Vocabulary for grocery shopping in English

grocery shopping vocabulary

How to buy groceries in English: words and phrases

Anyone who has traveled abroad or lived in an English-speaking country knows that one of the initial challenges can be a simple trip to the grocery store. To avoid misunderstandings and stress, it’s crucial to know the basic phrases and words that will help you shop quickly and efficiently. In this article, we have compiled the most popular words and the top 20 essential phrases for grocery shopping, which will be useful to everyone. First and foremost, a grocery store is referred to as a Grocery store [ˈɡroʊsəri stɔr]. For example:

  • Example: I need to go to the grocery store.

Let’s take a look at the words that are essential for everyone in a grocery store.

Practice shopping and grocery words in English

Fruits and berries

Apple [ˈæpəl]

  • A common fruit that is sweet and often red, green, or yellow.
    Example: I bought a red apple at the market.

Apricot [ˈeɪprɪkɒt]

  • A small, orange fruit with a pit, known for its sweet taste.
    Example: Apricots are in season now.

Banana [bəˈnænə]

  • A long, curved fruit with a yellow skin and soft, sweet flesh.
    Example: I need a bunch of bananas.

Berry [ˈbɛri]

  • A small, juicy fruit, often red, blue, or black, like strawberries or blueberries.
    Example: She picked fresh berries in the garden.

Cherry [ˈʧɛri]

  • A small, round fruit that is typically red or black, with a single pit.
    Example: I like cherry pie.

Lemon [ˈlɛmən]

  • A yellow citrus fruit with a sour taste, often used for juice or flavoring.
    Example: Please add a slice of lemon to my tea.

Orange [ˈɒrɪndʒ]

  • A round, orange citrus fruit known for its sweet and tangy taste.
    Example: I love drinking fresh orange juice in the morning.

Peach [piːʧ]

  • A soft, juicy fruit with a fuzzy skin, typically orange or pink in color.
    Example: The peach is juicy and sweet.

Pear [pɛər]

  • A sweet, green or yellow fruit with a rounded base and a tapering top.
    Example: Would you like a pear?

Pineapple [ˈpaɪnˌæpəl]

  • A tropical fruit with rough skin and sweet, yellow flesh.
    Example: Pineapple is great for dessert.

Watermelon [ˈwɔːtərˌmɛlən]

  • A large, green fruit with red flesh and black seeds, known for its refreshing taste.
    Example: Watermelon is perfect for hot summer days.


Beet [biːt]

  • A root vegetable, typically red or purple, used in salads and soups.
  • Example: I need some beet for the salad.

Cabbage [ˈkæbɪdʒ]

  • A leafy green or purple vegetable, often used in salads or cooked dishes.
  • Example: Cabbage soup is a traditional dish in many countries.

Carrot [ˈkærət]

  • A long, orange root vegetable that is crunchy and sweet.
  • Example: She added some grated carrot to the salad.

Corn [kɔrn]

  • A yellow grain that grows on cobs, often eaten as a vegetable.
  • Example: I like grilled corn on the cob.

Cucumber [ˈkjuːˌkʌmbər]

  • A long, green vegetable that is often sliced and eaten raw in salads.
  • Example: Sliced cucumber is a great snack.

Garlic [ˈɡɑːrlɪk]

  • A bulbous plant used for its pungent flavor in cooking.
  • Example: Garlic is essential for making a good pasta sauce.

Mushroom [ˈmʌʃruːm]

  • A fungi that is used in many dishes for its earthy flavor.
  • Example: Mushroom soup is my favorite.

Onion [ˈʌnjən]

  • A bulb vegetable with a strong flavor, used in many savory dishes.
  • Example: Sauté the onions until they are golden brown.

Pepper [ˈpɛpər]

  • A vegetable that can be sweet or hot, used to add flavor and spice.
  • Example: Add some black pepper to the dish.

Potato [pəˈteɪtoʊ]

  • A starchy tuber that is used in many dishes, often boiled or mashed.
  • Example: I prefer mashed potatoes.

Tomato [təˈmeɪtoʊ]

  • A red or yellow fruit used as a vegetable in salads and sauces.
  • Example: Fresh tomatoes are best for salads.

Meat and fish

Beef [biːf]

  • Meat from cattle, often used in stews, steaks, and burgers.
  • Example: Beef stew is a hearty meal.

Beefsteak [ˈbiːfˌsteɪk]

  • A thick slice of beef, usually grilled or fried.
  • Example: He ordered a medium rare beefsteak.

Chicken [ˈʧɪkɪn]

  • Meat from a chicken, often roasted, grilled, or fried.
  • Example: Roast chicken is a Sunday favorite.

Fish [fɪʃ]

  • A common term for edible aquatic creatures, often used in many cuisines.
  • Example: Grilled fish is healthy and delicious.

Goose [ɡuːs]

  • A type of poultry known for its rich flavor, often roasted.
  • Example: Roast goose is a traditional Christmas dish.

Liver [ˈlɪvər]

  • A nutrient-rich organ meat, often used in pâtés and dishes.
  • Example: Liver pâté is served as an appetizer.

Meat [miːt]

  • A general term for the flesh of animals used as food.
  • Example: She prefers lean meat.

Sausage [ˈsɔsɪdʒ]

  • A food made from ground meat, often pork or beef, encased in a skin.
  • Example: German sausages are very popular.

Shrimps [ʃrɪmps]

  • Small, edible shellfish that are commonly used in seafood dishes.
  • Example: Shrimp cocktail is a classic appetizer.

Dairy products

Butter [ˈbʌtər]

  • A dairy product made from churned cream, used for spreading and cooking.
  • Example: Spread some butter on the toast.

Cheese [ʧiːz]

  • A solid dairy product made from milk, available in various types and flavors.
  • Example: Cheddar cheese is a good choice for sandwiches.

Milk [mɪlk]

  • A nutritious liquid produced by mammals, commonly consumed as a beverage.
  • Example: I drink a glass of milk every morning.

Yogurt [ˈjoʊɡərt]

  • A creamy dairy product made from fermented milk, often enjoyed plain or with fruit.
  • Example: Greek yogurt is rich and creamy.

Bakery and confectionery

Bread [brɛd]

  • A staple food made from flour and water, typically baked.
  • Example: Freshly baked bread smells amazing.

Cake [keɪk]

  • A sweet baked dessert, often layered and decorated.
  • Example: She baked a chocolate cake for the party.

Chocolate [ˈʧɒklət]

  • A sweet treat made from cocoa, available in various forms.
  • Example: I love dark chocolate.

Flour [ˈflaʊər]

  • A powder made from ground grains, used in baking.
  • Example: You need flour to make bread.

Jam [ʤæm]

  • A sweet spread made from cooked fruit and sugar, used on bread and pastries.
  • Example: I like strawberry jam on my toast.

Pie [paɪ]

  • A baked dish with a pastry crust and a sweet or savory filling.
  • Example: Apple pie is a classic dessert.

Pancakes [ˈpænˌkeɪks]

  • Flat, round cakes made from a batter and cooked on a griddle.
  • Example: We had pancakes for breakfast.


Coffee [ˈkɒfi]

  • A popular hot beverage made from roasted coffee beans.
  • Example: I need a cup of coffee in the morning.

Drink [drɪŋk]

  • A liquid that can be consumed, like water, juice, or soda.
  • Example: He ordered a cold drink.

Juice [ʤuːs]

  • A drink made from the liquid of squeezed fruits or vegetables.
  • Example: Freshly squeezed juice is very refreshing.

Tea [tiː]

  • A beverage made by steeping dried tea leaves in hot water.
  • Example: Would you like some tea?

Vanilla [vəˈnɪlə]

  • A flavoring derived from orchids, used in desserts and beverages.
  • Example: Vanilla ice cream is my favorite.

Other products

Caviar [ˈkæviˌɑr]

  • Salted fish eggs, often considered a luxury food.
  • Example: Caviar is considered a delicacy.

Cereal [ˈsɪəriəl]

  • A breakfast food made from processed grains, often eaten with milk.
  • Example: Cereal is a quick and easy breakfast option.

Egg [ɛɡ]

  • An oval food laid by birds, commonly used in cooking.
  • Example: I like my eggs scrambled.

Honey [ˈhʌni]

  • A sweet substance produced by bees, used as a sweetener.
  • Example: Honey is a natural sweetener.

Ice cream [aɪs kriːm]

  • A cold, sweet treat made from frozen dairy products.
  • Example: Let’s have some ice cream for dessert.

Noodles [ˈnuːdlz]

  • A type of pasta made from dough, often used in soups and stir-fries.
  • Example: She made a bowl of chicken noodles.

Nut [nʌt]

  • A hard-shelled fruit, often eaten as a snack or used in cooking.
  • Example: I like to snack on mixed nuts.

Oil [ɔɪl]

  • A liquid fat used in cooking and food preparation.
  • Example: Use olive oil for cooking.

Omelette [ˈɒmlɪt]

  • A dish made by frying beaten eggs, often with added fillings.
  • Example: She cooked a cheese omelette.

Rice [raɪs]

  • A staple grain used in many cuisines, often boiled or steamed.
  • Example: We have rice as a side dish.

Salad [ˈsæləd]

  • A dish of mixed raw or cooked vegetables, often with a dressing.
  • Example: A fresh salad is perfect for lunch.

Salt [sɔlt]

  • A mineral used to season and preserve food.
  • Example: Add a pinch of salt to the soup.

Sandwich [ˈsændwɪʧ]

  • A food item consisting of bread with fillings like meat, cheese, or vegetables.
  • Example: She made a ham and cheese sandwich.

Sugar [ˈʃʊɡər]

  • A sweet crystalline substance used in food and drinks.
  • Example: I take my coffee with sugar.

Frozen food [ˈfroʊzən fuːd]

  • Food preserved by freezing, available in stores for convenience.
  • Example: I always have some frozen food in the freezer.

Shopping tools

Basket [ˈbæskɪt]

  • A container with a handle, used for carrying groceries.
  • Example: She carried a basket of groceries.

Shopping cart [ˈʃɑːpɪŋ kɑːrt]

  • A wheeled cart used in stores to transport groceries.
  • Example: The shopping cart is full of groceries.

Shopping list [ˈʃɑːpɪŋ lɪst]

  • A list of items to be purchased during a shopping trip.
  • Example: I have a shopping list to follow.

Top 20 necessary phrases when shopping in a grocery store

A selection of useful phrases that will help you easily navigate when buying products in English.

1. How much does this cost?

2. Where can I find the vegetables?

3. Do you have any fresh bread?

4. I would like half a kilogram of apples, please.

5. Could you weigh these for me?

6. I need a dozen eggs.

7. Is there a discount on this item?

8. Can I pay by card?

9. Do you have any organic products?

10. Where is the dairy section?

11. Could you give me a receipt, please?

12. I am looking for gluten-free bread.

13. Could you tell me the price of this?

14. Where are the shopping baskets?

15. I would like to return this item.

16. Do you have any more in the back?

17. I’m looking for fresh seafood.

18. Can I get a bag, please?

19. Do you have any special offers today?

20. What time do you close?

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