Welcome to Absolute Beginner Nr. 7. Let’s go shopping today! First of all there’s a difference. We use the word „shopping“ when it’s buying something for fun, like clothes or DVDs. But we use the German word „Einkaufen“ if we want to go grocery shopping. Let’s start with that. Imagine we are in a supermarket. You need a shopping cart for all the things you want to buy. You don’t see them so you ask somebody: „Entschuldigung, wo sind die Einkaufswagen?“ If you want to buy only a few things, you don’t need a shopping cart, but a small basket. You ask: „Entschuldigung, wo sind die Einkaufskörbe“?

Then you go and pick up the things you need. Let’s say you can’t find mustard. Then you ask: „Entschuldigung, wo finde ich den Senf?“ Or „Entschuldigung, wo ist der Senf?“. You see, all these questions start with „Entschuldigung“. It just means „excuse me“ and is a polite way to catch somebody’s attention. „Entschuldigung“.

You then go to the „Kasse“ to pay. Maybe the cashier asks you: „Brauchen Sie eine Tüte?“ If you want to have a bag to put your groceries in, you say: „Ja, bitte“. If not you say: „Nein, danke“. Usually these bags cost money in supermarkets, but not in clothing stores. If you want to pay cash, then please go ahead. If not, you say: „Ich möchte bitte mit Karte zahlen“. Or shorter: „Mit Karte bitte“. Then you can pay with debit card, sometimes even with credit card, although they are not as common in Germany as in some other countries. Before you leave the store you can say „Auf Wiedersehen“ to the cashier.

Let’s go shopping now, to a clothing store. You want to try on a pair of jeans, but can’t find the dressing room. You ask somebody working there: „Entschuldigung, wo sind die Umkleiden?“ If you are in the dressing room, maybe somebody will ask you: „Passt alles?“ meaning something like: „Does it fit well?“ You can answer with: „Ja, danke“ or with: „Nein, die Hose ist zu klein“ or „Nein, die Hose ist zu groß“ or „Nein, die Hose ist zu eng“ or „Nein, die Hose ist zu lang“. You see, there’s many things that can be wrong with a pair of pants. „Klein“ means small, „groß“ means big, „eng“ means tight and „lang“ means long. Oh, I almost forgot the pants can be too short, too. „Nein, die Hose ist zu kurz“. That never happens to me. 😉

Maybe you see something but you can’t decide whether to buy it or not. You want them to hold on to it for you until you make your decision. You say: „Können Sie mir das bitte zurücklegen?“ or „Kann ich das bitte zurücklegen lassen?“

Or did you buy something and realized it was too small? Then take it back and say: „Ich möchte das bitte umtauschen“, to exchange it for the right size.

Well, that’s it for today. Viel Spaß beim Einkaufen! Have fun shopping!