Everyday English | LANGUAGE
At the supermarket
This month, DAGMAR TAYLOR focuses on
the words and phrases people use when they
shop in a supermarket.
1. Home at last
It’s Sunday evening. Alec and Emma have just
returned from a weekend of hillwalking.
Alec: I’m dying for a cup of tea!
Emma: (opens fridge) ere’s just one small problem: Listen to
no milk. dialogues 2 and 4
Alec: (opens cupboard ) And no tea bags.
Emma: Looks like we’re out of everything. I thought 2. What do we need?
you said you were going to do a big shop be- Alec and Emma have arrived at the supermarket.
fore we went away.
Alec: I thought you were going to do it. Alec: It’s quite busy, isn’t it? I thought it would be
Emma: Oh, never mind! We’ll just have to go now. Do empty on a Sunday evening.
you think the Sainsbury’s at Garthdee is open Emma: I think a lot of people do their grocery shop-
24 hours? ping on Sunday now, before they go back to
Alec: No, but I think it’s open till ten. We could get work after the weekend.
something for dinner from the hot-food Alec: Yes. It is handy. Right. Milk. Can you see the
counter — unless you want to cook, that is. organic milk anywhere? I can’t.
Emma: I just want to put my feet up and read the Emma: ere it is. But there’s just full-fat left.
paper, to be honest. Alec: Well, let’s just take a litre of the normal
Alec: Well, come on! Let’s get it over with! semi-skimmed as well, then.
Emma: Shall we do the deli and cheese counter next?
I don’t like buying pre-packed stuﬀ, and I’ll
• If someone says he or she is dying for (ifml.) some-
thing, it means that the person would like something get some olives or something for tonight.
very much. Things can also be described as “to die for”: Alec: You do that, and I’ll go and get the tea bags.
“Look at those shoes! They’re to die for.” Emma: Can you get a box of matches, too?
• If you are out of something, you do not have any of it.
Emma: (to the assistant) Hello! Half a pound of diced,
• In informal British English, the expression do a shop
refers to the act of going shopping, especially for food smoked pancetta, please.
and household goods.
• Larger supermarkets have counters (Theke) where • Most UK supermarkets are open seven days a week.
customers can buy quantities of fresh food, such as • In the UK, milk is sold in three varieties: full-fat, or
meat, fish, cheese and cold meats (Aufschnitt). “whole”, with around 4 per cent fat, semi-skimmed
• Here, paper is short for newspaper. milk with a fat content of 1.7 per cent, and skimmed
• To get something over with (ifml.) means to milk with just 0.3 per cent fat.
complete something unpleasant but necessary. • Deli is short for “delicatessen”. At a deli, or deli counter,
you can buy cheeses, cold meats, dips and specialities
put one’s feet up die Füße hochlegen such as Italian pancetta [pÄn(tSetE] bacon.
[)pUt )wVnz (fi:t Vp] • One pound is equal to 0.454 kg.
Fotos: Pixland; Stockbyte; Hemera
that is [)DÄt (Iz] zumindest (→ p. 57)
diced [daIst] gewürfelt
grocery [(grEUsEri] Lebensmittel(-)
handy [(hÄndi] praktisch
match [mÄtS] Streichholz
organic [O:(gÄnIk] Bio-
pre-packed [)pri:(pÄkt] abgepackt
3|11 Spotlight 49
LANGUAGE | Everyday English
3. Is that everything? 4. Check it out
Alec and Emma have nearly finished shopping, but Emma and Alec have
they need some help finding something. reached the checkout.
Alec: I hope that’s everything. I’m starving. Alec: Have you ever tried that self-service checkout?
Emma: Me, too. Did you get the matches? Emma: Yeah, once, and it wouldn’t accept my card, so
Alec: Oh, no! I forgot. Sorry. I got distracted in the I had to get the cashier to help me.
wine aisle. Where do you think they’d be? Alec: Shall we try now? ere’s no queue.
Emma: No idea. Let’s ask that customer assistant guy. Emma: We’ve got too much stuﬀ, Alec. Let’s just go
Excuse me! Where we can ﬁnd matches? to the normal checkout.
Assistant: ey’re in“household sundries”. If you’ll (Alec starts to put the groceries on the conveyor belt.)
just come with me... Here they are. Emma: Hang on! is is the express checkout. Look!
Alec: Ah, right. Cheers! ere’s no one at the checkout down there.
Assistant: No worries. Let’s go to that one.
Emma: at’s everything then. Cashier: Hello! Do you have a loyalty card?
Alec: Just as well. I don’t think we could ﬁt anything Emma: Yes. Here it is.
else in the trolley. Cashier: anks, and would you like help packing?
Alec and Emma: Yes, please!
• Aisles [aI&l] in a supermarket are the passages be-
tween the rows of shelves. • At a self-service checkout (Selbstbedienungskasse),
• Sundries [(sVndriz] are various items that don’t fit into customers can scan their own shopping.
a particular category. • Hang on! (ifml.) is used to ask someone to wait for a
• Cheers is used here to mean “thanks”. short time.
• No worries, which originated in Australia and New • An express checkout is a checkout reserved for
Zealand, has become a common informal response to customers with only a few items of shopping.
being thanked. • Most large supermarket chains have a loyalty card or
• A shopping trolley is a shopping cart in the US. “points card” (Kundenkarte) to encourage customers
to shop there regularly.
distracted [dI(strÄktId] abgelenkt
just as well [)dZVst Ez (wel] gut so (→ p. 57) cashier [kÄ(SIE] Kassierer(in)
starve [stA:v] vor Hunger sterben conveyor belt [kEn(veIE belt] Band
1. Replace the words in bold with 3. Rearrange the letters to form
those used in the scenes. words from the scenes.
a) I really want a cup of tea. _____________________ a) a e t a b g s __________________________________
b) People do their food shopping on Sunday. _________ b) a c g i n o r i k l m __________________________________
c) Ah, right. Thanks! _____________________ c) a i e l s ______________________________________
d) Wait! This is the express checkout. __________________ d) c c e h k o t u ____________________________________
2. What do the words in bold refer to 4. Add the missing words from the
in the dialogues? scenes. The first letter is given.
a) I thought you were going to do it. ___________________ a) Emma says it looks like they are o_________ of
b) It is handy. _______________________________ everything.
c) Where do you think they’d be? _________________ b) Emma says that there’s only f_______-f______ milk left.
d) It wouldn’t accept my card. ____________________ c) The matches can be found in the aisle marked
d) checkout 4. a) out; b) full-fat; c) household sundries; d) loyalty card d) The cashier asks Emma and Alec if they have a
matches; d) the self-service checkout 3. a) tea bags; b) organic milk; c) aisle;
cery shopping / a shop; b) being able to go shopping on Sunday; c) the l___________________ c________.
Answers: 1. a) I’m dying for; b) grocery; c) Cheers; d) Hang on 2. a) the gro-
50 Spotlight 3|11