Introduction:

If you work in a shop/store it is important that you can speak English with customers. In this online exercise on English for shop or sales assistants, I'll show you the English phrases and vocabulary you need to use and know when when speaking to customers who want to buy and pay for things. This exercise is for both shop/store managers and shop assistants/sales clerks.


Exercise: Speaking to customers

Read the following conversation in a shop/store between a shop assistant/sales clerk and two customers who are buying things.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Shop Assistant:'Here's your change and receipt. And here's your bag.'

Customer 1:'Thank you.'

Shop Assistant:'Thank you. Have a nice day.'

Customer 1:'And you too.'

Shop Assistant:'Next, please.'

Customer 2:'Can I have these, please.'

Shop Assistant:'That'll be 55 euros. How would you like to pay, cash or card?'

Customer 2:'By card. Here it is.'

Shop Assistant:'Thank you. Can I see some ID, please.'

Customer 2:'Here you are.'

Shop Assistant:'Thank you. Could you enter your pin number on the keyboard.'

30 seconds later

Shop Assistant:'Perfect. Please sign this slip.'

Customer 2:'Do you have a pen?'

Shop Assistant:'Here you are.'

Customer 2:'Where do I sign my name?'

Shop Assistant:'At the bottom of the slip/paper.'

20 seconds later

Shop Assistant:'Here's your card and your receipt. And here's your bag.'

Customer 2:'Thank you.'

Shop Assistant:'Thank you. Have a nice day.'

Customer 2:'And you too.'


 Link to Dictionary


Quiz: English for shop/sales assistants: When customers buy

Below is a definition/description of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A phrase you use with a customer when you want them to write their signature/name on a small piece of paper when they are paying by bank/credit card, is
         

Please sign this slip:
(phrase) If a customer is paying for something with a bank or credit card in a shop, restaurant etc... they will either have to write their name on a small piece of paper or enter their bank card PIN number to confirm that it's their card. If they have to write their signature/name, you should tell them what they have to do when giving them the small piece of paper and where they have to do it. To do this, you use the phrase 'please sign this slip'.

In English, 'sign' is a different way of saying 'write your name/signature' and 'slip' is the name for the small piece of paper where the customer has to do it.

In Spanish: "firme la boleta, por favor".

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Please sign this slip:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. A different way to say 'goodbye' to a customer after they have bought something, is
         

Have a nice day:
(phrase) 'have a nice day' is a different way of saying 'goodbye'. You can say either to a customer after they have bought something. For me, 'have a nice day' sounds friendlier, so I would recommend you use that.

In Spanish: "qué tenga un buen dia".

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Have a nice day:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. A phrase used to ask a customer how they want to pay/buy something, is
         

Cash or card:
(phrase) This is a commonly used phrase in English in shops/stores when asking a customer how they want to pay for something. 'cash' means with physical money (notes/bills or coins) and 'card' means with a bank or credit card.

You can just say to a customer 'cash or card' if you want, but I think it is politer to say 'how would you like to pay' before it. For example, 'how would you like to pay, cash or card?'.

In Spanish: "en efectivo o tarjeta".

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Cash or card:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A phrase you use when you return a customer's bank card to them and give them a small piece of paper that says how much they have spent, is
         

Here's your card and your receipt:
(phrase) In English, when you give a customer something in a shop/store which is for them, you normally start by saying 'here's your'. For example, 'here's your change' or 'here's your receipt' etc... You would say 'here's your card and your receipt' to a customer after they have bought something and you are giving them back their bank card and the receipt (the small piece of paper that says what they have bought and how much it cost).

As I said above, you can use 'here's your' when you are giving a customer anything. If the customer has paid with cash (notes and/or coins), when you are giving them their change (the money you return to the customer when they have paid for something with more money than it costs), you can say 'here's your change'. Or when you are giving them the thing(s) they have bought in a bag, you can say 'here's your bag'.

In Spanish: "aqui tiene su tarjeta y su recibo/ticket".

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Here's your card and your receipt:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A phrase used to tell a customer how much money they have to pay for something, is
         

That'll be 55 euros:
(phrase) There are three ways that you can tell a customer how much money they have to pay. The first is 'that'll be' followed by the amount of money (e.g. 'that'll be 105 dollars and 99 cent'). The second is 'that's' followed by the amount of money (e.g. 'that's 105 pounds and 99 pence'). The last way is to say just the amount of money followed by 'please' (e.g. 105 euros and 99 cent, please'). It's your choice which you use.

You can make the first two phrases politer by adding 'please' at the end if you want (e.g. 'that'll be 105 dollars and 99 cent, please').

In Spanish: "son 55 euros".

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That'll be 55 euros:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A phrase you use with a customer when you want them to enter their secret bank code number into a machine when they are paying by bank/credit card, is
         

Could you enter your PIN number on the keyboard:
(phrase) If a customer is paying for something with a bank or credit card in a shop, restaurant etc... they will either have to write their name on a small piece of paper or enter their bank card PIN number to confirm that it's their card. If they have to enter their bank card PIN number into a machine, you should tell them that they have to it. To do this, you use the phrase 'could you enter your pin number on the keyboard'.

Most customers will not have a problem doing this, but if they do, you may have to give them other instructions to help them. Sometimes, they will not press the confirm/enter button after they have entered their PIN number. To ask them to do this, tell them 'press the enter/confirm/green button when you have finished, please'.

In Spanish: "introduzca su PIN".

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Could you enter your PIN number on the keyboard:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. A phrase you use when there are customers waiting to buy things and you want a new customer to come to you, is
         

Next, please:
(phrase) This phrase is used after you have finished serving one customer (i.e. they have bought something and have left) to tell the next customer to come to you. You can follow 'next, please' with 'good morning/afternoon/evening' to be polite (e.g. 'next, please. good afternoon').

You would only use 'next, please' if there is a line/queue of customers waiting to be served/to pay for things. If there isn't a line/queue and a customer comes to you to buy something, you only have to say 'good morning/afternoon/evening' to them.

In Spanish: "el siguiente, por favor".

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Next, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A phrase you use to ask a customer to show you an official document (e.g. a passport or an identity card), is
         

Can I see some ID, please:
(phrase) If to buy/rent something a customer has to show some official document (e.g. a passport, identity card, driving license etc...) to prove who they are, you should use this phrase. 'ID' is a commonly used way to say in English an official document that shows a person's identity (e.g. passport etc...).

You can use either 'can' or 'could' in this phrase with no change in meaning (but 'could' sounds politer). For example, 'could I see some ID, please'.

In Spanish: "me puede enseñar un documento de identidad, por favor".

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Can I see some ID, please:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close






Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practice them by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.

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