The word "shop" is used when people buy things that they want or need. It’s a simple word; however, among people who speak English as a second language, it’s often misused.

In these sentences, "shop" is used as a verb:

  • Do you shop on the weekends or during the week?
  • Where do you shop?
  • I’m shopping for a new jacket.
  • Cara never shops at that store anymore.
  • Bob rarely shops for clothes. He already has a lot of things to wear.

In these sentences, "shop" is a noun:

  • Barbara owns a flower shop. She’s a florist.
  • Joe owns a barber shop. He’s a barber.
  • The shops and restaurants in this town are very popular among tourists.
  • An antique shop is a great place to find furniture that’s well made and retains its value.

The word "shop" is often used as a gerund or as an infinitive:

  • Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is very popular among many Americans. (This sentence uses a gerund.)
  • Where do you like to go shopping? (This question uses "shop" as a gerund.)
  • Where do you like to shop? (This question uses "shop" as an infinitive.)

To shop around is a popular way of saying that a person is checking out the market, looking around for a new place with which to do business, or looking for a new product:

  • We’re shopping around for a new insurance company.
  • If you want to find the best deal on a computer, you should shop around first.
  • Bob is shopping around for a new car.
  • Sandra is shopping around for a new boyfriend.

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This page was first published on November 23, 2012. It was updated on December 24, 2015.