ESL Shopping Conversation

These ESL shopping conversations will help you understand how to talk to someone about shopping or to speak to a shop assistant when you are in a shop.

These ESL shopping conversations will help you get ready to speaking about shopping in English.

If you go to an English speaking country for any amount of time, you will probably need to visit a shop and buy either food, clothes or other items. The example conversations, cartoon video conversations and exercises on this page will help you.

To begin with this page has two ESL shopping conversations for you to read and understand. They have also been turned into cartoons with text boxes for you to watch. If you need help with any of the words used you can look at the ESL shopping vocabulary page.

After the example ESL shopping conversations there are three exercises for you to do. They are:

  • Fill in the gaps in an ESL shopping conversation using given options.
  • Write your own conversation.
  • Conversation questions for you to use with a friend.

Conversation 1

Situation: Lucy and Tui meet Bob at the university shop.

Lucy: Good morning, Bob. Nice to see you, how are you today?
Bob: Morning, Lucy. I’m great thanks. What are you buying?
Lucy: I’m here with Tui, she wants to buy something for the new semester. 
Bob: What do you want to buy, Tui?
Tui: I want to buy a maroon university jumper, but they all look too large and expensive.
Bob: You should ask the sales assistant to help you.
Tui: Excuse me, please. Do you have a small jumper which is not too expensive?
Sales Assistant: Please look at our sale items in the second aisle. The jumpers are cheaper but I don’t know what we have in stock. You can try clothes on in the fitting cubicle. 
Tui: Thank you. Look at this one, Lucy. I really like it and it’s cheap as well. The label shows it’s only £10.50.
Lucy: That is the right size, it fits you and is not baggy. Put it back on the hanger and let’s go and pay for it.
Bob: Oh, Tui, I almost forgot, you can use my loyalty card to receive an additional 10% discount.
Tui: That is very kind of you, Bob. I have saved a lot of money today. I can now afford to buy some new books. 
Lucy: The book shop has a clearance sale next door. Would you like to go and have a look with us, Bob?
Bob: Yes, I also need some books. Come on, let’s go.

Conversation 2

Situation: Roommates Jane and Patrick discuss their weekly shopping trip.

Jane: We don’t have much food left in the cupboards, Patrick. Are you ready to do our food shopping?
Patrick: Yes, I’ll just put on my shoes and we will go.
Jane: It’s too far from the dormitory. Let’s buy our food online.
Patrick: I’ve never bought food online before. In America we don’t usually purchase things online. 
Jane: In the UK people often purchase all kinds of things online, especially food. It is very convenient.
Patrick: How long will it take to be delivered? 
Jane: The delivery service is free if we spend over £35 and we will get it tomorrow afternoon if we order today.
Patrick: That is very good. Are products more expensive online?
Jane: No. The prices are the same and sometimes it can be cheaper. You can often see special offers like buy one get one free.
Patrick: What if the item we choose is not in stock? 
Jane: The staff will choose an alternative of a similar price, or give us a refund.
Patrick: It all sounds very reasonable and convenient. Let’s order online.
Jane: I will go to get my computer and log in to the shop’s website.
Patrick: I will make a shopping list of what we need and you can order it.
Jane: Ok. I will get my purse, too. I will use my credit card to pay.
Patrick: Thanks. I will give you my share in cash from my wallet.
Jane:  Ok, that is fine.

ESL Shopping Conversation Exercises

The following 3 ESL shopping conversation exercises will let you practice using the vocabulary while having conversations.

Exercise 1 – Fill in the Blanks

The ESL shopping conversation in this exercise has blanks that you need to fill by selecting the correct option (A-D) for the 5 questions that follow the conversation. Click the get score button when you have finished to see if you got them all right. 

Situation: Andrew goes to the clothes store to return a coat he bought last week. 

Sales assistant: Good afternoon, Sir. How can I help you?
Andrew: Hi, I want to _______(1)________.
Sales assistant: Please speak to my supervisor. She is in charge of returns.
Supervisor: Hello, how may I assist you?
Andrew: I’d like to return this coat, please. 
Supervisor: Is there anything wrong with it?
Andrew: Yes. The stitching has come apart near the hood.
Supervisor: I just need to know how you paid for this item and if you still have the receipt.
Andrew: I paid by cash, but unfortunately ____________(2)____________.
Supervisor: I am afraid I will only be able to offer you a store voucher. 
Andrew: I understand. I really like the design of the coat. Is it possible to have a replacement?
Supervisor: That is not a problem. I will check to see if we have another one in stock.
Andrew: Thanks.
Supervisor: I’m sorry. We don’t have that design in stock but we have a similar design which is the same price. We can do an exchange for you. Here it is.
Andrew: I really like it. ________(3)________.
Supervisor: Would you like to try it on to make sure it fits you? The fitting cubicle is over there.
Andrew: No, thanks. ______(4)_________.
Supervisor: Is there anything else you want to buy today as we have a promotion on sportswear. 
Andrew: No, not today. I would just like the exchange, please.
Supervisor: Let me remove the security tag for you. Would you like the hanger, too?
Andrew: No, thanks. I have many at home.
Supervisor: Here is your receipt ______(5)_______. Have a nice day.
Andrew: Thank you for your help. Have a nice day, too.

ESL Shopping Conversation

Choose the best option (A-D) in the following five questions to fill in the blanks in the shopping conversation given above.

1) Which option is the best to fill in the first blank?
        A) Return an item
        B) Buy a new coat
        C) Buy another coat
        D) Return an umbrella
2) Which option is the best to fill in the second blank?
        A) Here is my receipt
        B) Yes. I have my receipt.
        C) I don’t usually keep receipts.
        D) I want a new coat
3) Which option is the best to fill in the third blank?
        A) I don’t like the colour.
        B) It’s exactly the style I like.
        C) I want a refund.
        D) I don’t like that design.
4) Which option is the best to fill in the fourth blank?
        A) I think I should try it on.
        B) Yes, I will try it on.
        C) I don’t like this style.
        D) A medium size always fits me perfectly.
5) Which option is the best to fill in the fifth blank?
        A) For the refund
        B) For your exchange
        C) For your purchase
        D) For your new jeans

Score =

Correct answers:

Exercise 2 – Write a Conversation

In this exercise you should write your own ESL shopping conversation. It should have at least two people and be set in a location where people would talk about shopping. You will need to write all the words that the participants would say. Once you have finished you could try speaking it out loud with a friend.

Exercise 3 – Conversation Topics

There are two sets of ESL shopping conversation questions provided to you in this exercise. You should take one set and ask the questions to a friend, while they have the other set and ask you those question. Once you have finished you can swap question sets and ask the questions again.

The questions have also been made into some conversation cards for you to download by clicking the picture.

There are lots more conversation questions in my ‘80 ESL Conversation Cards’ ebook for you to download.

Question set A

  • Do you enjoy shopping?
  • Where do you go shopping most often?
  • Have you ever worked in a shop?
  • Why do people go just window shopping?
  • How often do you go shopping?

Question set B

  • What types of shops do you like to visit?
  • Do you spend a lot of money when you go shopping?
  • Would you like to work in a shop?
  • What do you dislike about shopping?
  • Do you like to go shopping alone or with friends?

› Shopping

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