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Shop vocabulary and phrases you can use while shopping English lesson

Learning shop vocabulary and key phrases?

During the English lesson shopping in the UK you will start learning the names of the different types of shops and what you can buy from them.  You will learn some useful phrases that you will be able to use when you go shopping. There is example of conversation at the local newsagent between Mrs Bean and the newsagent to finish the lesson.

Types of shops

Shops in the UK

Going shopping in a new country can be a daunting experience if your knowledge of the English language is not too great. At times you will need to know how to ask for things; and what times the shops open, what shop to go to for what you need.

In the UK, people that are visiting the country are often surprised by the amount of chocolate and sweets on sale in newsagents’, which sell magazines and newspapers. There are some large chemist chains in the UK that hairdryers, men’s electric shavers, not just medicine!

What is the high street?

The ‘high street’ is where most of the shops in towns and cities are located. British high streets now look more alike, with the same large chain stores in all major towns and cities, which sell clothes, shoes and electronic goods. There are still smaller family run stores, which specialise in certain goods and products.

  1. Butcher’s shop (sells meat)
  2. Baker’s or bakery (bread and cakes)
  3. Greengrocer’s (fruit and vegetables – also known simply as the ‘grocer’s’)
  4. Chemists (medicines and toiletries)

I’m going to the butcher’s

What time does the bakers shop open?

Can you tell me where I can buy some fruit?  The local greengrocer’s shop is on the next street.

What time does the local chemist open I have a terrible headache?

Shops you might want to know

High street         butcher’s     baker’s/bakery      newsagent’s

Chemist’s           off-license    betting shop          local corner shop

Clothes shop     shoe shop    supermarket           market

Greengrocers    sports shop book shop               Sandwich shop


Some phrases for asking for things in shops.

I’d like to buy some apples please

Do you have any headache pills?

Have you got any oranges?

I’ll have an egg sandwich please

I’ll take those shoes as well

What the shop assistant may ask or say to you

Good morning can I help you?

I’d like to try that coat on please? Here you go.

Is there anything else that I can do for you?

That’ll be sixty pound and five pence please.

Are you paying with cash or credit card?

What is a local corner shop?

Towns and cities across the UK often have a small local corner shop that normally stays open for very long hours, seven day a week, and stocks many essentials such as milk, bread, some basic foods and toiletries.

What is an off-license?

An off-license is a shop that sells only alcohol such as beer, wine and spirits. Many off-licenses also sell confectionary and cigarettes.  There are age restrictions in the UK for off-licenses were one under the age of 18 can legally buy either cigarettes or alcohol in the UK.

What time are the shop opening times in the UK

Most high street shops in the UK are open seven days a week Monday to Sunday, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. except on a Sunday when stores are only allowed to open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The local corner shops tend to be open seven days a week and are open from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m.

A conversation at the local newsagent

What is the conversation about?

Mrs Bean is in the local newsagent buying a newspaper and a magazine.

Mrs Bean: - Good afternoon. I’m after the latest addition of Learning English magazine. Do you have it?

Shop keeper:  - One moment, I’ll will check for you. Look, the Learning English magazines are on top shelf here.

Mrs Bean: - Am, sorry, I didn’t see them.

Shop keeper:  - That’s OK; let me check them for you. This one is last month’s. No, sorry, it appears that this month’s magazine hasn’t arrived yet. It should be here in a day or two.

Mrs Bean: - Thanks for looking for me.

Shop keeper:  - Would you like me to save you a magazine when it arrives?

Mrs Bean: - Oh yes, that will great thank you.

Shop keeper:  - Is there anything else you need?

Mrs Bean: -   I’ll have a newspaper please.

Newsagent:  - That’s thirty-five pence, please.