Free English Lessons

Clothes Shopping – Listening Lesson (A2)

Going clothes shopping—fun or boring? Could you use English to get what you want in a shop? Learn useful words and phrases for buying things and shopping for clothes in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English. This is a lesson for pre-intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Woman: Why don’t you try this one on?
Man: Eurgh!1 It looks awful.
Woman: What about this one?
Man: Okay, that one’s a bit better. … So what do you think?
Woman: I like it. It really suits2 you.
Man: It’s not very comfortable. I don’t think it’s a good fit3—it’s too tight around the shoulders.
Woman: So just get the next size up4. It’s a good shirt. It matches5 your shoes, as well.
Man: But even this one’s loose around my chest. If I get a bigger size it’ll be like wearing a tent6.
Woman: What about the trousers?
Man: Are you joking? No man looks good in skinny fit7 jeans. I’d look like a complete idiot.
Woman: But everyone’s wearing them at the moment.
Man: Well, you can be a sheep8 if you want, but I have an original sense of fashion.
Woman: Oh, really? That’s why you’re wearing clothes you bought five years ago.
Man: Looking good never goes out of fashion9. Anyway, let’s go somewhere else. Everything in here is badly made and overpriced.
Woman: Fine. I need shoes. You can come and help me choose.
Man: Can we not go home?
Woman: We only got here twenty minutes ago!

Some of the words in this section are the answers to the exercises below. You may prefer to try the exercises first and come back here if you need to.

1. Eurgh (pronounced ‘ee-yur’) = a noise you make when you think something is disgusting
2. It suits you = it looks good on you
3. It fits you / It’s a good fit = it’s the right size for you
4. The next size up = one size bigger
5. It matches your shoes = the colours go together well
6. A tent is something you use to go camping, like a house you can carry with you.
7. Skinny fit = very tight
8. A sheep is someone who does what everybody else is doing (because sheep all follow each other)
9. Go out of fashion = become unfashionable

Clothes Shopping – exercise 1
Grammar and Vocabulary: finding related forms

When you learn vocabulary, you should make a note of related words, such as forms of the word in a different part of speech (e.g. a noun that’s similar to a verb), or words with a prefix added (e.g. un-).

Read five sentences that explain an idea from the dialogue in different words. Then, complete the second sentence each time, using words that the speakers say.

Clothes Shopping – exercise 2
Vocabulary: confusing verbs

The dialogue contains a number of verbs for describing clothes and a person’s appearance. Some of these verbs mean similar things, or there are rules about what type of word can come next (e.g. a noun or an adjective).

Look at the five verbs in the box and listen for how they are used in the dialogue. Then, write the verbs in the gaps in the correct form.

Clothes Shopping – exercise 3
Listening skill: noticing the sound of speech

When you can listen to something and read the transcript at the same time, your job is more than just understanding the words. You should take the opportunity to notice what words actually sound like when native speakers say them in fast, connected speech.

Listen to five clips from the dialogue and choose the spelling that represents what the speakers say.

Clothes Shopping – exercise 4
Comprehension: understanding comments in context

Now that you have practised some of the language in the dialogue, let’s see if you understand some of the other phrases.

Listen to five clips from the conversation and choose the statement that means the same.

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