Shopping is GREAT - Part 1

London has some of the world’s most famous department stores: Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and many others. Our presenter Richard visits them and also samples a smaller shop for a range of shopping experiences.

Transcript

London is the shopping capital of the world. Every year millions of overseas visitors shop here. But what makes shopping here so great? There’s only one way to find out. I’m off to do some shopping – follow me!

At Harrods

Knightsbridge is famous for upmarket shopping. This is where the rich and famous come to buy… their socks. And this is the one and only Harrods… the ultimate in luxury. Even royalty shop here. If I’m lucky, I might see someone famous.

If only they had it in my size. Lovely! Thank you!

Done quite well there – what’s next? Taxi! Harvey Nichols, please.

At Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols – or ‘Harvey Nicks’ for short – is a great place for designer fashion.

Well, I had to buy couple of things… What?

At Hamleys

The biggest toy shop in the world – now you’re talking!

So cute… err… it’s not for me.

Oxford Street

London’s Oxford Street is retail heaven. It’s got over 2 kilometres of shops to choose from… and, of course, Selfridges for shopping with style. Taxi!

Could you drop all this off home for me, please? I’m off to explore a different sort of shopping in Britain.

If you like shopping all under one roof, then there are big shopping centres all over Britain. The Olympic-sized shopping centre at Westfield, Stratford, is huge. With over 300 shops, it’s one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. 

At Lock's

Great shopping isn’t just about big shops. Smaller shops can offer something special too. Tucked away in the heart of Piccadilly is a great shopping gem. Lock’s sell that must-have in gentlemen’s fashion: the hat! Lock’s opened in London in 1679. Their hats can be seen across the world. They pride themselves on their personal service.

Richard: Sue Simpson is a hat specialist. Hi Sue.

Sue: Oh, hi Richard.

Richard: Wow, a bowler hat, you don’t see many of those these days, do you?

Sue: Well, we don’t call it a ‘bowler’ here at Lock’s, we call it a ‘coke hat’ because it was invented in 1850 for Thomas Coke…

Richard: …by this very shop.

Sue: …by this very shop and we still call it a ‘coke’ to this day.

Richard: Ah, the classic top hat. When would I wear that?

Sue: That’s a beautiful silk top hat. You would wear that for a society wedding, or the time you see most of them is at Ascot, which is the famous race meeting in June.

Richard: So what’s your best-seller here at Lock’s?

Sue: Our best-seller would be a classic tweed cap or this trilby here, which is called a ‘Voyager’, and the novelty of this one…

Richard: …is it folds up so you can pop it into your luggage.

Sue: …pop it into your luggage.

Richard: Excellent. Is that a deerstalker?

Sue: Similar to a deerstalker, but this is a country cap with a fastening that goes over the top. And this was invented originally for wearing in open-top cars, but now it’s more commonly worn on the hills out shooting and this keeps the ears warm and stops it blowing away.

Richard: I like it; I’ll take this one.

Task 1

In what order did Richard look at the following products?

Exercise

Task 2

What's special about each shop or area?

Exercise

Task 3

Match the beginnings and ends of these phrases.

Exercise

Task 4

Richard said "If only they had it in my size". Type the correct form of the verb in the gap. Make it negative if necessary. 

We have a page on LearnEnglish about the use of 'if only'.

Exercise

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Discussion

The difference in purchases in my city and in London, the fact that firstly in Russia low wages are not every person can afford to buy original company clothing such as Balenciaga, and in London and generally in Europe higher wages. Also in the city of Tyumen there are no such branded stores. The second range of products in London is much more than in Tyumen. Also in London, there is Harrods, the most popular store in the world. I would like to have in our city a wide range of products of world brands!
There are differences in stores, prices and quality for goods in Russia and in the London. In Russia, it is very expensive to buy original European goods. London is the shopping capital of the world while Tyumen is the small city of Russia. London has more shops than my city. Also London has the Harrods, which is the most popular shop in the world. I'd like me to have more choice of shops.
There are differences in stores, prices and quality for goods in Russia and in the London. In Russia, it is very expensive to buy original European goods. London is the shopping capital of the world while Tyumen is the small city of Russia. London has more shops to choose than my city. Also London has the Harrods, which is the most popular shop in the world. I'd like me to have more choice of shops.
Hi! I live in Russia, in Tyumen. Shopping in Tyumen is very different from shopping in London. London is the shopping capital of the world where everyone can shop to their liking. For example, you can shop in high - end stores, by designer clothes or by everything you need in one place: Oxford Street or large shopping centers. As for my city, there is no such diverse shopping. Everything is much simpler and more modest, starting from the quality of goods, their price, ending with season sales. We are already used to our shopping, we plan our purchases taking into account the seasonality. It is very comfortable! If we had constant discounts, as in London, the family budget wouldn't be enough. The only thing that I would like to have in our city is a wide range of world brands goods!
There are differences in stores, prices and quality for goods in Russia and in the London. In Russia, it is very expensive to buy original European goods. London is the shopping capital of the world while Tyumen is the small city of Russia. London has more shops than my city. Also London has the Harrods, which is the most popular shop in the world. I'd like me to have more shops in city.
There are differences in stores and prices for goods in Russia and in the London. In Russia, it is very expensive to buy original European goods. London is the shopping capital of the world while Tyumen is the small city of Russia , so attention of large companies doesn't come to my city, but London is the top for them. london has more shops than my city. Also London has the Harrods, which is the most popular shop in the world. I'd like me to have more shops in city.
What are the differences between shopping in London and shopping where you live? Tell us what you like about shopping in your country and what could be better. London is the shopping capital of the world while Tyumen is the small city of Russia with population 800000 people, so attention of large companies doesn't come to my city, but London is the top for them. london has more shops than my city. Also London has the Harrods, which is the most popular shop in the world. I'd like me to have more choice in shops.
The difference between shopping in London and in Tyumen is huge. Firstly, a huge difference in quality. The quality of things in London is much better, than in Tyumen, because London shops sell original things of foreign designers, but Tyumen shops don't. Secondly, the price of goods in London is higher than in Tyumen, because the goods in London are of the top quality. Eventually, the range of goods in London is much larger, than in Tyumen, because London has richer buyer than Tyumen. So, shopping in London is better for you, if you have a good income.

Subido por Дарья Невидимова el Dom, 22/11/2020 - 13:47

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Shopping in London differs from Tyumen in its grandeur. London has a more professional marketing system. people are attracted not only by the goods that can be bought, but also by the neat look of the store. therefore, as a student of an art school, I want to create interiors and showcases in large stores and add colors to our city.
There are big differences in stores and prices for goods in Russia and in the UK. In Russia, it is very expensive to buy original European goods, but now the world has developed a system of online stores where you can buy any goods from different countries. There are often fairs in Russia. Also, unique products are created in Russia: national costumes and dolls, fur products, honey, sweets, products made of precious stones and wood.
Ooo, big differences of shops, price, quality in my country and in UK. In Bulgaria I can`t go to buy clothes, bags, shoes like Michael Kors, Versace, Calvin Klein.... because first the price they are bigger than my salary :D maybe I will need loan about one new shoes of Michael Kors, quality most items write produce in Chine and it`s not material which I touch here in UK... Here in UK, I open my eyes about expensive clothes and accessories...
In London, service in stores is much better than in Ukraine. The goods there are better than ours.
Dear teachers! Good evening! Could you tell me please why wine shops in Great Britain are called Off license? Thank you in advance!
Hello Evgeny N An 'off-licence' shop is one that is authorised to sell alcoholic drinks but is not authorised as a place for people to drink them. In other words, you can buy the alcohol there, but you must take it elsewhere (often people go home) to drink it. You can see more about the alcohol licensing laws in the UK in this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_licensing_laws_of_the_United_Kingdom All the best Kirk The LearnEnglish Team
Hello, I have two questions from Shopping is GREAT - Part 1. At Hamleys, Richard says "now you are talking" after mentioning how big it is. What does it mean in this context? Describing Lock’s, Richard says "Lock's sell that must-have in gentlemen’s fashion: the hat!". The verb sell needs subject and object but I cannot find either in this sentence. Especially I am confused with the use of that. It seems to me this whole sentence just does not make sense. Can you analyze its structure? Thank you.

Hello Youngdan,

People generally say 'now you're talking' to show they are excited about something, in this case, going into the shop. It means something like 'this is going to be great' here.

Sure, in that sentence 'Lock's' is the subject (it is the name of the shop) and 'sell' is the verb. It is plural because it is a group of people who work in the shop; in British English, it is common to use a plural verb to refer to a group of people (e.g. the sales team in a shop, a football team, the government, etc.). The object is 'must-have', which is a product that is so popular that people feel they must have it. In this case, 'that' is a determiner modifying 'must-have' and is used to refer to something that is already known about. Actually, Richard hasn't spoken about hats before this point, but by using 'that', he's showing that there is a common attitude that men must have a hat if they are fashionable. That's not actually true, but he is playing the role of someone who is fashionable, and so he speaks this way.

You're right, this is actually a very complex sentence to understand! I hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

As far as I'm concerned in London is an Olympic-sized shopping centre but here in Mexico City has a variety of stores depending on what you are going to buy. Because we have entire streets or avenue of a different kind of goods or stuff in different moments of the year or even all year long. Also, here in Mexico City every certain day of the week you can go to an specific place to get some goods near the place where you live, so it's like shops are coming to us. In London as in many parts of the world you can expect to see shops where even royalty shop there, an here in Mexico city isn't the difference. We can see on the avenues with markets of specific good, and also they are pride themselves on their quality and personal service .
Well, I don't usually go shopping, because I prefer shopping online. But I know that here in my city there are some nice stores. Like in Britain, we have both large and small stores. We have big shopping centers and department stores too. The main problem with shopping here in Brazil is pricing. Thanks to the taxes, things here are too expensive.
wow!! there is a massive varaity of shopping centers, I wish I had all those astonishing mega malls in my country. I am sure it would be an unforgettable experience!!
Hello The LearnEnglish Team, I wonder if you could tell me the correct answer for the following question from the My Online Resources: If only my parents ______ (nag) me to do my homework all the time. I think the correct answer should be 'had nagged', but the system marked it incorrect. Then, I put 'nagged', wrong again. After that, I've tried 'didn't nag', 'would nag', 'hadn't nag', and 'nag', but nothing worked. Since there is no correct answer provided, I'm really puzzled. Could there be an error in the system's answer? And what is the correct answer? Looking forwards to hearing from you soon.

Hi A-S,

I'm afraid I don't see the sentence you ask about in any of the tasks on this page. It seems that it should be in Task 4, but I don't see it there. Could you please tell me where you see it?

In any case, 'had nagged' (or 'hadn't nagged') seems to be the best answer to me. If you can tell me which task this sentence is found in, I would be grateful and certainly will fix it.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a query about the last question in Part 4: "If only you...angry". The answer states that the correct formulation is 'hadn't got' or 'had not got'. However, this sounds very stilted for me, and when speaking, native English speakers would say 'hadn't gotten angry', as it flows better. In such a situation, where the 'correct' formulaion differs from the 'everyday', colloquial formulation, would you acccept the colloquial formulation, and if not, why not?

Hello Calanteli,

'Gotten' is the equivalent of 'got' (past participle) in certain dialects of US English. but it is not used in British English. The phrase 'hadn't got' is not formal-sounding to my ear. A more formal equivalent would be the uncontracted 'had not got'. You could also use a more formal-sounding verb ('had not become').

None of these forms are incorrect. It is simply a question of appropriacy and to judge whether or not something is appropriate we need to know the context in which it is used, the relationships of the speakers and so on.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I would like to ask your support about this matter. I really don't understand the difference in meaning using I wish/If only + past simple or I wish + would. In both cases it means you are regret for something in the present that you would like to be different. It refers to something that it can't even happen in the future. When do I have to use the one and when the other? Thanks a lot for your great job. Ciao Marco

Hi Marco,

Generally, we use [if only/wish + past simple] to talk about an imaginary present. For example:

I wish it was warmer today.

If only the house had a bigger garden!

 

We use [if only/wish + would] when we want to emphasise that there is an element of choice about the future. For example:

I wish he wouldn't do that.

If only he would agree to meet is.

 

We would not say this:

I wish it would be warmer today.

The reason for this is that there is no choice involved. The weather is not sentient and does not choose to be warm or cold. We can imagine a non-sentient thing to be sentient (anthropomorphisation), however, and say:

I wish it would stop raining!

Again, this refers to the present.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Here in my country, Viet Nam, the shopping is basically similar to London with the mega mall, long street that have hundreds of luxury adjacent shops. As a developing country, there are many famous brand entering to Viet Nam for a potential market but at this time almost people just come to have a look for the expensive things that only famous and rich can afford. We only really go shopping there at the sale seasons when shops make their total clearance at everything that what I like to go shopping at my country and I think London people so :)
Hello everyone.. ☆ What are the differences between shopping in London and shopping where you live? - I'm living in a town, called Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia. Shopping in my place where I live is a little different from shopping in London. There's no big malls with airconditioning that you can stay in to escape the heat. Instead, traditional shops and markets are seated around on different streets. I love to just walk around before or after dinner when the temperatures are a bit more comfortable and see what they have to offer. However, we also have world class malls in our big capital city. It will take you two and a half hours to get there. ☆ Tell us what you like about shopping in your country and what could be better? - The cost of living in my place is low, and so are prices... A lot of things are low prices. Even the most exclusive high end products will be considerably cheaper than what you would pay anywhere else, particularly London and Europe. Silver, handicraft, art work, painting, fashion&clothes, furniture, snack&candy, you name it... our traditional shops and markets offer flexible prices, making the best deals possible for those with bargaining skills.
actually there is no comparison between shopping in my country and shopping in London , cause we miss the variety i saw in this video
Pretty silly if you ask me besides being unpractical. Deutsche Welle lets me download everything! You can even download American news flashes. Really a pitty
Hi, I teach English to adults in France but the multi-purpose hall where the lessons are held lacks Wi-Fi access. I have tried to download the video/audio but unfortunately I've not been able to do so. Is there something I can do about it? Emmanuel

Hello Emmanuel,

As I explained in my other comment, I'm afraid that our videos are not available for download. I'm sorry that this means that you're unable to use them. I hope you will consider using our podcasts.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

in this sentence(. If I’m lucky, I might see someone famous.) what is Richard looking for somebody or something to buy? if he is going to shopping why he says :to see someone famous instead of something?

Hello nicky62,

Richard is going shopping for some socks. However, because he is going to one of the most famous shops in the world (where even royalty go shopping) he thinks he might meet someone famous while he looks for his socks. It's not his plan, but it's something which might happen by chance.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

in my opinion,because the market is very interesting and famous ,and it attract many famous man to go there.in that case ,richard might see someone famous when he is shopping.
In Brazil, it is difficult to find traditional stores like in London. Here, it is common to find stores selling products of different brands, but with the same category. Except by the multinationals with branches here.
For those of you trying to watch this video from China, the "Great Firewall of China" blocks this video player. You will need a VPN to watch it.
thanks! and I also found some difficulties registering a new account on China learnenglish website (somehow a "Page not found" pops out during password reset), A switch back to learnenglish.britishcouncil.org to continue to setup a password worked it out.
Hi. i have questions. how non native speakers who come to the English countries learn English? I know he/she goes to English class but how long does it take to be fluency in English? Thanks

Hi xxx1360,

There is no answer to this question, I'm afraid, as it really is different for different people. Time, motivation, language skills, needs... there are many variables.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ken,

Here he's left out the words 'I've', i.e. what he's really saying is 'I've done quite well there'. It's not completely clear, but I think what he means is that he's done a good job with his shopping - he's bought what he needed and enjoyed himself.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

this video remind me about shopping in London, specially the hat shop. I remember when my husband took me there, I was so surprised about the design and of course the price too, as I'm from a country where most of the thing are very cheap. anyway, after few years of living with my husband my mind has changed a bit, it is worth to pay for famous brand and seem like the stuffs from there will be last forever
Hi Mango, I agree with you about the quality of products sold by famous firms. Anyway, especially for apparel, accessories and footwear, I prefer to buy cheaper stuff. It is true: in this case, the “items” won’t last long, but I have the opportunity to change them more often, as they are cheap, and obviously, I can “update” my dressing style at the same time.