Shopping Vocabulary in English: Phrasal Verbs & Expressions
Did you know that over 55% of shoppers started buying their holiday gifts in November? Yes, according to the National Retail Federation, about 137.4 million people planned on shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, also known as Black Friday. So it’s safe to say that we are in the middle of shopping season.
This is why today we’ll be reviewing shopping vocabulary in English, including expressions and phrasal verbs!
Let’s kick off (*start*) this week’s lesson with our 5 Minute English video. This video will give you listening comprehension practice, so I recommend getting a piece of paper and a pencil to work on your note-taking skills. In the video, you’ll hear the vocabulary words used in context and their definitions. Below the video, you’ll get a chance to read the ‘vocabulary in context’ transcript, the definitions, more sentence examples, and practice exercises.
Shopping Vocabulary in English
A great way to learn new vocabulary is through context. By learning this way, you hear how the word is used naturally. You’ll get an idea of the structure (how to put it in a sentence) and most importantly the real meaning. So let’s review the transcript of the ‘vocabulary in context’ from the video:
This month you’re doing a lot of shopping, but probably not for retail therapy. You’re looking for presents and gifts for the holidays. You are looking for places that are slashing their prices and giving killer deals. You often have to shop around and pop into many different stores to find the perfect thing that catches your eye, something that stands out as the perfect gift for your friend or loved one. Hopefully that perfect gift isn’t a rip-off, or the store isn’t trying to rip you off. However, it’s the holidays so you often have to shell out a lot of cash, or a lot of money for you to buy those perfect gifts. People will try to help you out, sales clerks will help you out because many stores give commission. Hopefully, that perfect item isn’t sold out, or that store doesn’t sell out of the item.
Definitions and Examples:
help out [phrasal verb]: someone (like a store assistant) gives you guidance, assistance or help with a product (EX: help you find an item, size or look for a different product in another store)
People will try to help you out, sales clerks will help you out.
There was no one in the store to help me out, so I couldn’t find the item I needed.
sell out [phrasal verb]: when an item is no longer in stock in a store, it’s gone
Hopefully, that perfect item isn’t sold out, or that store doesn’t sell out of the item.
The new iPhone was so popular it sold out within an hour. The Apple store sold out of the iPhone within an hour.
pop in/into [verb + preposition]: to go in somewhere quickly
You often have to pop into many different stores to find the perfect thing.
My husband hates shopping, so when we shop together I only get to pop in my favorite stores.
shop around [phrasal verb]: to look for something in many different places/stores to find the best price
You often have to shop around to find the perfect thing.
I thought the shirt was too expensive, so I shopped around before I bought one.
shell out [phrasal verb]: to spend money, often in large amounts
It’s the holidays so you often have to shell out a lot of cash.
I shelled out so much money for this vacation.
rip off [phrasal verb]: someone/store sells a product for more than it should be, it’s too expensive for what it is (it’s like they’re robbing you)
Hopefully the store isn’t trying to rip you off.
That guy ripped me off, this isn’t even a real Rolex!
rip-off [noun]: an item that is sold for too much money, more expensive than it’s worth
Hopefully that perfect gift isn’t a rip-off.
Those shoes were a rip-off because they broke after a week of using them.
catch one’s eye: to grab one’s attention
You often have pop into many different stores to find the perfect thing that catches your eye.
That necklace caught my eye immediately when I walked into the store.
slash prices [verb + noun]: to cut the cost of something, to decrease/reduce the price (money it’s sold for)
You are looking for places that are slashing their prices.
Many stores slash prices for Black Friday.
retail therapy [noun]: shopping to make one feel better
This month you’re doing a lot of shopping, but probably not for retail therapy.
When Susan is upset, the only thing that makes her feel better is retail therapy.
killer deal(s) [noun]: something that has a great, low price
You are looking for places that are giving killer deals.
I got a killer deal on this TV from Costco.
stand out [phrasal verb]: to be easily seen or noticed because something is unique
Find something that stands out as the perfect gift for your friend or loved one.
There were so many dresses to choose from, but this one stood out to me.
Now it’s time to practice these new vocabulary words and expressions. As I mentioned in the video, I recommend listening to the words again in context to hear how I used them naturally in speech. It’s also important for you to review the definitions and the other examples to see varying structures, the verbs in different time tenses, etc..
But how can you remember them for future use? Here are 3 ways you can continue practicing these vocabulary words to remember them for your next conversation:
- Quizlet: review these words on Quizlet, an interactive website and app for vocabulary. You can access the list of these words right here, and complete 1 (or all) of the 6 practice activities.
- Make discussion questions: you want to remember these words for future use, so create questions to use them in a conversation! A discussion question will allow you to use the vocabulary word, hear it in the response, and help you lock it into your memory. Here are some sample questions:
- Have you ever been ripped off? If so, when?
- What’s the last item you bought that was a killer deal?
- Would you shell out a lot of money for an iPhone? Why or why not?
- Do you often shop around for items or do you buy the first item you see?
- Create your own context: my sentence examples are a great start to learning new vocabulary; however, if the examples aren’t relevant to you it’s going to be harder to remember the word’s meaning. So, make sentence examples and think about situations that you will use these words. For example, where can you use the phrasal verb “help out”? If you like shopping, then you may need it to ask a sales associate for assistance. In this situation you may say, “Excuse me, can someone help me out with this?” For the phrasal verb “shell out”, maybe you would use this when talking to a friend about your next vacation. Perhaps you would tell them, “I shelled out a lot of money for this vacation, but I am really excited to go to _____.”
Do you have other ways you like to practice vocabulary? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to write some of your own sentence examples!
Until next week,
Happy Studying! ♥
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