English-German Shopping Phrases and Vocabulary

Learn How to Shop Using German

Female shopper reads label of jar in shop.
Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images

When you go shopping in Germany, Austria, or German Switzerland, you'll find a number of German words very useful. This lesson includes the basic vocabulary you need to find the stores you're looking for, talk to the salesperson, and have an enjoyable shopping spree.

Shopping Phrases and Pronunciation

There are a number of sentences and phrases that you are likely to encounter when shopping in a German-speaking country.

From asking the price of an item to completing your transaction, this vocabulary list should cover most of the basics.

To give you a jump on your studies, the phonetic pronunciations for many of the trickier German words are included. They are only an approximate guide but will help you out considerably, especially if you're just beginning to learn German.

When entering a smaller German shop, it is customary to exchange hellos with the shopkeeper or sales clerk. Also, when leaving a shop in Austria or Germany, it is common for the customer and shopkeeper to exchange goodbyes.

If you travel at the right time of year, you might be able to get in on one of the two biggest sales many German stores offer. The Sommerschlussverkauf happens in late summer and the Winterschlussverkauf typically occurs towards the end of winter.

customerder Kunde m.
die Kundin f.
cashier / check-out counterdie Kasse (dee KA-suh)
Special Offer!
Hello!Guten Tag!
Grüß Gott! (Austria/Bavaria)
May I help you? Was darf es sein? 
Darf ich Ihnen helfen? 
I'm looking for...
...a dress
...a shirt
...athletic shoes
...a postcard
Ich suche...
...ein Kleid (eye-n KLITE)
...ein Hemd (eye-n HEMT)
...Sportschuhe (SHPORT SHOO-a)
...eine Postkarte (eye-na POST-KAR-ta)
I'm just looking.Ich sehe mich nur ein wenig um.
Ich schau nur ein bisschen herum.
I'd like...Ich möchte... (eech MURG-ta)
Can you fix/repair this?Können Sie das reparieren? (KURN-en zee das REP-ah-rear-en)
What size are you?Welche Größe haben Sie?
Do you have it in a different color?Haben Sie das in einer anderen Farbe?
May I try it on?Darf ich es/ihn/sie anprobieren? (das/der/die)
It's too big/small.Das ist mir zu groß/klein.
How much is it? - How much does it cost?Wie viel kostet es? (er/sie) (VEE feel KOST-et es)
That's too expensive.Das ist zu teuer.
Do you take credit cards?Nehmen Sie Kreditkarten? (NAME-en zee kred-DIT-kar-ten)
I'll take it.Ich nehme es (ihn, sie). (ich NAY-muh es [een, zee])
Is this intended as a gift?Soll das ein Geschenk sein?
Can I get this gift-wrapped?Kann ich das als Geschenk eingepackt bekommen?
Goodbye!Wiederseh'n! (VEE-der zane)
auf Wiedersehen! (owf VEE-der zay-en)

English-German Glossary for Stores and Shops 

You will also find it useful to familiarize yourself with the various types of businesses (Geschäfte) and stores or shops (Läden) you may want to visit. Many of the most common are included in this next vocabulary list along with the items or services they offer.

Tip: For related vocabulary, do a Google.de or Yahoo.de search for the category you want to explore. For instance, to find vocabulary for pastry or pastry shops, use the term "Konditorei" to find online sources of vocabulary (and pastries). A few other helpful examples and tips are located within the list.

Noun genders: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), Br. (British), n. (noun), pl. (plural), v. (verb)

EnglishDeutschWhat They Sell
antique stores AntiquitätengeschäftAntiquitäten pl.
Don't confuse s Antiquariat (second-hand bookstore) with s Antiquitätengeschäft (antique store).
appliance stores ElektrogeschäftElektrogeräte
auto dealer/dealership
  car sales/dealership
r Autohändler
e Autohandlung
s Autohaus
auto mechanic
auto repair/garage
r Automechaniker
e Autowerkstatt
bakerye BäckereiBrot, Brötchen
bar, pube Kneipealkoholische Getränke
barber (shop)r Herrenfriseure Herrenfrisur
beauty salon, parlorr Damenfriseure Damenfrisur (hair-do)
bookstore, bookshope BuchhandlungBücher pl.
Bücher online > See the German Amazon.de or BOL.de online bookstores for German bookstore terms and books in German.
business, store, shops Geschäft, r Laden--
butcher shope Fleischerei
e Metzgerei
s Fleisch
candy store, confectioneryr SüßwarenladenSüßwaren
car hire/auto rentalr Autoverleih
e Autovermietung
clothing store
r Herrenausstatter (men)
r Modesalon (ladies)
e Kleidung
computer stores Computergeschäft
r Computerladen
Computer, Rechner
dairy stores Milchgeschäfte Milch, r Käse
delicatessens Feinkostgeschäftr Feinkost
department stores Kaufhaus
s Warenhaus
fast alles
drugstoree DrogerieToilettenartikel pl.
A German Drogerie does not sell drugs or medicine. You can only buy toiletries and other non-drug items. For medicine (even just aspirin) you have to go to an Apotheke (pharmacy).
dry cleanere Reiningung, chemische ReinigungKleider reinigen
electrical stores ElektrogeschäftElektrogeräte
Fachgeschäft > The German term das Fachgeschäft refers to any store or business that specializes in whatever it sells. In such a store there are usually Fachleute (specialists) who know a lot about the product or service offered.
florists BlumengeschäftBlumen
furniture stores Einrichtungshaus
s Möbellager
r Hausrat
Möbel pl
Ikea has more than 35 outlets (Niederlassungen) in Germany. See the German Web site of the international (Swedish) Ikea chain for furniture and housewares vocabulary.
gift shopr Geschenkladen
Geschenke (sign)
grocery stores LebensmittelgeschäftLebensmittel
hardware stores EisenwarengeschäftEisenwaren
health food stores Reformhaus
  Also see "organic food store"
jeweler, jewelry storer JuwelierRinge, Schmucksachen
laundromat, laundretter WaschsalonKleider waschen
laundry (firm)e WäschereiKleider waschen
mail order storer Versand, s Versandkaufhausfast alles
marketr Marktfast alles
newsstandr KioskZeitschriften, Zeitungen
office supplies storer BürobedarfladenBürobedarf, Büroausstattung
online store
online shop
s Onlinegeschäft
r Onlineshop
fast alles
Onlinegeschäfte > The German divisions of the Staples and Office Discount online stores are a good source of German vocabulary as well as office supplies. 
opticianr OptikerAugengläser, Brillen
organic food store
(wholefood shop)
r Bioladen
s Reformhaus
Bioläden > Besides fans of Biokost (organic/health food), a Bioladen is also popular with vegetarians (Vegetarier) and the ecologically-minded (recycled paper, bleach-free detergents, etc.). The British call this a "wholefood shop." Similar to, but older than Bioläden, the first Reformhäuser were established in the 1890s. In addition to organic and chemical-free food, a Reformhaus also sells herbal medicines (Heilkräuter) and other natural products.
pastry shope Konditoreis Gebäck
pet store, pet shope ZoohandlungHaustiere, Tierbedarf
pharmacy/chemiste ApothekeMedikamente
Apotheke > See Drogerie (drugstore) above for more about German pharmacies.
photo shops FotogeschäftFilm, Kameras
rent-a-car/auto rentalr Autoverleih
e Autovermietung
restaurants Restaurants Essen
second-hand bookstore
used-books store
s Antiquariatantiquarische Bücher
shoe stores SchuhgeschäftSchuhe
shop, store, businessr Laden, s Geschäft--
shopping center/malls Einkaufszentrum--
souvenir shopr Andenkenladen
r Souvenirladen
s Andenken, s Souvenir
sporting goods stores SportgeschäftSportausrüstungen
stationery stores SchreibwarengeschäftPapier, Schreibwaren
supermarketr Supermarktfast alles
tobacco shop
r Tabakwarenladen
e Trafik (Austria)
Zigaretten, Tabakwaren
toy stores SpielwarengeschäftSpielwaren, Spielzeuge
watch repair shopr UhrmacherUhren reparieren