Speak English Around Town » LESSON 1 - Going Shopping

Going Shopping

Amy is at a clothing store shopping for a new pair of pants. Lisa, a saleswoman, asks her if she needs any help.

Lisa: May I help you?

Amy: I'm just browsing.

Lisa: Let me know if I can help. My name is Lisa.*

Amy: Do these pants come in black?

Lisa: Yes, but we're sold out. They're so popular, we can't keep them in stock.

Amy: Do you have any black pants on sale?

Lisa: Yes, these are marked down from $69.95 to $24.95.

Amy: That's a good buy, but I'm not crazy about the fabric.

Lisa: What about these pants? These are on sale for $49.

Amy: That's a little pricey, but I'll try them on.

(Amy enters the fitting room with the pants. A few minutes later, Lisa comes to check on her).

Lisa: How are the pants?

Amy: A little snug.**

Lisa: That style does run small. Let me bring you the next size up.

(Lisa hands Amy the pants and Amy puts them on).

Amy: These pants are a little big, aren't they?

Lisa: No, they fit nicely!

Amy: They're baggy in the back, don't you think?

Lisa: No, they're perfect. Take my word for it.

Amy: I'm just not sure. I think I'd better hold off for now.

* Sales clerks often introduce themselves by giving their first name. They usually work on commission, so they get a percentage of the sale. When you check out, the cashier may ask, "Was anybody helping you today?" You tell the cashier the name of the sales clerk and he or she gets credit for the sale.

snug** - close-fitting; tight

Idioms
  • (to) come in
    to be available in; to be sold in a certain color, style, size, or material
    Example: Does this jacket come in leather?
  • (a) good buy
    a good price; a bargain
    Example: You bought that Tommy Hilfiger shirt for just $15? That's a good buy!
  • (to) hold off
    to wait to do something; to delay
    Example: We'd like to buy a new car, but we 're going to hold off until the new models are released.
  • in stock
    available for sale
    Example: If you 're interested in that toaster, you should buy it now. We've only got a few left in stock.
  • just browsing
    shopping, without necessarily buying anything; only looking
    Example: "May I help you find something?" - "No, thanks. I'm just browsing."
  • marked down
    lowered in price; on sale
    Example: This shirt was marked down from $49.95 to $24.95.
  • (to) not be crazy about
    to not like very much; to not be enthusiastic about
    Example: I'm not crazy about your plan to spend all day at the mall.
  • on sale
    at a reduced price
    Example: I like this leather jacket, but $299 is expensive. I'll wait until it goes on sale.
  • pricey
    expensive
    Example: Lucia's Trattoria is a great restaurant, but it's pricey. Dinner for two costs about $150.
  • (to) run small / to run big
    to fit small I to fit large (a cut or style of clothing that is smaller or bigger than expected)
    Example: These shoes run small, so if you're usually a size 7, try an 8.
  • sold out
    completely sold
    Example: Gary went to the Apple store to buy the new iPad, but it was sold out.
  • take my word for it
    trust me; believe me
    Example: Take my word for it. You won't find this camera cheaper at any other store.
  • (to) try something on
    to put something on to see if it fits
    Example: You'd better try on your wedding dress again before the wedding to make sure it still fits!
Practice the Expressions

Fill in the blank with the missing word:

  1. You look great in black. Take my word _____ it!
    • a) in
    • b) for
    • c) with
  2. This jacket is a good deal. It's marked _____ from $249 to $99.
    • a) down
    • b) up
    • c) over
  3. When the salesman asked if he could help me, I said I was just _____.
    • a) searching
    • b) shopping
    • c) browsing
  4. Sorry, the book you're looking for is not _____ stock. It's very popular.
    • a) at
    • b) for
    • c) in
  5. This shirt costs just $14. 95. That's a good _____.
    • a) buy
    • b) sell
    • c) purchase
  6. We don't have any more striped scarves. We're sold _____.
    • a) out
    • b) off
    • c) up
  7. Does this sweater come _____ any other colors?
    • a) with
    • b) from
    • c) in
  8. Would you like to try that suit _____ ?
    • a) up
    • b) on
    • c) in
  9. Those shoes _____ big. Try the next size down.
    • a) walk
    • b) run
    • c) skip
  10. I'm not sure I need another pair of jeans. I'm going to hold _____ for now.
    • a) off
    • b) in
    • c) up
Answer Key
Practice The Expressions
  1. b
  2. a
  3. c
  4. c
  5. a
  6. a
  7. c
  8. b
  9. b
  10. a
Answer Key
Language Lens: Tag Questions

Tag questions are short fragments at the end of a sentence. They tum a statement into a question. They are common in spoken English.

Note these uses and examples. The tag is underlined:
=> To check if something is true: You're going to the party tonight, aren't you?
=> To ask for agreement: We should bring a bottle of wine to the party, shouldn't we?
=> To emphasize something: Sara's certainly self-confident, isn't she?
=> To make a request more friendly: Open the door, could you?

If the verb in the main part of the sentence is positive ( + ), the verb in the tag is negative (-).

Main verb ( +) Tag verb(-) Example
are ('re) aren't You're in good shape, aren't you?
should shouldn't We should go, shouldn't we?
can can't She can swim, can't she?
do don't You do love me, don't you?
'll be (will be) won't They'll be here later, won't they?

If the verb in the main part of the sentence is negative (-), the verb in the main part of the tag is positive ( + ).

Main verb (-) Tag verb(+) Example
're not (are not) are You're not coming, are you?
shouldn't should We shouldn't give up, should we?
can't (cannot) can We can't leave now, can we?
don't (do not) do We don't play with our food, do we?
won't will You won't cry when I go, will you?
Quick Quiz

Fill in the blank with the correct tag:

Example:
You've got class tomorrow, _____?
Answer: You 've got class tomorrow, don't you?

  1. It's hot out today, _____ ?
  2. Your father is a doctor, _____ ?
  3. You're coming to my party, _____ ?
  4. Your parents live in Florida, _____ ?
  5. You were born in India, _____ ?
  6. It's not raining out, _____ ?
  7. You can't stay another day, _____ ?
  8. You should call your mother, _____ ?
  9. You can ski, _____ ?
  10. We shouldn't bring our kids, _____ ?
Answer Key
  1. isn't it
  2. isn't he
  3. aren't you
  4. don't they
  5. weren't you
  6. is it
  7. can you
  8. shouldn't you
  9. can't you
  10. should we
Answer Key
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