This post deals with shopping in general, and more specifically with shopping for medicines.
Imagine you walk into a chemists. After exchanging customary greetings, the shop assistant decides to say to you something like: "can I help you/ how can I help you?"
In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Que desea (usted)?
The question in Spanish is an invitation for you to say what you want/ what you are after. Answering that question should be quite straightforward and depends mainly on what you are looking for.
Maybe you are looking for:
- A medicine to treat some ailment/ condition;
- A type of medicine;
- A form of medicine;
- A first aid item;
- A cream or potion
Here are some examples of how you could say what you want/ are looking for:
- Quería algo para la gripe (I would like something for the flu);
- Quería algo para un resfriado (I would like something for a cold);
- Quería un alagésico en capsulas (I would like painkilling capsules);
- Quería un antibiótico (I would like antibiotics);
- Quería un jarabe para la tos (I would like a cough syrup/ bottle);
- Quería unas pastillas para la tos (I would like some cough lozenges);
- Quería aspirinas (I would like aspirins);
- Quería paracetamol en cápsulas (I would like paracetamol capsules);
- Quería unas pastillas de paracetamol (I would like some paracetamol tablets);
- Quería una crema desinfectante (I would like an antiseptic cream);
- Quería una crema hidratante (I would like a moisturising cream);
- Quería unas “tiritas”* (I would like some plasters);
- Quería un antihistamínico contra picaduras de insectos (I would like antihistamines/ anti-allergy for insect bites);
*NB “Apósitos adhesivos”
Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Qué desea (usted)?