Expressions To Use When Shopping At a Retail Store
Shopping can be overwhelming when you are looking for something specific or when you are shopping for someone else. How do you explain to the sales representative what it is that you are looking for? Below are a list of phrases that one can use as a guide.
When Shopping For Yourself:
“Excuse me? Can you help me?”
“I am looking for a suit/pants/shirt/sweater/skirt/dress…”
“I am a size 3/7/9/11. Do you have this in my size?”
“Do you have this/that in another color?”
“Is this on sale?”
“There isn’t a price tag on this. Could you do a price check for me?”
“What is the price for this?”
“Could you tell me the price for this?”
“Do you have a bag/pair of shoes/earrings/hat/… to go with this?”
When Shopping for Someone else:
“I am looking for a shirt/dress/pants/sweater/shoes/… for a 7 year old/for my nephew/for my spouse…”
“I am shopping for my spouse/friend/…. Could you help me decide?”
“I am shopping for my spouse/friend/niece/sister/… Could you suggest/recommend something?”
When Shopping for an Occasion:
“What do you think would make a good birthday gift for a 40 year old man?/a 4 year old child?/a friend?”
“What would be a good Christmas gift/Mother’s Day/Wedding gift/….?
“Do you think that this would make a good house-warming/Father’s Day/birthday/… gift?”
“Could you suggest something for a house-warming/wedding/Father’s Day/birthday/… gift?
Now let’s take a look at how to apply the phrases above in a natural English conversation.
Molly has decided to join a gym and is now shopping for a new pair of workout shoes. She then walks into the shoes store…
Sales Agent: Welcome to Shoe Lockers. Can I help you?
Molly: As a matter of fact, yes. I am looking for a comfortable pair of workout shoes.
Sales Agent: What size are you?
Molly: I am a size 7.
Sales Agent: What kind of exercise will you be doing?
Molly: Well, I will be doing some high impact aerobics, jogging outdoors and on the treadmill.
Sales Agent: In that case, you need something with good traction and fit. More so, something that absorbs shock is good. Here, try this on.
Molly: This fits comfortably, but it doesn’t quite fit. It’s a little big for my feet. Do you have something in probably a 6 and a 1/2 ?
Sales Agent: We do carry half sizes in that brand. Give me a minute…
Molly: No problem.
Sales Agent: Here you go… This should do the trick.
Molly: These fit perfectly. Sometimes I wear a half size bigger or smaller depending on the make of the shoes.
Sales Agent: That’s pretty common, because every brand of shoes is made differently.
Molly: I like this pair; however, do you have it in another color? I would prefer anything but pink and grey.
Sales Agent: As a matter of fact, we do carry that pair in a dark blue with white trimmings.
Molly: Great! That’s actually my favorite color. I will take that.
Sales Agent: Great! I will ring that up for you.
Molly: Thank you very much.
Create your own dialog using the expressions above and the outline below as a guide.
You: Excuse me? Can you help me?
Your friend: What are you looking for?
You: I am looking for a ____________ (describe what you are shopping for).
Your friend: We have that in red/pink/white/blue/…and a size 5/6/7/… (use the expressions above).
Keep the dialog going for as long as you can and then change roles.