Learn English at the Supermarket



Shopping for groceries at the supermarket. How many words related to the supermarket do you know? Do you know what the word aisle means? Today’s episode is a bit different. Enjoy :)

Links mentioned in this episode. Two big supermarkets in Australia: Coles – www.coles.com.au and Woolworths – www.woolworths.com.au


Hola muchachos, you are listening to English Made Simple, this is episode #80, numero ochenta.
What? Numero ochenta? No way Jose!

Welcome to English Made Simple, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net.
How’s it going muchachos? Having an awesome weekend! I certainly hope so. The other day we had a heatwave here in Melbourne and today we are freezing, Whatta difference! It’s no wonder that people often get sick with flu in Melbourne, one day it’s extremely hot and the next day it’s freezing – there is a sudden change of temperature. That’s normal for Melbourne.That’s Melbourne weather for you. Some parts of Australia are cold not sunny, we don’t have sunshine here 24/7. No Sir-ie!

Enough about the weather, enough chit-chat Milena, let’s begin this show shall we?

But firstly, let me send a special greeting to Ángel from Guadalajara! Orale Buey! Or should I say G’day mate? That’s an aussie greeting. It’s an Australian greeting. G’day mate. Ángel is preparing for IELTS soon, so good luck amigo. The best thing about IELTS is that it forces you to learn and speak English, the worst thing about it is that you have to do it. For those of you who don’t know what IELTS is , it’s an acronym actually, it’s an English exam, and it’s one of the requirements needed for immigration, if you are planning to move an English speaking country or if you are planning to study overseas. Sometimes the countries will ask you to do an IELTS exam….to test your level of English.

This is definitely the case with Australia, if you are planning to come to Australia that is. Ángel you will do well, I am sure, all the best with IELTS and keep listening to English Made Simple podcast, I hope it helps you out ☺


And another quick hello to a listener from Vietnam, who left a really nice comment in the Facebook group, he appreciates my transcripts! Woohoo, someone is reading them! That’s amazing! Haha Hello to Kien Djen from Vietnam, Hola Kien Dien and sorry if I pronounced your name wrong, you know who you are! Thanks again, and keep listening!

Ok, so last week we learnt about going to the doctor’s, and we also learnt about what the phrase At the Doctor’s means. If you are new to the show, first of all Welcome – please go back to episode 79 and 78 to get familiar with some vocabulary we covered last time, if you find yourselves at the doctor’s.

So for today, I promised to do an episode about Going the Supermarket.

I looooove going to the supermarket, I love it so much. When my friends ask me, hey Milena how was your weekend? Yeah it was awesome! – I say. I went to the supermarket on the weekend. It was really amazing! You should go! I stayed till late went through all the aisles, it was awesome, it was a great fun

Of course I am being sarcastic and ironic.

When I am at the supermarket all I want to do is get in and get out as fast as possible. I don’t know about you but I hate waiting in the queue (me carga hacer fila or hacer cola) for example that’s in Spanish – I hate being in crowded public places. That’s just me, my personal thing, but there could be someone out there who enjoys spending time at the supermarket. Who knows? Right.

Oh and guess what amigos? I have a secret to share with you, when I was a teenager my very first job that I had in New Zealand, it was a part time job, it was actually at a supermarket. I worked at the supermarket as a checkout girl.

I worked as a checkout girl, fui cajera. I was working as a checkout girl for about 3 years while I was in school. Just some extra cash..just some extra pocket money.

I remember, the first week after scanning items at the checkout, I would home, go to bed after work and all I could hear was beep, beep, beep, that sound after your scan the items at the checkout. Beep, beep and after a while you just get used to it. You just get used to the noise.

So that’s the secret about me! That’s how my career started! Haha at the supermarket!

Today, I am going to explain what you can find at the supermarket, and some terms related to the supermarkets, how to ask questions if you are looking for something in the supermarket for example.

First of all, there are two big supermarkets in Australia, one is called Coles and the other one is called Woolworths. There are other supermarkets coming on the scene but for now I will reference these two. In the US, I think, there is a Walmart, I have never been to the US, but this is what I hear in the movies, so I assume that’s a big one there and there could be other supermarkets there. And in Chile we have Jumbo and Lider, the two big ones there too, as well.

So, when we go to the supermarket we go there to buy something called groceries. Groceries is the terms used to mean household items, supermarket items, basically, things you buy at the shop.

Before I go to the supermarket, what I normally do is write a shopping list of items I need to buy from the supermarket. A shopping list is lista de compras para el supermercado, that’s in Spanish.
Most of the things that I would need to buy is for the pantry. Pantry is like a storage in the kitchen at home, that’s where you store canned items, spices, sauces, dry foods, sugar, flour and of course nutella.

Canned items, I mentioned canned items – in Spanish is llatas de alimentos en conserva, things like tuna fish, canned vegetables and so on. It’s like conserved food.

You can also store things like Sauces and spices – Salsas and Condimentos. Sauces and spices go in the pantry.

When you arrive at the supermarket, the first thing you will take is either a trolley or a shopping basket – a trolly is carro de supermercado in Spanish or a shopping basket or just a basket canasto o canasta in Spanish. This is what you need to have when you walk around the supermarket and take items off the shelves! Shelf is a singular and shelves is the plural. That means estantes in Spanish.

If you imagine a supermarket, it’s full of shelves and that’s where the food is placed….on the shelves and then you take items off the shelves.

There are different departments inside the supermarket, departments is like sections. You have Fruit and Veggie section, you have Meat and Seafood section, in Australia we have something called Deli section, Bakery, Confectionary and Snacks, Stationery, Soft Drinks, Freezer department, or the Frozen Food section and so on.

Let me quickly explain what these department are:

I mentioned…
Deli – in Spanish fiambreria – this is where you can buy cold meats, cheeses, already prepared salads, cheese platters and dips, and things like that.
In Fruit and Veggie section is obvious, this is where you buy different types of fruit and veggies. Veggies this is short for vegetables. So we don’t say vegetables or vegTABLES. It’s pronounced as vegetable or vegetables.
Then we have…
Bakery department is where you can buy pastry and baked goods like breads, buns, muffins and cakes. Yum! In Spanish, panadería and pastelería o repostería. All the yummy stuff!!

Confectionary and Snacks – in Chile it is called Golosinas and Cóktel – Confectionary is the word that describes lollies, candies and sweets and things like that. So in Confectionary and Snacks sections, this is where you can get lollies or candy or sweets, you can also get bags of chips, popcorn anything you need for a party for example.

Then we have…

Freezer section or Frozen Food department or Frozen Food section – and this is where you buy the frozen goods, frozen items such as frozen vegetables, fruit and meat, and ice-cream of course! This section is called Alimentos congelados in Spanish.

I like to spend my time at the Stationery department! I don’t know why, I just like stationery.

Stationery what’s that? – That’s librería in Spanish – this is a place where you buy office items or things for school, like pens, papers and notebooks, and books maybe … and stuff like that.

Meat and Seafood, Carnes y Pescados – meat is carne, seafood is pescados in Spanish. Seafood is a term that refers to the animals in the sea, like fish, mussels, prawns or oysters even. As for the meat, you can find things like mince meat, chicken, pork and beef.

Beef is a meat that comes from the animal cow.

Now we have the section, Drinks. Drinks in general.

Drinks, botillería – this is where you can buy soft drinks or fizzy drinks, bebidas. Soft drinks are drinks with gas, like Coca Cola, Sprite and Schweppes and so on. We say fizzy drinks or soft drinks.

And lastly you can buy toiletries at the supermarket.

Toiletries – things for the toilet, perfumería in Spanish. this is where you buy all the stuff to do with hygiene. You can also find pain killers like Panadol for example.

Sometimes you can find the same things as you can find at the pharmacy for example.

Also, sometimes you can even buy hardware things or tools at the supermarket in Spanish it is ferretería. This is for guys who like to build things…

Awesome, so many new words for you guys!

Now let’s imagine you are at the supermarket and you cannot find olive oil for example. You cannot find where Olive Oil is.

You can politely ask a staff member, the staff usually wear uniforms and you can easily recognise who they are. Simply ask them: Excuse me, can you please tell me where I can find olive oil? Aceite de oliva.

He or she will respond and say something like, just go to Aisle 10. it’s in AISLE 10… for example.

Aisle is a name for pasillo in Spanish. For non-Spanish speakers who are listening, it is a passage in between rows of seats or between cabinets and shelves.

It’s an interesting word this one, aisle – there is a silent S in this word. You can’t hear it but you will need to know how to spell it if you had to write it or if you had to read it somewhere.
We spell it as, A I S L E. And it’s pronounce simply.. “ail”
I know, right! Who would’ve thought there is an S in that word, but there is and it’s very, very, common to hear. Aisle.
You know when you go on an airplane, you can either get a window seat or an aisle seat. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this before.

Cool bananas! Oki doki.
Now that you know about this word AISLE. Next time you are looking for an item at the supermarket and you cannot find it, ask the person who works there – excuse me, in which aisle can I find Nutella? In which aisle can I find rice, arroz? In which aisle can I find coffee or tea?

I recommend you practise that phrase, ok?

And finally now that you’ve bought everything you need, it’s time to go and pay items.
Go to the checkout and pay for your goods. I use goods and items… they mean the same thing.

A checkout operator is a person who works at the checkouts, we call them checkout operators. They will scan your items and pack for you if you wish. They might even say, Wanna carry bag?
That’s with my awful Australian accent. D’ya wanna carry bag? That’s how they say it, they will say it pretty quickly so be prepared, well that’s how the teenagers speak nowadays, really fast, fast and furious.

What this means is Do you want a bag? Do you want a bag to put your things inside the bag.

And that’s it amigos! Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Hope you learnt something new.

If you are curious about the names of specific food items that you can find at the supermarket, I recommend you check out, go to Coles.com.au and Woolworths.com.au.These are 2 biggest supermarkets in Australia. I will put the links in the transcriptions so you can check it out. You can browse the sites and check out the names of each specific item. It comes with pictures which is good, it’s gonna help you memorize the names of each item.

Awesome! It has been awesome hanging out with you guys, it’s been a pleasure until next time.
Hasta la proxima!

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