Shopping Vocabulary Part 2

Hancock International College definitely knows a good bargain when they see them and lots of us heard our ESL students found some back on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These deals just keep coming and so does the vocabulary! says, “A Steal: It’s wrong to steal—to take something without paying for it. But if someone tells you their new dress was “a steal,” that’s a very good thing!

That means they did not pay much for it. They paid so little that it almost felt like stealing. Actually, the meaning of “a steal” is similar to “a bargain.”

For example:

Jackie: “Look! This dress is only $10.”

You: “That’s so cheap. That dress is a steal! You should buy it.”

A good deal: Similar to “a steal” and “a bargain,” if something is a good deal, you paid a low price. However, “a good deal” describes the price not the object or item. If you want to use it to describe an object or item, you need to say “a good deal on [noun].” For example:

Incorrect: “My car was a good deal.”

Correct: “I got a good deal on my car.”

So, if Jackie is telling you about the car her sister bought, you might have one of these conversations:

You: “Your sister bought a new car? How much did she pay?”

Jackie: “She got a good deal. She only paid $5,000.”

You: “How much did your sister pay for her new car?”

Jackie: “She paid $5,000.”

You: “That’s a really good deal.”

You: “Was your sister’s car expensive?”

Jackie: “No, she got a good deal on her car. It was only $5,000.”

If a store is having a sale, many of their items will cost less than normal. This is called a discount. Usually you’ll see signs like:

50% off: The price is now 50% less than it was originally.

For example, a $200 sofa is now $100.

$10 off: You’ll pay $10 less than the original price.

For example, a $200 sofa is now $190.

10% off sale price: Sometimes, you can receive an additional discount on sale items.

For example, a $200 sofa is on sale for $150 with an additional 10% off. You’ll pay $135. Awesome!

Now, if you want to tell Jackie about the new sofa you bought you can tell her:

“The sofa was 10% off.”

“I got 10% off my sofa.”

“The sofa was on sale for 10% off.”

All of these things mean the same thing: your new sofa was a bargain!

English Vocabulary for Talking about Expensive Prices

Not everything you buy is a good deal. Sometimes, you may pay too much or you may feel like you’re paying too much. Here are some expressions you may hear when that new shirt is just a little too expensive!

Full Article:

Idiom of the Day

Steal (someone’s) Clothes

Meaning: To advance or appropriate someone else’s ideas, policies, or agendas as one’s own.

Example: Many believe the challenger is really trying to steal the incumbent’s clothes and beat him at his own game.