French shopping phrases
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Les achats et les courses

Once you learn the French names for shops and businesses – and the importance of saying bonjour – you just need to know what to say when faced with all that merchandise! Here are some useful phrases related to shopping in French. Click the links for verb conjugations or sound files.

Useful French shopping verbs

  acheter   to buy
  avoir   to have
  chercher   to look for
  dépenser   to spend
  essayer   to try on
  rendre   to return (an item)
  trouver   to find
  vendre   to sell
  vouloir   to want

Let’s go shopping!

For necessities
  faire les / des courses   to go food shopping, run errands
For fun
  faire les / des achats   to go shopping
  faire les magasins      "   "
  faire du shopping      "   "
For free
  faire du lèche-vitrines   to window shop

What the clerk might say …

     Vous avez choisi ?   Have you decided?
  Que voudriez-vous ?   What would you like?
  Vous désirez ?   What would you like?
  Je vous écoute.   (Go ahead) I’m listening.
  J’arrive   I’ll be right there/back
  Quelle pointure faites-vous ?   What’s your shoe size?
  Quelle taille faites-vous ?   Whats’s your (clothing) size?
  C’est pour offrir ?   Is it a gift?

What you might respond …

     Je voudrais …
J’aimerais …
  I would like…
  Combien coûte … ?   How much does … cost?
  Avez-vous …?   Do you have …?
   trop grand
   trop petit
  It’s …
   too big
   too small
  Je regarde seulement, merci.   I’m just looking, thanks.

Miscellanous French shopping terms

  bon marché   inexpensive (click for lesson and synonyms)
  un caddie   shopping cart (upright, pulled)
  un chariot   shopping cart (pushed)
  un échantillon   sample, tester
  un sac   bag
  les soldes   twice-annual sales (learn more)

À la caisse – At the register

payer en espèces, en liquide to pay cash
avec une carte with a credit card
avec des chèques de voyage with traveler’s checks

French listening comprehensionListening exercises

French reading comprehensionReading exercises

 Related lessons

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French shopping terms

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