Linda Hall: Spanish shopping spree

Image of a woman shopping.

Image of a woman shopping. Credit: Bobex-73/

SOME things are the same the world over. That includes never finding a sales assistant in a department store when you want one although a flock of them descends on you when you want to wander around and look.

At best they make you feel guilty because you’re not buying and at worst they look at you as though you are a potential shoplifter.  It’s always best to say something in these circumstances and use a phrase that’s similar in English and Spanish:

I’m just looking, thank you….. estoy sólo mirando, gracias

On those occasions when you do find a salesperson you’ll need to explain what you want:

Can I try this on….. ¿puedo probar esto?

I want a small/medium/big size….. quiero la talla pequeña/mediana/grande

Do you have this dress/blouse/shirt/suit/coat in another size?…..¿tiene este vestido/esta blusa/esta camisa/este traje/este abrigo en otra talla?

I’d like to see this dress/blouse/shirt/suit in another colour… gustaría este vestido/esta blusa/este traje/estos zapatos en otro color

And because it’s often so difficult to get exactly what you want:

This dress is too small/big/tight/loose/long/short…..este vestido es demasiado pequeño/grande/ajustado/suelto/largo/corto

These shoes are too small/big/tight/wide…..estos zapatos son demasiado pequeños/grandes/apretados/anchos

I take a size 37….. gasto un 37

I’m sorry but I don’t like it/them…..lo siento, pero no me gusta/no me gustan

I’m going to think about it….. me lo voy a pensar

Then there’s the saddest phrases of all:

It’s too expensive… demasiado caro/cara

They’re too expensive…..son demasiado caros/caras

Is there something cheaper?…..¿hay algo más barato?

On those occasions when you can splash out:

Can I pay by debit/credit card…..¿puedo pagar con tarjeta?

Do you want cash?…..¿lo quiero en efectivo?

And if it really doesn’t suit you:

I’d like to change this.….quiero cambiar esto, por favor

By the way, the person you look for or evade in a department store (grandes almacenes) is un dependiente/una dependienta but not un asistente, who is an attendee. Meanwhile, una asistenta is the person who cleans for you on a daily basis.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at