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Shops and shopping areas in Britain and in the USA

The first place you go shopping in London could be one of the large stores. This is the kind of shop that sells different kinds of things such as furniture, food, toys, etc. Two famous London department stores are Selfridges's and Harrods. You should go there even if you don’t buy anything.

Covent Garden is another area of shops and restaurants built around the old fruit and vegetable market made famous in B. Shaw's “Pygmalion” and the musical “My Fair Lady”. The name Covent Garden is also used for the Royal Opera House in the same area.

Department stores, supermarkets, chemists and other kinds of shops are often called chain stores, which means they are part of a group of similar stores belonging to one company. Marx and Spencer is an example of a famous chain store. You can buy quality underwear, shoes, clothing, household goods, etc. Many British High Streets have shops in national chains.

At some time you'll probably visit a supermarket too. As you might expect, you'll find not only food in supermarkets but also, for example, things for the house and some drinks, shampoo for washing the hair, soap and common medicines. If you want something from the last group, however, it may sometimes be a better idea to visit a chemist's, especially if you are looking for medicine.

Shopping, however, is an art of its own and you have to learn slowly where to buy various things. In Britain as well as in America you can find different things at places you don't expect to. So if you are hungry, you can go to the chemist's (a drugstore in the USA). In large drugstores you may be able to get not only drugs, but stationery articles, candy, toys, braces, furniture. Every drugstore has a food counter with high stools in front of it and there they serve various juices, coffee, ice-cream, sandwiches and other dishes. If you want cigarettes, go to the grocer's: if you want to have your shoes cleaned, go to the barber's; if you want a radio, go to a man's shop; if you want a suitcase, go to the chemist's. If you ask for suspenders in a man's shop, you receive a pair of braces; if you ask for a pair of pants, you receive a pair of trousers, and should you ask for a pair of braces, you receive a queer look.

You should also be careful about the prices! The sum may be more than appears on the price tags. This is because there’s a sales tax on everything except basic foods.


1. What is Covent Garden famous for?

2. What have you learned about chain stores?

3. Why is it especially convenient to do the shopping at supermarkets?

4. What can one buy at a chemist’s?

5. How can word use be confusing when one goes shopping in Britain and in America?

6. How are telephone and telegraph services handled in the USA?


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 2371

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