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Spanish Lesson Beginner 16 Shopping for food Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Basic, Pronunciation, Spanish Culture, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

¡Hola a todos!

Today we are going to see how to manage in Spanish when buying food in a shop or market. This is often one of the first places many people get to practice their Spanish on a regular basis. Firstly we will learn some useful food vocabulary in Spanish:

• Fruta: Fruit
• Verduras: Vegetables
• Carne: Meat
• Pescado: Fish
• Lácteos: Dairy products
• Naranja: Orange
• Manzana: Apple
• Plátano: Banana
• Tomate: Tomato
• Cebolla: Onion
• Patatas: Potatoes
• Lechuga: Lettuce
• Zanahoria: Carrot
• Cerdo: Pork
• Pollo: Chicken
• Ternera: Veal
• Cordero: Lamb
• Sardinas: Sardines
• Atún: Tuna
• Bacalao: Cod
• Lubina: Seabass
• Leche: Milk
• Huevos: Eggs
• Queso: Cheese
• Yogures: Yoghurts

Next, let´s see how to state the amount of food that you would like to buy:

• Un kilo de…: A kilo of…
• Una libra de: a pound of…
• Medio kilo de…: ½ kilo of…
• Media libra de…: ½ pound of…
• Un cuarto de kilo de…: ¼ kilo of…
• Un cuarto de libra de…: ¼ pound of…
• Cien gramos de (doscientos/trescientos gramos de…): 100 grams of… (200/300 grams of…)

• Una docena de huevos: A dozen eggs
• Media docena de huevos: ½ dozen eggs

• Una lata de… (Dos latas/tres latas/cuatro latas de…): A can/tin of…
• Un bote de…(Dos botes/tres botes/cuatro botes de…): A jar of…
• Una botella de…(Dos botellas/tres botellas/cuatro botellas de…): A bottle of….
• Un cartón de…(Dos cartones/tres cartones/cuatro cartones de…): A carton of…
• Una bolsa de… (Dos bolsas/tres bolsas/cuatro bolsas de…): A bag of…
• Un trozo de…: A chunk/piece of….

• En filetes: In fillets
• En rodajas/lonchas: In slices

To ask for your items you will need to know how to say:

• Quiero: I want
• Quería: I would like (more polite, literally it means “I wanted”)
• Dame: Give me (friendly) (This is not rude. It is usually used)
• Déme: Give me (formal) (This is not rude. It is usually used)

When you come to discuss prices you will want to know how to say:

• ¿Cuánto es?: How much is it?
• Euros: euros
• Dólares: dollars
• Dos (euros) con cincuenta: 2,50€
• Dos (dólares) con cincuenta: $2.50
• Cincuenta céntimos: 0,50€
• Cincuenta centavos: $0.50

Other things that might be useful are:

• ¿Algo más?: Anything else?
• Nada más: Nothing else
• Aquí tiene: Here you are

To illustrate how all this works in practice, let´s see now a sample conversation in a shop:

Frutero: Hola, ¿qué quiere?
Cliente: Quería media docena de huevos.
Frutero: Muy bien, ¿Algo más?
Cliente:Sí, un trozo de queso.
Frutero: Vale, ¿Algo más?
Cliente: No nada más ¿Cuánto es?
Frutero: ($3,50) Son tres dólares con cincuenta
Cliente: Aquí tiene.
Frutero: Gracias, ¡adiós!

This is all for today. With this information you can really try to get stuck in and speak in Spanish when you are out and about food shopping on holiday in a Spanish speaking country or in your own neighbourhood’s Spanish or Latin American-run shops or markets. Conversing in real life situations with native speakers is always the best and most fun way to practice. To start with you might want to prepare some questions beforehand. The first few times you might have to just read them out or at least refer to them, but after a few repeated visits you will get better at it and be able to remember the sentences by heart and understand more and more of what the shop assistant says. This is a great opportunity for you to try some new food too!!

Have a great week and see you soon.

¡Hasta luego!

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About the Author:Laura

I am from Bilbao in northern Spain. I qualified as a Spanish Language Teacher in 2004. I have taught Spanish in England and Spain and now really enjoy teaching the Spanish Language via my website The Spanish Blog to students from all around the world. I love my job and the intricacies of the Spanish Language. My main personal interests are music, reading and cooking. I studied music for twelve years in Bilbao and I play the piano. I also enjoy singing and I try my best to sing more in English now. I hope very much that you enjoy my posts and welcome any comments.


  1. gary:

    I am encouraged to try this at a super mercado in my neighborhood.
    Thx Laura…that was exceptional.

  2. HC Jones:

    Thanks for all the valuable information you send. It is appreciated

  3. andreas:

    Y¿por qué frutero no vende fruta, sino huevos y queso? ¿Cómo debería llamarse el que las vende?

  4. JOHN:

    Thank you. I love to listen to your clear spanish as it helps me say it correctly