On the High Street

After a weeks break for a local festival, and just generally a busy week, our regular vocabulary posts are back.

This week, it’s the topic of vocabulary related to the high street that is explored.

As well as being a noun used to talk about a specific street in a town or city, ‘The high street’ can also be used as a collective noun to talk about the buying and selling of products in towns and cities in general.

” Last year the high street saw some growth…”

High-street is also an adjective with a more general meaning related to selling things to consumers in local towns and cities. For example common collocations include:

High-street sales: the number of things bought and sold in shops in town and cities

high-street sales have continued to fall while online shopping grows.”

High-street prices: the cost of products in shops

“There has been a rise in high-street prices…”

High-street shoppers: people who buy things in the local shops of their town

High-street retailers: people who sell things in the shops of a town

High-Street banks: The banks that are used by, and provide financial services to, the general public.

High-street fashion: The clothes and styles that are easily available in towns and cities and bought by ordinary people for day-to-day use. This is opposed to fashion house clothing or designer labels with are more ‘exclusive’, limited in availability or specially made. (Thanks to Milevica Bojovic on LinkedIn for suggesting this one 🙂 )

Shops and retailers on the high street.

#VocabularyMonday Social Media post

So what are different shops – and the people who work in them – called in English? Here is a list of some of the more difficult ones:

Shop NameShop Worker/ownerMeaning
Butcher’s (shop)Butchera shop that sells meat
Fishmonger’s (shop)Fishmongera shop that sells fish
BakeryBakerA shop that sells bread and cakes
Tailor’s (shop) Tailora shop that makes and repairs men’s clothes (especially formal-wear like suits)
An Estate agent’s / agencyEstate Agent shop that sells houses, land and buildings
newsagentnewsagent
shop that sells newspapers and magazines
Travel agency / agent’s (shop)travel agentshop that sells holidays
cobbler’s (shop)cobblershop that repairs shoes
Florist’s (shop)Florista shop that sells flowers.
Greengrocer’s (shop)Greengrocera shop that sells fruit and vegetables

More related language and expressions

A chain store / big high street name: A shop that is part of a group of other shops with the same name and owned by the same company.

“I prefer shopping with independent retailers than the big chain stores

a (local) branch: a local shop or office that represents a bigger company in that area. often used with banks, supermarkets, travel agencies etc.

“Our company has branches in many towns throughout the country”

A (local/national/independent) Retailer: more formal noun for a person or business that sells products to the public

“I prefer shopping with independent retailers than the big chain stores”

To shop around (for something): Look in different shops to compare products and prices before making a choice

“I’m too lazy to shop around. I just buy things when I see them. Although, I may be paying more than I could be.

To window shop / browse: To look at products but not have the intention to buy.

“Let’s go into town and do some window shopping before having a coffee”


Tell me about your local high street in the comments. What shops are there? Are they independent or big high street names?

If you’re interested in practising using your new vocabulary, why not explore our online speaking classes at http://www.glynsenglish.online


2 Replies to “On the High Street”

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