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At the Store to buy Food, Clothing, Toys or Tools

These shoppers are buying Christmas presents. A waiter brings food or drinks to your table in a restaurant.
You must pay an annual fee to have an American Express credit card. This character is 'broke'.  That means he has NO money.
Only small or old stores still use a cash register like this. This person is a cashier waiting for a customer to buy something.

"I'm going to the store." can have a variety of meanings in English because there are a wide variety of different stores.  "Store" can be a Supermarket, a Convenience Store, a neighborhood grocery store, a shoe store, a clothing store, a hardware store, a paint store, a book and magazine store, a butcher shop, a candy store, an automotive parts store, a toy store or a pet store.  A store can be a tiny 2 m. by 3 m.  newspaper and magazine store or a huge "open 24 hours" Super Wal-mart as large as several football fields. 

"I'm going to the store." can mean you are going to buy a pack of cigarettes, a week's worth of groceries, a pair of shoes or a new television set.  Sometimes it means that you are bored and just plan to "window shop" - walk along the street or walk up and down the aisles of a large store or mall looking at the merchandise on display.

"Discover" is the newest of the major credit cards. These paper bags are full of groceries.
The woman took her dress to the Cleaners to be dry cleaned. This is a service station or gas station attendant pumping gas into a car.
This is a shopping cart.  You can find them in supermarkets and large discount stores like K-Mart. This is the symbol for a doctor's prescription or for a pharmacy.

There are a few different ways to buy something from a store.  You could pay for the items you want with cash - actual paper money and coins - or with a personal check. You could use a "charge card" issued by and only valid at specific stores - Sears, Penney's, Circuit City, Macy's, etc. - for which you receive a monthly bill showing all of your purchases during the previous month.  You could pay for your items with a "debit card" - a plastic card that allows money in the amount of your purchase to be withdrawn from your checking account.   Finally, you could use a "credit card" such a VISA, Master Card, Discover or American Express, which is like a loan allowing you to purchase something now and pay for it later.  Of course, if you cannot pay for it later, the credit card companies add large amounts of "interest" to the amount you owe so that the longer you take to pay, the greater the amount is that you have to pay.

Master Card is a very popular kind of Credit Card.  There is usually no annual fee. A woman may carry a purse like this when she goes shopping.

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Expressions used in stores:

  • "How much does this cost?"
  • "May I help you, Sir?"
  • "May I help you, Ma'am"
  • "No, thank you.  I'm just looking."
  • "Will that be cash or charge?"
  • "Where are those jeans that were on sale?"
  • "I'm sorry, but we're out of those.  We have some very nice Wranglers, though."
  • "I really have to go to the bathroom, Mom."
  • "I'm sorry.  We don't have a public rest room here."
  • "I'm sorry, but the rest rooms are for diners only."
  • "Welcome to Kmart, shoppers.  The Blue Light Special for this hour is .............."
  • "What color paint were you looking for, lady?"
  • "Do you deliver?"
  • "Would you like me to help you with that package, Ma'am?"
  • "Where is the Electronics Department?"
  • "Where can I find the children's clothing?"
  • "Can you tell me where the Automotive Department is?"
  • "Your ad showed some dresses on sale.  Could you tell me where they are?"
  • "When I got this CD player home, it wouldn't play."
  • "Do you have your receipt?"
  • "Will you take a personal check?"
  • "Do you have one of our check cashing cards?"
  • I would like this suit dry-cleaned and pressed."
  • "Do you have this blouse in a size 16?"
  • "Can we get some Super Atomic Crunchy Nuggets, Mom?"
  • "Excuse me, do you work here?"
  • "How fresh are these strawberries?"
  • "Would you like paper or plastic?" (referring to bags in a supermarket.)
  • "Would you like to try those shoes in a larger size?"
  • "Excuse me, Miss.  Where can I find the cake mixes?"
  • "Cake mixes are on the right at the far end of aisle five."
  • "Do you have any coupons?"
  • "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but this coupon has expired."
  • "I'd like a chicken salad sandwich and a small Coke."
  • "Alice, did you see that large woman trying on that slinky green dress?"
  • "Are these the only colors you have?"
  • "You can't take your packages into the dressing room, Ma'am."
  • "Can I buy this swing set already put together?"
  • "We charge ten dollars for assembly."
  • "Please don't squeeze the tomatoes."
  • "How can I tell if these melons are ripe?"
  • "I'm afraid we don't have that style in your size."
  • "We sold out of that item.  Would you like a rain check?"

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Sale' tags are put on items being sold for less than their regular price. This woman is "trying on" a dress to see if she wants to buy it.
These shirts are "on sale" for half of their regular price. "VISA" is another popular kind of credit card.

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Exercise A: Write a meaning for each verb below that has something to do with stores or shopping, then use each verb in a sentence that you make up. 

Verb Meaning Sentence
cost, costs, cost, costing, cost    
purchase, purchases, purchased, purchasing, purchased    
buy, buys, bought, buying, bought    
shop, shops, shopped, shopping, shopped    
charge, charges, charged, charging, charged    
cash, cashes, cashed,  cashing, cashed    
sell, sells, sold, selling, sold    
order, orders, ordered, ordering, ordered    
accept, accepts, accepted, accepting, accepted    
choose, chooses, chose, choosing, chose    
select,  selects,  selected,  selecting, selected    
dry-clean, dry-cleans, dry-cleaned, dry-cleaning, dry-cleaned    
enter, enters, entered, entering, entered    
borrow, borrows, borrowed, borrowing, borrowed    
try, tries, tried, trying, tried    


Exercise B: Write a meaning for each of the nouns below that has something to do with stores or shopping.

Noun Meaning Noun Meaning
credit card   charge card  
clerk   Visa  
salesperson   Master Card  
counter   Discover  
display case   payment plan  
cash register   rain-check  
sale   shopping cart  
lay-away   check-out  
credit   special  
teller   prescription  
debit card   mall  
I.D.   department store  
aisle   discount store  
specialty store   dry-cleaner  
jewelry store   bank  
parking deck   barber shop  
floor model   toy store  
cash   delivery  
supermarket   convenience store  
personal check   refund  
receipt   discount  

Exercise C:  Use nouns from the list above to fill the blanks in the sentences below.

1. Many people do not like to carry ____________ so they must use a ____________ or a _____________ to pay for their purchases.

2. Walmart is an example of a ________________ and The GAP is an example of a __________________.

3. It is less expensive to buy groceries at a _________________ than at a _______________________.

4. If a store has sold out of an advertised special, the ______________ may give you a ________________ so you can buy the item at the sale price at a later date.

5. Store clerks must learn how to operate a __________________ and how to process _________________ so they can complete sales for their customers.

6. In ________________ and large discount stores, you can put the items you want to buy in a ____________ as you walk up and down the ____________ of the store.

7. Examples of credit cards are ______________, _______________ and _________________.

8. If you want to buy an article but cannot pay for it all at once, you can put it on ______________ and the store will  keep the article for you until it is paid in full.

9. If you change your mind about an item you bought, you can usually return it to the store with the ___________ that proves you bought it and the store will give you a _______________.

10. A large group of stores in the same area or building is called a _____________ and will usually include a ________________ or a _______________ and many smaller ____________________.

Answers to Exercise C:

1. cash, credit card, charge card (or debit card).

2. discount store (or department store), specialty store

3. supermarket, convenience store

4. clerk, rain check

5. cash register, credit cards (or debit or charge cards)

6. supermarkets, shopping cart, aisles

7. Visa, Master Card, Discover (American Express)

8. lay-away

9. receipt, refund

10. mall, department store, supermarket, specialty stores

2017 -  Montoursville, PA  17754 

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