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Set Phrases and Idioms About Shopping

Chinese Girl on Shopping

Living in another country while studying implies shopping somehow (I am pretty sure that you are not going to wear the same t-shirt every day). In addition to money and a sense of style, useful expressions in English about shopping will come in handy! Strike foreigners not by the number of diamonds but by the learned idioms.

“How much is the fish?” This is a test for an age. Probably, most of you will immediately remember the colored blonde performer of shocking songs. And someone, maybe, will dig for a while into their memory and say, how much is the fish today.

This phrase has nothing to do with idioms but just successfully approaches the topic. There are a lot of set expressions in English, and if you know even some of them, then you can enrich your speech and generally gain respect in the eyes of an English native speaker. Still, not everyone learns idioms, usually, they prefer only a simple colloquial vocabulary.

To facilitate a learning process and make it easy, fun, and clear, you can classify set expressions on topics. Well, let it be shopping!

Regarding a Cost

When you hear a price cut off from reality, sometimes, you want to use not literary comparisons. English speakers have their own ideas about high prices and their expression. But all of them can be understood simply as "this costs a lot:"

  • it costs a fortune;
  • it costs an arm and a leg;
  • it costs a packet;
  • it costs a bomb;
  • it costs the earth;
  • it costs a pretty penny.

Choose any expression and express yourself well!

Regarding Purchases

Man Paying with Card

Indeed, at times, there is such a desire to come out with an eccentric phrase, so as even those who did not see your purchase would want it or at least be happy when you were lucky enough to snatch something at a bargain price. Or, on the contrary, to feel for you. Then, here are the idioms:

  • To buy (something) for a song – to make a successful purchase;
  • To buy a lemon – to make an unsuccessful purchase;
  • To buy a pig in a poke – to buy at one's own risk;
  • To shop till you drop – shopping till the madness, very relevant for modern shopaholics;
  • White sales – it is at no time a discrimination on the skin color. This is just a common denotation for selling a bed linen.

A Raggle-Taggle Show of Idioms

For the sake of justice: not all of them concern shopping but mainly the words themselves on the topic.

  • bull in a china shop – an awkward person;
  • set up shop (somewhere) – no, this is not an entrepreneur who started up his/her business. It means "to create somewhere a workplace." One can guess where this expression comes from: before, the store was almost the most important place where you could find a work;
  • talk shop – this is what we are currently doing: "talking about professional topics." It is not the chatter about shopping;
  • at all costs – regardless of the price to be paid or the effort needed;
  • not buy (something) – At first glance, it seems that if to put "do," it can be understood as "do not purchase something." But in fact, the meaning of the idiom is to accept someone/something at fake value;
  • sell like hotcakes – that is, trade is excellent;
  • sell out (someone) – do you think it is about sales? Far from it! The meaning of the idiom is to betray someone;
  • sell (someone) a bill of goods – in fact, to deceive someone;
  • sell (someone) short – do not worry, this is not the selling of shorties or shortened people. It means "to underestimate someone." Including yourself.

We hope that your dictionary is filled with some idioms, and you can already flaunt your knowledge on your summer vacation or during next study year abroad.

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