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For practically everybody, shopping has now become an art, or should we say a science. It is a question of knowing what to buy, where and when. What to buy depends on your purse and who in the family is in charge of family budget. Where to make your purchases is also no easy matter when you consider the vast range of shops, from the huge department stores, supermarkets and self-service shops through the specialized shops such as the butcher's (mäsiar), baker's (pekár), grocer's (potraviny), fishmonger's, the various clothes shops, chemist's (drogéria), stationer's (papiernictvo) and so on, right down to the smallest flower stand and bookstall.

In Czecho-Slovakia the shops are simply identified by the goods the sell; in the western countries (and a little in our country too) by the name of the firms. Today there are chain stores such as Woolworth's (a general store), Mark's & Spencer's (clothes and food), Sainsbury's (food) in nearly every British town. All these shops compete to attract the customer. In this country we are known for beautifully and tastefully dressed windows, while in other countries the goods are offered with greater regard for cut prices and great publicity is given to advertisements. We have fixed prices and so here it is more a question of choosing the best time for shopping, when the shops are least crowded. Shopping is easiest in the morning and in the midday break too, the worst time is during the afternoon peak.

We have no problems with shopping in the towns and in country as well now. We go to the newly built local supermarket, which is well supplied with all kinds of foodstuffs - flour, sugar, tinned food, bottled beer, as well of detergents, soap and cosmetics. We take shopping trolley and push it round gaping at the thousands of tins on the shelves, at the vegetables freshly washed and bread wrapped in cellophane, the deep-freeze locker where you could get pork, chicken breasts. Once a week the whole family goes to town on a shopping spree when everyone has his say.

Christmas shopping

However much you may dislike shopping, at Christmas you are all drawn into this "game". It is very difficult to buy things that you think others will appreciate. The first stage is window shopping. Then you go to the chemist's to buy mother some scent, a skin lotion and few luxuries she would not dream of treating herself to. Man are even more difficult to please. But at least children are easy to please, and cheap creative toys such as building sets are available. Of course, sometimes you can walk your feet off chasing around shops before you mange to get the right thing. Notices such as: "Closed due to illness", "Back in the moment", "Stocktaking" (inventúra), "Lunch hour" are very frustrating. Then you don't know whether shopping is pleasure or not. Though the idea of surprised and happy members of your family unwrapping their presents is very pleasant.

Word study

What can I do for you madam? I'd like to... May I have... Is anyone serving you? No, I'm looking for... No, can you show me... Do you also keep... Sorry, we don't but... I don't like this colour (style, material...). Here are some ... to choose from. Haven't you got any other... Yes, I'll show you our latest... I'd prefer a darker (lighter) colour. Sorry, we are sold out. What size, please? Is it meant for you? Size..., I think. It's pure wool (silk (hodváb), cotton (bavlna)...). What material is it? Would you like to try this? Yes, I like the style. How do they fit? They are too tight (tesné) (loose - veľké), I'm afraid. I think, I'll have this. Very good, madam. How much it cost? This price is... It cost... I'd prefer something less expensive. What price are you thinking of? Anything else? No, thank you. Shall I wrap it up? Yes, please. Here's your bill. Shall I pay here? Pay at the desk over here.

I usually make a shopping list before I go shopping. I've got do some shopping on my way home. Let's go window shopping. There was a queue at the news stand. Will you buy coffee, we've run out of it. Can I see one of these shirts? Can I have the goods sent to my address? I haven't any change. Here's your change. Shop-keeper (majiteľ), shop-assistant, cashier at his desk. Kiosk, stall. The largest assortment of fruit and vegetables is usually at the market. Are there good shopping facilities in this district? A shopping-bag, a net, a basket, a trolley. To sell goods at reduced prices. A second-hand bookshop. Butcher, baker, grocer, greengrocer, tobbaconist, chemist, bookseller, stationer, news-agent, antiques, fancy-goods. A confectioner (cukráreň) sells sweets. Milk bar. This set is too expensive. Some shops have one early-closing day in a week. Reasonable (rozumné), moderate (primerané) prices. This suit is really cheap at this price. Prices are falling (rising). I'm thinking of buying a used car. Some imported goods are hard to get. These goods are in great demand. How much is this shirt? Have you a tie to match? We don't spend much money on clothes.


Do you like shopping? What kind of shopping do you do most frequently? When you go shopping? To what shops do you go most often? Do you make a shopping list before you go shopping? Do you like shopping in a department store? Which is the largest department store in Bratislava? What are advantages of shopping in a department store? Do you go window-shopping, before you choose an article you want to buy? Do you buy goods that are much advertised? On what occasions do you buy flowers? How much do you spend on books, records? What size do you take in shoes, clothes, gloves? What kinds of goods are sold out at reduced prices? What goods are in great demand? Do you ever queue up for anything? Have you ever done any shopping at a supermarket? What shopping have you done abroad? How did you make yourself understood in foreign shops? At what time of day are shops usually crowded? What shopping does a man more or less every day? Do you like to have someone with you when you want to buy an article of clothing or something expensive (furniture, electric appliance...)? Do you relatives help you to choose clothes and foot wear? What system of family budget have you? Ask shop-assistant to show you a tie that displayed in the shop-window. Imagine a scene when you are buying: a) pair of shoes

b) cigarettes, a newspaper and some stamps

c) present for your girl-friend, boy-friend, mother...

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