Ask if an item exists in a store and more in Spanish.



PHRASES:

Busco unas cortinas nuevas para mi casa, ¿podría ayudarme, por favor? I'm looking for some new curtains for my house, could you help me please?
Se han puesto de moda las ventas por catálogo porque cada día las personas tienen menos tiempo de ir a las tiendas. Catalogue sales have gotten quite popular because people have less time to go to the shops.
Algunas agencias de publicidad aprovechan las paredes de los baños públicos para colocar sus anuncios. Some advertising agencies are taking advantage of bathroom walls to place their advertisements.
¿Esperas que ese traje esté en oferta? Are you waiting for that suit to go on sale?
Es un delito cambiar las etiquetas de los productos. Changing the price tags on merchandise is against the law.
Encuentran que las tiendas con más descuentos atraen más clientes. They're finding that the stores with more discounts attract more clients.
Mi padre está haciendo cola en la caja para pagar la mercancía. My father is in line at the cash register to pay for the merchandise.
La vendedora da las ofertas del día por el altavoz de la tienda. The saleswoman is giving the deals of the day over the store's loudspeaker.
Te dan un buen precio por estos productos. They're giving you a good price for those products.
Venden muy barato ese coche ¡cómpralo! They're not asking much for that car, buy it!
 

VOCABULARY:

anuncio (m)   announcement / advertisement
barato (m)   cheap
buscar (m)   to look for
caro (m)   expensive
catálogo (m)   catalog
centro commercial (m) / almacen (m)   shopping center / mall
encontrar   to find
etiqueta (f)   tag
publicidad (f)   publicity
tienda (f)   store

GRAMMAR:

Shopping key expressions

There are several key expressions in Spanish that will help you ask for a particular item in a store.

 

Hay - "is/are there," this is probably the most common way to ask for something in a store (e.g. ¿Hay manzanas? Are there any apples? Or, do you have apples?).
  Tener - this verb is most often used in the third person plural form (¿Tienen carne molida? Do you have ground beef?).
  ¿Dónde está(n) el/la (los/las) _______? - This is a more familiar phrase which assumes the store stocks what you are looking for and which means, "where is/are the____?." (¿Dónde están las uvas? Where are the grapes?)

 

One important difference between English and Spanish is that questions using the simple present tense in Spanish do not require an auxiliary verb. Most verbs in English use the auxiliary verb "to do" to make a question (e.g. Do you have milk?). This is not necessary in Spanish (e.g. "¿Tienen leche?").

Another important point is that you will often find that you don't know the exact term of a certain item that you are looking for. There are some expressions that will help you explain what you want.

 

No sé cómo decirlo en español, pero estoy buscando algo para + infinitivo.
I don't know how to say it in Spanish, but I am looking for something for + gerund.

 

 

Estoy buscando algo para golpear clavos. (un martillo)
  I am looking for something for hitting nails. (a hammer)
 
  No sé cómo se llama en español, pero quiero algo para + infinitivo.
  I don't know what it's called in Spanish, but I want something to + infinitive.
 
  Quiero algo para lavar un carro. (¿Jabón? ¿Una esponja?)
  I want something to wash a car. (Soap? A sponge?)

 

 

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