English to German – Episode 9: Shopping and Colors

Daniel Sep 20


Welcome back to our ongoing series, “English to German”. Each episode, we delve into a different aspect of the German language, making your transition from English to German smoother and more enjoyable. Today’s episode dives into the colorful world of shopping. From vibrant market stalls to sleek department stores, we’ll arm you with the language tools necessary to navigate any shopping experience in Germany.

Shopping Vocabulary

First, let’s go over some general shopping vocabulary:

Einkaufen (Shopping), Geschäft (Store), Supermarkt (Supermarket), Kaufhaus (Department store), Markt (Market), Apotheke (Pharmacy), Buchladen (Bookstore), Kleidungsgeschäft (Clothing store), Schuhgeschäft (Shoe store), Bäckerei (Bakery), Metzgerei (Butcher shop).

If you’re looking for something specific, you might ask: Wo kann ich … finden? (Where can I find …?)

You might also find these phrases helpful:

Wie viel kostet das? (How much does this cost?) Ich suche nach… (I’m looking for…) Haben Sie…? (Do you have…?) Ich möchte… kaufen. (I would like to buy…) Können Sie mir einen Rabatt geben? (Can you give me a discount?)

Materials and Fabrics

When shopping for clothing or home goods, understanding the material or fabric can be crucial. Whether you’re looking for something warm for winter or a light fabric for summer, these terms will come in handy:

Baumwolle (Cotton), Seide (Silk), Leder (Leather), Wolle (Wool), Polyester (Polyester), Samt (Velvet), Leinen (Linen), Denim (Denim).

You might use these terms in sentences like: Ich suche ein Kleid aus Seide. (I’m looking for a silk dress.) or Ist das aus reiner Baumwolle? (Is this made of pure cotton?)

Seasonal Shopping

Germany experiences a range of seasons, and shopping can vary depending on the time of year. Here’s some vocabulary to help you shop according to the season:

Frühling (Spring), Sommer (Summer), Herbst (Autumn/Fall), Winter (Winter), Sonnenbrille (Sunglasses), Badeanzug (Swimsuit), Handschuhe (Gloves), Schal (Scarf).

For instance, if you’re shopping in winter, you might ask: Haben Sie warme Handschuhe für den Winter? (Do you have warm gloves for the winter?) or Im Sommer brauche ich eine neue Sonnenbrille. (In the summer, I need new sunglasses.)

With these additional terms and phrases, you’re even better equipped to enjoy a comprehensive shopping experience in Germany. Whether you’re looking for specific materials, colors, or seasonal items, transitioning from English to German in shopping contexts will become second nature.


When shopping, especially for clothes, you’ll often need to specify colors. Here are the basic ones:

Rot (Red), Blau (Blue), Grün (Green), Gelb (Yellow), Schwarz (Black), Weiß (White), Grau (Gray), Rosa (Pink), Lila (Purple), Braun (Brown), Orange (Orange).

You can use these in sentences such as Ich suche ein rotes Kleid. (I’m looking for a red dress.)

Payment and Returns

When you’ve found what you’re looking for and are ready to make a purchase, you might need to discuss payment or potential returns. Here are some phrases to help:

Ich möchte mit Karte bezahlen. (I would like to pay with a card.) Nehmen Sie Kreditkarten? (Do you accept credit cards?) Gibt es eine Rückgaberecht? (Is there a return policy?) Ich möchte dies zurückgeben. (I would like to return this.)

Sizes and Fitting

It’s essential to get the right fit, especially when buying clothes or shoes. Here’s some vocabulary related to sizes:

Größe (Size), Klein (Small), Mittel (Medium), Groß (Large), Anprobieren (To try on), Passt mir das? (Does this fit me?), Wo ist die Umkleidekabine? (Where is the fitting room?)


Now, it’s time to practice! Try creating a shopping list in German, or maybe describe your favorite outfit using the new color and size vocabulary you’ve learned. Remember, the more you practice transitioning from English to German, the more confident you’ll become in real-life situations.

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