After last week’s trip to the bank, we’re widening our net and going shopping with some key Spanish phrases in hand. I am a great fan of buying things, whether in the supermarket or clothes shopping. I just love it, and so let´s start with some words and then move onto phrases: ir de compras – to go shopping, la tienda – the shop, el centro comercial – the shopping centre, la panadería – the bakery, la carnicería – the butchers, el quiosco – the kiosk/newsstand, la tienda de modas – the clothes shop,   el carro/carrito – shopping cart, la cesta – basket, la papelería – the stationary/book shop, la zapatería – the shoe shop, la joyería – the jewellers,  el mercadillo/el mercado – the market, caro/a – expensive, barato/a – cheap, comprar – to buy, pagar – to pay,  abierto – open, cerrado – closed, cerrado al mediodía – closed at lunchtime, la caja – till, la tarjeta de crédito – credit card, pagar en efectivo – pay by cash, la salida – exit, la entrada – entrance, de major calidad –  the best quality, el recibo – the receipt, defectuoso/a – defective, roto/a – broken, descuenta – discount, rebajas – sales, talla – size, color – colour.

Here are some useful phrases you may need: ¿cuánto cuesta? / ¿cuánto es? – how much does it cost? / how much is it?, es demasiado caro – it´s too expensive, ¿tiene algo más barato? – do you have anything cheaper?, ¿puedo probármelo? – can I try it on? El color no me sienta bien – the colour doesn´t suit me, ¿dónde están los probadores? – where are the changing rooms? Voy a pagar en efectivo – I´m going to pay by cash, ¿puede atenderme? – can you help me? ¿podría ayudarse? – can I help you? Sólo estoy mirando – I´m just looking, ¿podría mostrarme…? – could you show me…?

So now we are thinking about buying something from a shop, what sort of verbs do you think you´ll need? Two of the most commonly used verbs are ´querer´ – to want and dar- to give. Spanish people don´t tend to me as polite as us British so they´ll say “quiero dos kilos” or even “dame dos kilos” Another useful verb is ´hay´, which normally means, there is / there are but can also be used to mean ´do you have..?´ (are there..?).

Another common word that you will need is ´dónde´ as you may need to ask where things are in a shop, so you´ll use “¿dónde está…? Or ¿dónde están…?

Now imagine the following scenario and translate it into Spanish.

YOU: – Hello, do you have this dress in other sizes? SHOP ASSISTANT (SA):- Yes, certainly. What size do you need? YOU: – Size 42, please.  SA: – Ok, one moment I will go and look. YOU: – Thank you.  SA: – Here is the dress in a size 42. YOU: – Thank you, can I try it on? SA: – Yes, sure. YOU: – Where are the changing rooms? SA: – Over there. YOU: – Thank you.  SA (at the till):- That´s 15 euros please. YOU: – Do you take credit cards? SA: – Yes we do.  YOU: – Thank you.

Remember you can make these exchanges as easy or difficult as you want according to your level. I hope you´ve written the above in Spanish before you check my version.

Tú – hola, ¿hay este vestido en otras tallas? Asistente – Sí claro, ¿cuál talla necesitas? Tú – cuarenta y dos por favor, A – vale, un momento, voy a verlo Tú – gracias, A – Aquí hay el vestido en talla cuarenta y dos Tú – gracias, ¿puedo probármelo? A – claro, Tú – ¿dónde están los probadores? A – están por allí Tú – gracias. (en la caja) A – quince euros por favor Tú – ¿aceptas tarjetas de crédito? A- pues sí Tú – gracias.

Remember you can make up your own scripts like the one above to practise writing and translating Spanish, and then get a Spanish speaker to check that you have completed the translation correctly. Keep using your Spanish and you will continue to improve.

¡Que tengas una buena semana!