Department Store Shopping: Spanish Vocabulary

2 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of Shopping in Spanish-Speaking Countries

When shopping in a Spanish department store, a few simple Spanish phrases can help you find what you’re looking for. Shopping in a Spanish department store is an experience you’re likely to be more accustomed to than shopping in a traditional Spanish market. Prices are clearly posted and labeled, but you can still find items that have local flavor.

Determining store hours

Suppose that you're planning your day, and you want to know the store’s hours. Here’s how to ask for that information:

  • ¿A qué hora abren? (ah keh oh-rah ah-bvrehn) (At what time do you [formal] open?)

  • ¿A qué hora cierran? (ah keh oh-rah seeeh-rrahn) (At what time do you [formal] close?)

Locating merchandise

You want the section of the store with the goods you are looking for. Here’s how you might ask where it is:

Silvia:

¿Dónde están los vestidos de señora?
dohn-deh ehs-tahn lohs bvehs-tee-dohs deh seh-nyoh-rah
Where are the ladies’ clothes?

Salesperson:

En el quinto piso.
ehn ehl keen-toh pee-soh
On the fifth floor.

Silvia:

¿Dónde está la ropa de hombre?
dohn-deh ehs-tah lah roh-pah deh ohm-bvreh
Where are the men’s clothes?

Salesperson:

En el cuarto piso.
ehn ehl kooahr-toh pee-soh
On the fourth floor.

Silvia:

¿Dónde encuentro artículos de tocador?
dohn-deh ehn-kooehn-troh ahr-tee-koo-lohs deh toh-kah-dohr
Where do I find toiletries?

Salesperson:

Al fondo, a la izquierda.
ahl fohn-doh ah lah ees-keeehr-dah
At the back, to the left.

Silvia:

Busco la sección de ropa blanca.
bvoos-koh lah sehk-seeohn deh roh-pah bvlahn-kah
I’m looking for sheets and towels.

Salesperson:

Un piso más arriba.
oon pee-soh mahs ah-rree-bvah
One floor up.

Silvia:

¿Venden electrodomésticos?
bvehn-dehn eehl-ehk-troh-doh-mehs-tee-kohs
Do you sell appliances?

Salesperson:

Sí, en el último piso.
see ehn ehl ool-tee-moh pee-soh
Yes, on the top floor.

Miscellaneous shopping vocabulary

A few other words and phrases that may come in handy include

  • ¿Dónde está la entrada? (dohn-deh ehs-tah lah ehn-trah-dah) (Where’s the entrance?)

  • ¿Dónde está la salida? (dohn-deh ehs-tah lah sah-lee-dah) (Where’s the exit?)

  • empuje (ehm-poo-Heh) (push)

  • tire (tee-reh) (pull)

  • jale (Hah-leh) (pull [Mexico])

  • el ascensor (ehl ah-sehn-sohr) (the elevator)

  • la escalera mecánica (lah ehs-kah-leh-rah meh-kah-nee-kah) (the escalator)

  • el vendedor (ehl bvehn-deh-dohr) or la vendedora (lah bvehn-deh-doh-rah) (the salesperson [male and female])

  • la caja (lah kah-Hah) (the check-out stand)

  • el probador (ehl proh-bvah-dohr) (the fitting room)

  • la talla (lah-tah-yah) (the size)

  • apretado (ah-preh-tah-doh) (tight)

  • suelto (sooehl-toh) (loose)

  • grande (grahn-deh) (large)

  • pequeño (peh-keh-nyoh) (small)

  • queda grande (keh-dah grahn-deh) (the fit is big)

  • queda bien (keh-dah bveeehn) (the fit is right)

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The Essentials of Shopping in Spanish-Speaking Countries

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