Let’s say you need to buy some oranges in a regular market in Spain, or any country in Latin America. Do you know what is the proper way of asking for prices in Spanish? What can you expect to be answered? If you are travelling to a Spanish-speaking country, here’s some new Spanish vocabulary for travellers that you can’t miss!
So how can we ask for a price in Spanish? There are three ways to do it:
To sum up:
We use “¿cuánto cuesta…?” to ask for a particular item that we see in a store We use “¿a cuánto está?” to ask for the price of a product that changes every day, like fish or vegetables or gasoline or something like that. We use “cuánto es” to ask for the final amount, when you are about to pay at the cashier. Also, remember that in all Spanish-speaking countries, quantities are expressed in kilograms and litres. So, if you were to buy cherries at the grocery store, you should ask for “un kilo de cerezas” or “medio kilo de cerezas”. Depending on the product, it is also possible to buy by unit (por unidad).
And don’t forget that it is useful to “pedir la vez” when you buy at a regular market, that is, to ask who is the last person waiting in the line to be attended. This is useful when there’s a large line of people waiting to order. As a way to know where the line ends, just say the magic words: “¿quién es el último?”.
So, our advice here when travelling to a Spanish-speaking country is to avoid big supermarkets and instead wander around the traditional markets and grocery stores. The atmosphere there is so much warmer and, best of all, it provides an excellent opportunity to interact with native speakers and practice Spanish!
Finally, if you enjoyed this post about asking for prices in Spanish, you can check out some similar articles here on the ELINQUA blog. You may like particularly our article about fruits and vegetables. And if you are looking for personalised private Spanish lesson, don’t hesitate and Skype Spanish lessons work.