look fantastic! I'm sure you'll get that job!
Customer: Thanks! I'll take them.

Store clerk: Would you like to _____  by cash or by credit card?


Customer: _____ , please. Here's my visa card.

Store clerk: Thank you. That will be $145.

Answers

  • may / could / can
  • for
  • color
  • size
  • try
  • on
  • measurements
  • changing room
  • pay
  • credit card

More Beginning Dialogues

Continue practicing English with these dialogues focusing on everyday English.