Skip to content

Shopping words in French: from store types to shopping list

Share the knowledge

Although most of us are not exactly enamored with the thought of going grocery shopping, it’s something that needs to be done every few days. With the right mindset, however, it can actually be quite fun.

The same thing’s true for learning shopping-related words and expressions in French.

You might be in a French-speaking country at the moment, doing a round of shopping every couple of days. Or you might be studying for a French language exam where shopping is a common topic. Maybe you’re here to prepare for your French class at school. Sooner or later you’re going to need these words and expressions, regardless of your background.

Our aim was to assemble a solid core shopping vocabulary in French. We’ve made sure to include a wide range of expressions connected to stores and shopping.

By the time you get to the bottom of this page, you’re going to be an expert shopper… French vocabulary-wise, at least. Have fun learning!

Jump to

  1. Types of stores in French
  2. Shopping nouns in French: Store staff and parts of a store
  3. Shopping verbs and expressions in French: Shopping list and looking for products
  4. Prices and payment in French
  5. Words connected to online shopping in French

1. Types of stores in French

la grande surfacesupermarket or hypermarket
le supermarchésupermarket
l’hypermarché (m)hypermarket
un petit commercea small business/ a small shop
une entreprise familialea family business
le marchémarket, marketplace
le marché couvertcovered market
un marché en plein air/
un marché à ciel ouvert
open-air market
l’animaleriepet store/ shop
l’épicerie (f)grocery store/ greengrocery
la boucheriebutcher
la boulangeriebakery
la confiserieconfectioner’s shop
la laverielaundromat/ launderette
la librairie (note: not a library – librairie is a false friend!)bookshop
la papeterieoffice supply store/ stationer’s (also: stationery products)
la parfumerieperfumery
la pâtisseriecake shop
la pharmaciedrugstore/ chemist’s/ pharmacy
le fleuristeflorist/ flower shop
le magasin d’antiquités/
la boutique d’antiquités
antique store/ shop
le magasin de bricolagehardware store
le magasin de chaussuresshoe store/ shop
le magasin d’instruments de musiquemusic equipment shop
le magasin de jouetstoy store/ shop
le marchand de journaux/
le kiosque à journaux
newsagent/ newsstand
le primeur/
chez le marchand de fruits et légumes
produce store/ greenrocer’s
le salon de coiffurehair salon/ hairdresser’s

2. Shopping nouns in French: Store staff and parts of a store

l’employé (m)/
l’employée (f)
employee, staff member
le caissier, la caissièrecashier
le marchandmerchant, seller (when talking about an outdoor market: stallholder)
le vendeur/ la vendeusesalesman/ saleswoman
l’étal (m)stall
l’étiquette (f)price tag (on the product)
la caissecheckout OR cash register
la pancartesign, here: shelf price sign (not on the product itself!)
le produitproduct

3. Shopping verbs and expressions in French: shopping list and looking for products

aller au supermarchéto go to the supermarket
la meilleure heure à laquelle faire du shoppingthe best time to do one’s shopping
faire ses courses en semaineto do one’s shopping during the week
faire ses courses en grande surfaceto do one’s shopping in a super/ hypermarket
la liste de coursesshopping list
faire une liste et s’y tenirto make a shopping list and adhere to it
barrer au crayon les articles d’une listeto cross out the items on a list with a pencil
le sac de coursesshopping bag
chercher ce dont on a besointo look for what you need
faire des tours et des tours à la recherche de go round and round searching for something
trouver ce que l’on chercheto find what one’s looking for
acheter les produits nécessairesto buy the necessary products
les rayons sont réapprovisionnés quotidiennement/
pendant la nuit
the shelves are restocked each day/ during the night
un rayon remplia fully stocked shelf
être de bonne qualitéto be of good quality
être de mauvaise qualitéto be of bad quality
produits d’origine 100% françaisproducts of 100% French origin
les achats impulsifsimpulse buys
les courses (f plural!) de NoëlChristmas shopping

4. Prices and payment in French

payer en espèces/
payer en (argent) liquide
pay cash
payer par carte bancaire/
payer avec une/ votre carte
(Note: you can’t say payer carte – you’ll need to have the word une or a possessive pronoun like sa or votre in between!)
pay with card/ pay with your card
la carte bancaire/
la carte bleue/
la carte de débit
debit card (Note: you’ll sometimes hear carte de crédit in French even if they mean a debit card, but that’s a misnomer.)
la carte de créditcredit card
le paiement mobile sans contactmobile contactless payment
payer à la caisseto pay at the checkout
le paiement à la livraison/
le contre-remboursement
cash on delivery
le programme de fidélitéfidelity program
le bon de réductiondiscount voucher
1 acheté = 1 offert2 for 1
le code promopromo/ discount code
la réductiondiscount
un prix très abordablea very affordable price
être bon marchéto be cheap
coûter cherto be expensive
comparer les prix/
la comparaison des prix
to compare prices / comparison of prices
vérifier le prixto check the price
dépasser le budget/
sortir de son budget
to exceed the budget
rendre un article/
retourner un achat
to return an item
le comptoir des retoursreturns desk / counter

5. Words connected to online shopping in French

la vente en ligneonline sale
l’achat (m) en ligne/
les courses en ligne
online shopping
commander ses courses en ligneorder (one’s shopping) online
magasin d’alimentation en ligneonline grocery store
un panier de minimum 100 a minimum cart of €100
livrer (ses) coursesdeliver groceries
la livraisondelivery
livraison rapidequick delivery
le paiement à la livraison/
le contre-remboursement
cash on delivery

Share the knowledge