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How to shop online in English is perhaps one of the most overlooked areas by foreign students learning English.

Improve your English with this great free English lesson from Engli-teach.com.

Shopping online has become one of the biggest growth areas in retail. But can you shop online in English?

Shopping online in English is not as easy as you may think because it is a mix of knowing what words to use as well as understanding what all the icons mean.

What are icons?

Icons are small pictures or symbols, that replace words. Here are a few below.


Whilst you may think that these icons are really obvious and easy to understand, some are not and that is because each country and more notably culture has very ‘culture specific’ semiotics. 

Much research has been done into the research of Social semiotics such as that by Gunther Kress because Social semiotics is a branch of the field of semiotics which investigates human signifying practices in specific social and cultural circumstances, and which tries to explain meaning-making as a social practice. Semiotics, as originally defined by Ferdinand de Saussure, is “the science of the life of signs in society”. (Wikipedia). 

So learning how each society communicates is key into understanding their semiotics and in turn, into understanding what certain icons are used to communicate in that culture.

Watch the lesson above to learn more about the icons and English vocabulary used when shopping online to improve your knowledge of speaking English and shopping online in English. 


English phrasal verbs for shopping

  • shop online
  • Bring down
  • Pay for
  • Crash sale
  • Online shop
  • order up
  • Sell out
  • Shop around
  • Take off
  • Try on
  • Flexing
  • Try out
  • Pop onto
  • Stand out
  • Pick out
  • Wear in (UK)
  • Set (someone) back
  • Look out for
  • Splash out (UK)
  • home deliver
  • create account

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