Shopping in America

Conversation B

New Words and Expressions

1. Items that are "on SALE" are sold at discount prices. In other wirds, thay are cheaper than they were originally. Usually, they are available at a percentage off the original price.

2. Name brands refer to well-known, designer items such as Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren products. They are usually expensive, because they are associated with both quality and name.

3. To be big on something means that you really like the item in question.

4. A dollar in change is a commonly used expression that literally refers to coins (quarters, dimes, and/or nickels) that together, make up a dollar.

5.I'm just looking is a very common shopping-related expression, which indicates a shopper's desire to be left alone (i.e., not bothered by salespersons) to merely look around, and not necessarily for anything in particular.

6. Just out of curiosity is another frequently used expression which literally means that the shopper is just interested in knowing something specific about an item, such as its price, make, etc., before s/he decides whether or not to purchase it.

7. An item that is affordable can be bought.

8. "Cash or charge?" is a question commonly asked by cashiers when they wish to know whether the customer wishes to pay with cash, or a credit card.

9. Discover is a well-known credit card.

10. In most states in America, a sales tax (8 to 10%) is added to the price of every item purchased. In the state of Illinois, the sales tax is anywhere from 7.25% to 8%. Take a look at the receipt provided below. The sales tax is underlined on the receipt. A receipt is a small sheet of paper that spells out the details of a monetary transaction (e.g., the price of each individual item, purchased with or without a coupon, the sales tax imposed, and the total amount paid by the buyer). It is a good idea to keep all receipts in a safe place, so that if you'd like to return an item, you can do so. Most Department stores in America allow shoppers to return items (except for food items) within a period of 30 days after the date of purchase. During this time, you have the option of either exchanging an item for another similar or similarly priced item or returning it altogether and getting your money back. States in which no sales tax is imposed on purchases include New York and Oregon. Such states are therefore said to be good for major shopping (i.e., large scale shopping).

11. Find anything interesting? is a commonly asked informal question (in which the subject is understood from the shopping context). Through this question, the speaker inquires whether the hearer/ addressee bought anything from the store or liked something in particular (even if s/he did not purchase it).

12. Window shopping refers to the idea of looking at display items and other items without specifically intending to buy anything right away.

13. Giftware refers to that section of a Department store that carries gift items. The names of virtually every section or department of a Department store generally end in the suffix -ware which simply refers to a sale item. Therefore, kitchenware refers to that section of a Department store that carries crockery and other items typically found in the kitchen. Now it should be easy for you to figure out what (wares) different sections of a store carry. Visit the Department store nearest you and see for yourself!

14. Jewel is a well known grocery store.

15. Pick up is a commonly used shopping related expression which simply refers to the idea of getting/ buying something from the store (e.g., Will: Let's go pick up some milk from the corner store).


Menu of the Lesson
Main Menu

CLOSE