Sunday, 5 February 2012

What Would You Like?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are out and about doing a bit of shopping. Maybe you are after some clothes/ shoes. Perhaps you are shopping for groceries/ souvenirs/ etc. or even going out for a drink. In any case, you walk into:
  • A shop
  • A cafe/ a bar
  • Any other similar establishment
Maybe you have even phoned a theater/ cinema/ stadium/ etc. looking to buy some tickets. After exchanging the customary greetings/ pleasantries, the other person (a sales assistant/ barman/ waiter/ etc.) wants to know what you are looking for. So, he/ she decides to ask you "what would you like?".


The other person could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Qué desea?


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Que deseas?


OUR TIP

The first thing to note is that you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. Your main concern should be about communicating what you are looking for. Perhaps you are after:
  • Some clothing (in a clothes shop).
  • Shoes (in a shoe shop).
  • Some food/ drink (in a grocers).
  • A drink/ snack (in a bar).
  • A book (in a book shop).
  • An item of stationary/ a postcard/ a postage stamp/ cigarettes*.
  • A street map.
  • Admissions to a theater/ cinema/ concert/ sports event/ etc.
*NB In Spain, some of these items may be bought in a specially licensed type of shop, called 'estanco'.

Here are some examples of how you would say what you want:
  • Quería unos pantalones vaqueros  (I would like a pair of jeans).
  • Quería una chaqueta de cuero  (I would like a leather jacket).
  • Quería unas sandalias (I would like a pair of sandals).
  • Quería un kilo de tomates (I would like a kilo of tomatoes).
  • Quería un litro de leche (I would like a litre of milk).
  • Quería una sandía (I would like a water melon).
  • Quería dos cafés con leche (I would like two white coffees) .
  • Quería una ración de calamares (I would like a portion of squid).
  • Quería la obra de Dickens, "Un Cuento de Navidad" (I would like the book by Dickens, "A Christmas Carol").
  • Quería un cuaderno (I would like a notebook).
  • Quería una postal (I would like a postcard).
  • Quería un sello de correos para los Estados Unidos (I would like a postage stamp for the USA).
  • Quería un paquete de "brand xxx"  (I would like 20 "brand xxx" cigarettes).
  • Quería un plano de Madrid (I would like a street map of Madrid).
  • Quería dos entradas para esta noche (I would like two tickets for tonight).
  • Quería dos entradas para la película "El Padrino" (I would like two tickets for the film "The Godfather").
  • Quería dos entradas para el concierto de Lady Gaga en Barcelona (I would like two tickets for Lady Gaga's concert in Barcelona).
  • Quería dos entradas para el partido del sábado (I would like two tickets for Saturday's match).


    Now you should practice answering the question:
    ¿Qué desea?





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