French Language Blog

French vocabulary – Food shopping Posted by on Jun 4, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary

While it is true that there are more and more épiceries (grocery stores) in France and that more people font leurs emplettes dans des grands-surfaces (do their shopping in big stores) or in des supermarchés (super markets), most Français (French people) still do a fair amount of their food shopping in small, often-family-owned shops that specialize in just one type of food.

Faire les courses / To go shopping

Français English
Pour acheter … On va … To buy … One goes to the …
De la viande A la boucherie Meats To the butcher
De la charcuterie et des plats préparés A la charcuterie Cured meats and prepared dishes To the delicatessen
Du pain et des pâtisseries A la boulangerie-pâtisserie Bread and pastries To the bakery
Du lait, de la crème, et des œufs A la crèmerie Milk, cream, and eggs To the dairy shop
Du poisson, un crabe, ou des crevettes A la poissonnerie Fish, crab, or shrimp To the fish shop
Du fromage A la fromagerie Cheese To the cheese shop


Le marché / The market

Not to be confused with un supermarché, un marché is an open-air produce market where many French people, à la campagne comme dans les grands villes (in the country and in the city) go acheter (to buy) their fruits (fruits) and légumes (vegetables).

In the video that follows, you can follow along as a young French family goes off on their weekly visit to the marché du quartier (the neighborhood market) to do their shopping. Ils vont acheter (they are going to buy) des carottes, des pommes, un saucisson, de la salade, du pain, du fromage, et du jambonneau (carrots, apples, a dried/cured sausage, lettuce, bread, cheese, and a small ham) [whereby you can see also that some of the foods that are found in specialty shops – like bread, cured meats, and cheese – can also be found at the marché].

Listen for how they ask for the food they want (Je vais vous prendre ou Je vais prendreI will take) and how they ask to try something (Est-ce que je peux goûter? / Can I taste it?)

In the second part of the video, we visit a supermarché where French people can buy all their food … and other products as well (comme des chaussettes!like socks!).

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.