Mall Shopping

Mall Shopping

mall shopping

Two friends discuss mall shopping. The Grammar in focus is on Conditionals and Modals.

Suzy: “Let’s go to the mall.”
Darlene: “What for? Do you want to shop or to eat?”
Suzy: “Maybe both. Maybe we can get ice cream first.
Darlene: “That sounds like a great idea.”
Suzy: “Do you like chocolate?”
Darlene: “Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I do.”
Suzy: “That place near the entrance has lots of flavors. We can choose a different flavor if we
Darlene: “Chocolate is my favorite. Sometimes I like vanilla, though.”
Suzy: “I like banana flavors too.”
Darlene: “I’ve never tried that.”
Suzy: “Where do you want to go afterwards?”
Darlene: “I need to shop for shoes. But I want to look at T-shirts and sweaters too.”
Suzy: “I need a new pair of jeans.”
Darlene: “That will cost you.”
Suzy: “I know, but I can’t put it off any longer. I have to buy something today.”
Darlene: “I’ll get shoes while you are trying on jeans.”
Suzy: “Sounds good.”


Shop for means to look for a specific item while shopping. See online Dictionary.
Put off means to delay or postpone. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Try on means to test the fit or look of a garment by putting it on. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Modals

“Maybe we can get ice cream first.” The modal “can” precedes the verb “get” without an intervening “to,” which sometimes confuses students. Thus *”We can to get ice cream” is wrong. The meaning of this modal is in logical probability or in social interaction. Here its meaning (re: probability) is potential force, which can also be seen in its phrasal modal counterpart “to be able to.”


New Idioms are “Bring up” and “Make a beeline for.” The Grammar focus is on a Hypothetical Conditional.

Suzy: “Let’s grab something to eat before we go to Macy’s.”
Darlene: “Then we won’t fit in the clothes we try on.”
Suzy: “That’s funny, but I just want some gloves anyway. Maybe some makeup, I don’t know.”
Darlene: “But what if you see something you like, but can’t try it on because you’re full of pizza?”
Suzy: “You’re right. We can eat afterwards.”
Darlene: “Sorry I brought it up.”
Suzy: “No, I’m okay. Not that hungry. If you hadn’t mentioned it, we’d probably stuff ourselves silly with something not good for us.
Darlene: “Actually, the more we talk about it, the hungrier I get.”
Suzy: “I’m making a beeline for Macy’s. You can dream about pizza if you want.”
Darlene: “I was thinking about chocolate ice cream.”
Suzy: “That sounds pretty good, now that you mention it.”
Darlene: “Cake is not out of the question, however.”
Suzy: “No, it isn’t!”


Bring up here means to mention or introduce into discussion. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Make a beeline for means go directly to, head straight toward. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Out of the question means not allowed, not permitted. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Conditionals

“If you hadn’t mentioned it, we’d probably stuff ourselves silly.” This is a typical hypothetical conditional with initial if-clause and auxiliary had (hadn’t). The initial if can be deleted, but when that happens, subject/operator inversion must follow: “Had you not mentioned it, we’d probably stuff ourselves silly.” But these conditionals with subject/operator inversion are rare in conversation. They occur most frequently in academic prose.

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