Convenience Store English: Key Phrases for ESL Students

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students blog cover


Let me show you some essential English phrases people say in the convenience store.

In this guide, I want to show you some very useful phrases you can use when in the convenience store.

Everything you need to know.

Ready? Let’s get into it!

What Is The Convenience Store

First of all, let’s take a look at some simple things we can say about the convenience store.

It’s a good idea for you to say in simple terms what it is, where we can see it and what service it provides.

Let’s look below and find out.

What Is A Convenience Store?

A convenience store is a small shop or store that sells everyday items. You can find snacks, drinks, household goods and some kinds of groceries.

Usually, a convenience store is part of a chain of stores.

Convenience stores are usually found in downtown areas, on corners or on junctions. Also in gas stations or in shopping areas.

And they are usually open long hours or even 24 hours, hence the name ‘convenience store’.

What Are Some Common Chain Brands Of Convenience Stores?

Popular chains include 7-Eleven, Circle K, FamilyMart and Lawson.

Some of these brands can be found in many countries around the world.

Where Can We See A Convenience Store?

Convenience stores have to be convenient, so they must be in convenient areas.

So we can see them in busy areas of cities and towns, on street corners and in easy-to-find places for office workers and the general public.

We can also see convenience stores in residential areas, in gas stations, in tourist areas and in shopping areas too, like shopping centres or malls.

Essentially, they are anywhere where people can find the store easily.

What Does The Convenience Store Sell?

The convenience store sells everyday items that people usually need. You might not find specialised items like clothing or technology items.

But you can find snacks; such as crisps, potato chips, candy or sweets, and also cookies or biscuits.

You can also find soft drinks, milk, water, coffee and tea. Many convenience stores sell beer or wine too.

Convenience stores also sell grocery items like bread, eggs, instant noodles or some canned goods.

They also serve ready-to-eat meals and sandwiches.

You can also find things like cigarettes, batteries, newspapers and some medication supplies.

What Time Is The Convenience Store Open?

The convenience store is usually open for long hours. This means that the store might open at six am and close around 10pm.

But some stores could be open all night, 24 hours a day.

Convenience stores are usually open every day, even on national holidays.



Read all the extracts above out loud.

This can help you to talk about convenience stores in a general way.

Now let’s look at some common vocabulary to talk about convenience stores.

Words To Describe Convenience Stores

First of all, let’s look at the actual store itself.

Let’s find some words that might often be used when talking about the convenience store.

Let’s take a look below…

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (1)


This is the space between shelves inside the convenience store where you can walk and look at the items.

The chewing gum is on the aisle by the fridges.

These aisles are very close together! Not enough room for two people to walk…

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (2)


A board that shows the name of the convenience store or information for the customer.

The 7-Eleven is right there! Can’t you see the sign?

Look at the sign. They have a sale on soft drinks in that convenience store.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (3)

Neon Sign

Same as a sign, but this one uses bright lights — neon — to make the sign more visible.

Look for the neon sign for Lawson. Then tell the taxi driver to pull over.

Yes, they sell wine! Look at that big neon sign showing how much.

Check out these other great guides on how to talk about places in English…


How to Talk about Going to the Bank in English


How To Talk About The Park In English


How to talk about your Neighbourhood in English


Click the links above and let me know what you think!

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (4)


A flat kind of table space where customers place their items and pay for them. The cashier usually works behind the counter.

Please pay at the counter.

Where do I pay?

Pay at the counter.

There are so many people waiting at the counter…

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (5)


Flat areas arranged in rows to display all the items for sale inside the store.

Where’s the instant noodle shelf?

There’s a shelf here full of breakfast cereal! Let’s get some.

Do you sell dog food?

Yes, on that shelf just down there on the right.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (6)


An appliance used to keep food or drink items cold.

Hey, where’s the beer fridge?

You have any milk?

Just in the fridge down there.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (7)


Another appliance used to keep food items frozen.

They have some waffles in the freezer here. Shall we get some?

Hey, where’s the ice cream?

In the freezer, at the end of the store.

Cash register

A machine used by the convenience store clerk or cashier to make transactions for any sales.

Bring your items over here, please. I need to run them through the cash register.

Let me just take these things to the cash register. Wait for me outside.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (9)


A storage area, usually at the back of the convenience store, to keep all the stock of the food and other items in the store.

Sorry, looks like we ran out of cola. Let me check in the stockroom to see if we have any more there.

Is your manager here?

Sorry, he’s out the back, in the stockroom.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (10)


The person who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the store.

Is your manager here? I need to talk to him for a second.

Hello, sir, I’m the manager. Can I help you?


The person working in the convenience store that serves and helps the customers.

Where is the clerk? I need to pay for these things.

These convenience store workers have to work very strange shifts.

Ask the assistant over there where the coffee is.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (12)


Someone who buys things from the store.

Who is the next customer in line?

Wow, this store is very busy. Look at all these customers.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (13)

Price Tag

A label attached to an item to show how much it costs.

I can’t see the price tag on these noodles. How much are they?

Please check the price tag when swiping the items.


A printed piece of paper to show what the customer bought in the store.

Can you give me a receipt, please?

Would you like a receipt for these items?

Plastic Bag

A small lightweight bag made of plastic used to carry items purchased in the store.

Would you like a plastic bag with that?

Plastic bags are not free, I’m afraid. Would you like to buy one?

Paper Bag

A small lightweight bag made of paper used to carry items purchased in the store. Considered to be a little better for the environment.

We only use paper bags in this store.

Would you like a paper bag for all of this?

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (17)


Automated Teller Machine. A machine used to withdraw cash. Sometimes found inside or just outside the convenience store.

We have an ATM machine just by the door.

Where’s the ATM?

Just outside in the front.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (18)


An appliance used for heating food. Some convenience stores serve food which the clerk can heat up in the microwave.

This word can be used as a noun or a verb.

Can you microwave this for me?

Do you have a microwave? Can you heat this pie for me?

Coffee Station

Some convenience stores have a coffee station where customers can make coffee. Usually, a machine that can make the coffee automatically.

We have a coffee station just over there.

They have a coffee station in this store. Let’s grab a latte while we’re here.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (20)

Security Camera

A kind of camera used to survey the store for security reasons. To look out for shoplifters or thieves!

I’m glad this store has security cameras. It makes me feel safer when I’m in there at night.

All our stores are protected by security cameras.

Convenience Store English Key Phrases for ESL Students (21)

24/7 Service

This means that the convenience store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s open all the time!

Let’s go to Lawson down here. It’s open 24/7, so no problem for us.

I’m glad my nearest convenience store has 24/7 service. I sometimes need to go there in the middle of the night after working a late shift.


So there it is.

Remember: You have to go over the phrases regularly. And you have to read them out loud when practising.

Then you will see great results.

Do you go to the convenience store to buy something?

What do you buy?

Let me know in the comments below…

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