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To market, to market

“Schönes Wochenende.” The lady at the bread stall was wishing me a good weekend and although it was on the tip of my tongue, I couldn’t remember the correct response. Words and phrases raced through my mind, but then it was too late. The lady had moved on to the next customer.

As I turned away I felt annoyed at myself. I hate missing opportunities like these to use German phrases. Especially one like this! A phrase I use multiple times every Saturday. Market day. 

“Ihnen auch!” You too! Of course! How could I forget such a simple reply? More importantly, how was I going to avoid the same thing happening with the lady at the fruit and vegetable stall?

As I slowly made my way over to the large green and white tent where I pick out my groceries for the week, I repeated the dialogue over and over to myself: Schönes Wochenende. – Ihnen auch. Schönes Wochenende. – Ihnen auch.

Before even simple phrases, such as ‘have a good weekend’, ‘you too’, or ‘same to you’ become automatic for us in a different language, we need lots of practice using them. The problem is we don’t always have the opportunity to. But there is a solution. Repeating phrases again and again out loud, under your breath, or to yourself provides this extra practice so that when you need to use them in a real situation, you’ll be better prepared and you’ll feel more confident saying them. Now, it’s still four more days until market day, so I have enough time to practise saying ‘see you next week’.

Article aids 
  • stall = a table at a market where items are sold
  • on the tip of my tongue = I could nearly remember something
  • phrases raced through my mind = I thought of different phrases in the same moment
  • to avoid = to stay away from
  • made my way = went
  • under your breath = whisper or say something that only you can hear 

Phrases such as raced through my mind, made my way over, under my breath, or again and again are more descriptive than common words like thought or went and are useful for students who often have to write stories in English.


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