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German Vocabulary for Shopping

8 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of German Words and Phrases for Traveling

Develop a German shopping vocabulary to gain a new cultural experience when traveling. Whether you're shopping for clothes, food, or souvenirs, you can use the following German phrases to help you find just the right thing.

  • Das gefällt mir. (I like that one.)

  • Nein, danke. (No thank you.)

  • Er kann sich nicht entscheiden. (He can’t decide.)

  • Wie viel? (How much?)

When entering a store or shop, it’s common to greet the salesperson nearby with Guten Tag (hello). When leaving the store, you should say Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye) to the clerk.

The following words can be used in a variety of shopping situations.

das Geld (money)
Kasse (the cash register)
die Kreditkarte (credit card)
teuer (expensive)
groß (big; tall; large)
der Preis (price)
klein (small; short)
Tasche (bag)

Shopping for groceries

The first step to a successful shopping expedition is to know where to shop. In most German-speaking countries, there are open-air street markets (called Straßenmarkt) where you can buy anything from fruits and vegetables to antiques and collectibles. But if you need to go to a specific kind of store, the following terms can help.

  • Fleischer (butcher shop)

  • die Bäckerei (bakery)

  • der Supermarkt (supermarket)

  • Lebensmittelgeschäftspeicher (grocery store)

In most German-speaking countries, people go grocery shopping every day to take advantage of the freshest produce and meats. The following words and phrases will come in handy if you need to shop for food.

The following phrases can help you when shopping for food.

  • Ich gehe Lebensmittel einkaufen. (I'm going grocery shopping.)

  • Wir brauchen Milch, Eier, und Brot. (We need milk, eggs, and bread.)

  • Wie viele? (How many?)

  • Gibt es noch mehr? (Are there more?)

Are these on your shopping list?

das Mineralwasser (mineral water)
der Kaffee (coffee)
die Milch (milk)
das Bier (beer)
der Wein (wine)
das Fleisch (meat)
das Schweinefleisch (pork)
das Hähnchen/Huhn (chicken)
der Fisch (fish)
die Eier (eggs)
das Gemüse (vegetables)
das Obst (fruit)
das Brot (bread)

All German nouns, whether proper or common, are capitalized.

Shopping for clothes

In German, clothing stores are generally called Kleidungslager and department stores are called Kaufhaus. The following words and phrases can help you shop for clothing in German-speaking countries.

  • Verkaufen Sie . . .? (Do you sell . . .?)

  • Ich suche einen roten Rock. (I'm looking for a red skirt.)

  • Haben Sie dieses in einer kleinen Größe? (Do you have this in a small size?)

  • Wie viel kostet es? (How much does it cost?)

  • Es kostet elf Euro fünfzig Cent. (It's €11.50.)

  • Kann ich mit Kreditkarte bezahlen? (May I pay by credit card?)

  • Diese Uhren sind teuer. (These watches are expensive.)

There are usually two giant sales each year in German stores. They are the Winterschlussverkauf during the winter and the Sommerschlussverkauf in late summer. Here are some items you might buy:

Rock (Rôk) (skirt)
Kleid (dress)
Hut (Hüte) (hat)
Hemd (-en) (shirt)
Bluse (-n) (blouse)
Badeanzug (-züge) (bathing suit)
Krawatte (-n) (tie)
Regenmantel (-mäntel) (raincoat)
Jeans (jeans)
Mantel (Mäntel) (coat)
Hose (-n) (slacks)
Pullover (-s), Pulli (-s) (sweater)
Unterhose (-n) (underpants)
Sweatshirt (Svet-shîrt) (-n) (sweatshirt)
Jacke (-n) [m]; Jackett (-e) [m] (jacket)
Turnschuh (-e) (sneakers)
Stiefel (boots)

Common colors

The following words describe the most common colors.

rot (red)
blau (blue)
gelb (yellow)
grün (green)
braun (brown)
schwarz (black)
weiß (white)
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