Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained, in your language, at the end of each conversation. Today’s conversation is about shopping.

Salesperson: Can I help you?

Gloria: Yes, I’m looking for a sweater — in a size medium.

Salesperson: Let’s see…here’s a nice white one. What do you think?

Gloria: I think I’d rather have it in blue.

Salesperson: OK…here’s blue, in a medium. Would you like to try it on?

Gloria: OK…yes, I love it. It fits perfectly. How much is it?

Salesperson: It’s $50. It will be $53 with tax.

Gloria: Perfect! I’ll take it.

Language notes

  • Can I help you? or “May I help you?” is what a salesperson normally says to greet a customer.
  • I’m looking for a here means “I don’t know exactly which one I want.”
  • Size medium. Clothing usually comes in small, medium and large sizes. Some women’s clothing comes in number sizes, usually ranging from 2 to 16.
  • Let’s see… An expression used when a person wants to think something over to make a choice or decision, or to look for something.
  • I’d rather have it in here means “I don’t like this exact one. I would prefer it in a different color/size/material,” etc.
  • Would you like to…? is a polite way to ask “Do you want to…?”
  • Try it on means to test the fit or appearance of a garment by putting it on. “Try on” is a separable phrasal verb, so the object “it” goes between “try” and “on.”
  • How much is it? means “How much does it cost?” Notice that the main sentence stress falls on “is” in this question.
  • I’ll take it means “I will buy it.”
Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help. And the U.S. Department of State has great resources for English teachers and students of all levels.