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The Supermarket

El supermercado

Supermarket

There are 4 typical food stores that can be found across the length and breadth of the Spanish peninsula. There are the 2 types of 7-11 convenience store, which work to Spanish time and opening a bit later, at 8am and continue through until 2am in the case of the well known OpenCor chain, part of the El Corte Inglés group, as well as the "Chinese Shops" which have similar hours and are run by, you guessed it, Chinese families.

Going upwards in size and downwards in opening hours, we have supermarkets and then hypermarkets. But don't get too excited. Spanish supermarkets sell food, toiletries and household products. Don't expect to find many, if any, extras. The hypermarkets are what most of us consider supermarkets to be nowadays, selling all the wares you may need under one roof.

While the all-encompassing Mercadona is getting bigger and bigger, it is actually 2 French names which dominate the Spanish hypermarket stage: Carrefour and Alcampo, both on the mainland and even in the Canary Islands - perfect if you are looking for supplies when out and about in Tenerife or one of her sister islands!

English WordSpanish WordPronunciation
supermarket (short form)el súperel sooper
trolleyel carroel carroh
basketla cestala thestah
car parkel parkingel parking
car parkel aparcamientoel a-par-ka-mee-ent-oh
anything else?¿algo más?algoh mass
bakeryla panaderíala pannah-duh-reah
butcherla carniceríala car-ni-thur-reah
aisleel pasilloel pa-seeyoh
frozen foodslos congeladoslos con-he-lardoss
fresh foodcomida frescako-mee-dah fresckah
queuela colala ko-la
cash registerla cajala ka-kha
shop assistantla dependientala de-pen-dee-entah
opening timeshora de aperturaor-uh de a-per-tourah
display counterel mostradorel moss-tra-dore
packerel reponedorel re-pon-eh-dore
grocerel fruteroel frooh-tare-oh
fruit and vegetables sectionla fruteríala frooh-ter-reah
weight scalela básculala bass-culah
offerla ofertala oh-fertah
discountel descuentoel des-cwentoh
bag la bolsala bollsah
checkout assistantel cajero / la cajerael kakh-air-o / la kakh-airah
security guardel vigilante de seguridadel vi-hee-lan-tee de seh-goor-e-dad

With these words in your Spanish vocabulary, you got a big and practical part of the language assured. For those of you who have never been shopping in Spain before, make sure you carry photographic identification if you intend on paying by card. You may also be asked for a credit card pin number, but any place that accepts payments by bank or credit card will require photographic ID, whether you are Spanish or not.

Even if you have a good level of Spanish, you'll find this is one thing that you won't be able to talk your way out of - handy advice if you plan on learn Spanish language in Spain or immersing yourself in the rich culture for a period of time.