When would I use one or the other? I know if I want to say "Do you like to go shopping", I can say

Magst du einkaufen gehen

But if I want to say "Do you like shopping", my initial thought was

Magst du einkaufen?

But Google Translate suggests

Magst du Shoppen?

Is there some other translation of one of these words, and if not, which would be more natural to use in a sentance like "Do you like shopping?"


2 Answers 2


Today einkaufen is usually used, when you want to refer to buying groceries or other essential things. If you use shoppen, this usually refers to activities like window shopping, where you might buy some clothing, jewellery or other "non-needed" things.

So if you want to translate the sentence "Do you like shopping" you can actually use both verbs, depending on the context.

If you you want to know if someone enjoys to buy food and beverages at the supermarket, you can e.g. say:

Gehst du gerne einkaufen? or Magst du es, einzukaufen?

If however you want to know, if someone likes to go window shopping with their best friend on a sunny saturday afternoon, then you can ask:

Gehst du gerne shoppen? or Magst du es, zu shoppen?


The answer by @tallistroan is a tiny bit off.

  • einkaufen

    is usually used when you have to buy necessities. A man who does not like to buy clothes will use this term.

  • shoppen

    is a leisure activity. It is something that people do for fun because they enjoy it, and some people list it among their hobbies. A woman who likes to spend the afternoons browsing clothes stores with her female friends will use this term.

So the division between these terms is not by the kind of product you buy, but rather by how you feel about the process of going to the store and searching for the right product: Is it something you have to do and would rather avoid? Then use einkaufen. Or something you enjoy and actively seek out as a way to spend your leisure time? Then use shoppen.

  • 1
    Well, this is what I wanted to say in the first paragraph: "einkaufen is [...] used, when you want to refer to buying [...] essential things. [...] shoppen [...] refers to activities like window shopping, where you might buy [...] "non-needed" things." Because window shopping is definitely a leisure activity in my opinion. Sep 13, 2018 at 18:59

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