Knowing English phrases used a a grocery store can make a shopping experience more enjoyable and efficient.

Unless you eat out in restaurants every day of the week, you will find yourself at a grocery store at some time to load up on goodies. As most people know, large supermarkets sell more than just food. They can sell everything from aspirin to zippers.

There are several commonly used vocabulary terms used in a grocery store to talk about
food, food containers and sections in a grocery store. Look at these examples.


cans– of tuna, peaches                   packages– of sausage, gravy mix
bottles– of milk, soda                      box– of cereal, cake mix
jars– of jelly, olives                            cartons– of milk, eggs
bags– of chips, cookies                   tubes– of toothpaste
tubs– of butter


pound– of hamburger, potatoes            bunch– of grapes, bananas
head– of lettuce, cabbage                      gallon– (quart/pint/liter) of milk
loaf of– bread

Sections in a Grocery Store

check out line
produce- vegetables, fruit
bakery- bread, pastry, rolls,
canned goods- beans, tomato sauce, tuna fish
dairy- milk, cheese, yogurt
meat/fish/poultry- steaks, salmon, chicken
frozen foods- ice cream, pizza, TV dinners
health and beauty aides- shampoo, toothpaste, lip stick
dry goods- toilet paper, paper napkins, laundry soap



Wife: What’s next on the shopping list?
Husband: The kids need breakfast cereal. That’s in aisle 4.
Wife: Two boxes of corn flakes should do it. Do we need any milk?
Husband: Yes, also eggs, bacon and sausage.
Wife: What canned goods are on the list?
Husband: We need 2 cans of tuna, a can of peas, a can of lima beans and some spaghetti sauce.
Wife: If I remember correctly we need pork chops, ground beef and fish, right?
Husband: That’s right, we should also get some chicken.
Wife: What else do we need?
Husband: We should probably get some snacks, like chips or cookies and popcycles.
Wife: Good idea, I also need some cleaning supplies.
Husband: That’s not on the list.
Wife: I know, but I need dish soap, laundry soap and some window cleaner.
Husband: That’s everything. Let’s head to the checkout before we add anything else to the cart.
Wife: I think your right. We already went beyond our budget.

Practice Activities

Find a partner and role play shopping at a grocery store. In your conversation talk about what you want to buy, the amount or size and the containers it is it.

To find other conversation activities and dialogues for English used at a grocery store take a look at:
Conversation Made Easy OR Talk, Talk, Talk

Other Links for at a Grocery Store
XX Listening Exercise: Grocery Shopping
XX Video: Grocery Shopping in English