If you are going to be in Italy between now and Christmas, we are sure you will want to do some Christmas shopping, including looking for a present for yourself, so here are some phrases to help you.
The British, of course, are famous for “just wanting a look” in shops so if this is what you want to do, you can say:
“Vorrei dare un’occhiata” or “Vorrei guardare un po," - “I’d like to have a look”.
If you are looking for that special gift, you can say,
“Cerco qualcosa per…” - “I’m looking for something for…”
and you will receive a lot of help!
If you need to try something on, you can say,
“Posso provarlo?” or “Posso provarla?” depending on whether the item is masculine or feminine – remember all those object pronouns? But don’t worry if you can’t remember as “Posso provarlo?” will do just fine.
The assistant will probably ask you,
“Che taglia?” or “Che misura?” - “What size?”
If something doesn’t fit, you can say:
“E troppo piccolo /a” or “E troppo grande” – “It’s too big / small.”
Don’t forget this all-important question:
“Quanto costa?” – “How much is it?”
If something is too expensive, you can ask:
“Ha qualcosa di meno costoso?” – “Do you have something less expensive?”
[In markets, just looking as if you are going to walk away is usually enough to obtain a reduction!]
If you decide to buy something, you can say,
“Lo / la / li / le prendo” – “I’ll take it / them” [object pronouns again!] or just,
“Va bene” – “That’s fine.”
All Italian stores will gift wrap items free of charge and the assistant will usually ask if you want the
“confezione regalo” – “gift wrapping”.
Or you can say,
“Confezione regalo, per favore” – “Please can you gift wrap?”
If the item is fragile and you have to put it in your luggage, you can say,
“Può imballarlo bene per il viaggio, per favore?” - “Please can you wrap it well for the journey?”
Again, the shop assistant will be happy to do this free of charge.
Finally, don’t forget to say,
“Grazie e buon Natale” – “Thank you and Merry Christmas” !