How to BUY at a MARKET in Spanish

How to BUY at a MARKET in Spanish

¡Los mercados de México me encantan! (I love the markets in Mexico!) Have you ever been to one? I’m Paulisima from Spring Spanish, and in this video you’ll learn everything you have to know for a successful trip to a mercado en México (Mexican market).

1. Cosas que vas a escuchar (Things you’ll hear)

There are some phrases you’ll hear from the vendor. Los vendedores gritan para llamar tu atención e invitarte a comprar en su puesto. (The vendors yell to get your attention and invite you to shop at their stall.)

  • Pásele, marchanta. (Come over here, buyer.)
  • Pásele, güerita. (Come over here, blondie .)
  • Llévele, llévele. (Take it, take it.)
  • Barato, barato. (Cheap, cheap.)

Algunas cosas a las que hay que ponerle atención: (Some things to pay attention to:) “Güerito, güerita” the diminutives of “güero” and “güera” are widely used in Mexico. They’re used to describe someone with light skin, however, it’s a term of endearment used for everyone.

Sin importar el color de tu piel, todos somos güeritos en un mercado mexicano. (No matter your skin color, we’re all “güeritos” (Lit.: blondies) in a Mexican market.)

We’ve talked about this in the Spring Spanish Inner Circle. There you can get corrected and practice your Spanish with me! Join now! The link is in the description.

2. En el puesto (At the stall)

Once we’re at the stall we will hear:

  • ¿Qué le vamos a dar? (What are we getting you?)
  • ¿Qué le damos? (What can we get you?)
  • ¿Qué va a llevar? (What are you going to get?)

¿Qué le vamos a dar?
(What are we getting you?)

¿Me da medio kilo de zanahorias, por favor?
(Can I get half kilo of carrots, please?)

Claro que sí, güera.  ¿Qué mas le voy a dar?
((Of course, “güera” (Lit.: blondie.) What else am I going to get you?)  

Me da un kilo de mandarinas y un cuarto de ejotes, por favor.
(Get me a kilo of mandarines and a quarter of green beans, please.)

¿Algo más? Unas fresas, unas peras. Pruebe la naranja. Está bien dulce.
(Something else? Some strawberries, some pears. Try the orange. It’s very sweet.)

No, nada más, gracias. ¿Cuánto le debo?
(No, nothing else, thank you. How much do I owe you?)

Serían sesenta pesos, por favor.
(That would be 60 pesos, please.)

Como se pudieron dar cuenta… (As you may have noticed…) We use the metric system. You don’t have to think to hard about it, a kilo is roughly two pounds. Usualmente ordenamos por kilo, por medio kilo o por cuarto. (Usually we order by the kilo, half kilo, or a quarter of a kilo.)

In this case, the vendor would pick the produce for you, but you can get it yourself as well. En ese caso, tú escoges las frutas y verduras, y el vendedor las pesa después. (In that case, you pick the fruits and vegetables, and the vendor will weight them later.) Muchas veces, los vendedores de frutas tienen muestras para que los clientes las prueben. (Many times, fruit vendors have samples for the clients to try.)

3. Comprar pollo (Buying chicken)

Un puesto donde se vende pollo se llama pollería. (A stall where chicken is sold is called “pollería”.)

¿Qué va a llevar?
(What are you getting?)

Me da un pollo entero, por favor. Le quita la piel, por fa.
(I’d like a whole chicken, please. Take the skin off, please.)

¿Se lo parto en piezas?
(Do I cut it in pieces for you?)

Sí, por favor.
(Yes, please.)

¿La pechuga la quiere fileteada o en piezas?
(Do you want the breast filleted or in pieces?)

En piezas, en cuatro.
(In pieces, 4.)

Claro que sí, güerita.
(Of course, “güerita”.)

Oiga, ¿sabe qué? Mejor démela fileteada.
(Hey, you know what? Best to give it to me filleted.)

Como usted guste. Aquí tiene.
(As you wish. Here you are.)

¿Algo más que se le ofrezca?
(Would you like something else?)

No, nada más. ¿Cuánto va a ser?
(No, nothing else. How much is it going to be?)

Son ciento cuarenta.
(It’s 140.)

Fun fact: In Mexico when you buy a whole chicken you get even the organs:

  • la molleja (the gizzard)
  • el hígado (the liver) y (and)
  • el corazón (the heart)

Se le llama menudencia. (It’s called giblets.) Have you tried menudencia (giblets)? Let me know in the comments.

4. Comprar carne (Buying meat)

El lugar donde se compra carne se llama carnicería. Las carnes que se consumen más en México son la de res y la de cerdo. (The place where meat is bought is called “carnicería”. The meats that are most consumed in Mexico are beef and pork.)

If you’re like me, you probably don’t know how each cut of the beef or the pork are called but no worries. El carnicero te puede ayudar a escoger la mejor parte de acuerdo a tus necesidades. (The butcher can help you pick the best part according to your needs.)

¿Qué le damos?
(What can we get you?)

Voy a llevar un kilo de costilla de puerco, en trocitos, por favor.  
(I’m going to get a kilo of pork ribs, in little pieces, please.)

Claro que sí.
(Of course.)

¿Otra cosa?
(Anything else?)

Sí, un kilo de carne de res, por favor. Pero no sé de cuál.
(Yes, a kilo of beef, please. But I don’t know which kind.)

¿Para qué la va querer?  
(What do you want it for?)

Para empanizar y para caldo.
(To bread and to make a broth.)

Ah bueno, entonces le voy a dar medio de milanesa y medio de chambarete.
(Alright, then I’m going to give you half of milanese and half of “chambarete”.)

Ok, gracias.
(Ok, thank you.)

¿Qué más le damos?
(What else can we get you?)

¿Tiene carne molida?
(Do you have minced meat?)

Claro que sí. ¿Cuánto le doy?
(Of course. How much do I get you?)

Medio kilo, por favor. Eso sería todo. ¿Cuánto es?
(Half kilo, please. That would be all. How much is it?)

Son cuatrocientos veinte pesos, por favor, güerita.
(It’s 420 pesos, please, “güerita”.)

Aquí tiene.
(Here you are.)

Muchas gracias, que le vaya bien. Que Dios la bendiga.
(Thank you very much, have a good one. May God bless you.)

5. Notas importantes (Important notes)

Si los precios no están exhibidos, no compres ahí. (If the prices are not displayed, don’t buy there.) Careful, many times the prices that you’ll see are not for the whole kilo but for half or for a quarter, look at the small print.

Y mi cosa favorita: (And my favorite thing:) Many times we can get a little gift from the vendors. They might add an extra piece of fruit or more meat, depends on what you bought. Solo un pequeño detalle para mostrar aprecio por tu compra. (Just a little something to show appreciation for your purchase.) We call this “pilón”.

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