In my native language, it’s very popular to ask for availability of the clothes in the store, like:

  • “Do you have this item of ... size?”.

Machine translation would propose

  • “Haben Sie ... Größe?”

However I have been argued that it’s not cool to use such sentence translated one into one to German and that it spots my tourist’s nature.

In English it would mean that I ask the salesman whether he owns such an item by himself (for personal use). It would be more appropriate to ask „Is there ...?“.

In German that should sound like „Gibt es ...?“.

Is that the same for a shopping situation? What is the perfect way to ask questions about item's availability?

  • 1
    What would be your one into one translation into German? Don't you know any German? Did you try DeepL translation service? We aren't out here for individual translation service. Please take the tour, to inform about our policy. Mar 31, 2019 at 11:20
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    @Tourist101 I can't see what's wrong with Haben Sie... And regarding the argument that you ask whether they own it or not - well, as long as you don't buy it the shop does own an item. :)
    – Arsak
    Mar 31, 2019 at 14:29
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    @userunknown Very warm welcome to a new member of the platform! The question already states that it is about style and situation appropriateness, so referring to a machine translation is not a good advice and it is rather obviously so. I think we could become better at helping people, trying to find their real need, even if the question might not be put in the best way. And this question is pretty clear in what the need is. Mar 31, 2019 at 20:20
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    I don't see how this question would be off-topic. How to ask for items in a shop is not one of specific questions of general interest and to help you learn and understand?
    – Olafant
    Apr 1, 2019 at 11:04
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    Asking "gibt es Kleider in Größe x" is not so direct towards your intention to buy them in this store. It could be answered like "ja solche Kleider gibt es - aber nicht hier" :-) The question "Haben Sie..." is fine, I never experienced a store employee to relate it to personal belongings.
    – puck
    Apr 2, 2019 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


It's perfectly fine to ask

Haben Sie grüne Pudelmützen?


Haben Sie diese Schuhe auch in Größe 46?

You could also just state

Ich hätte gern ein Paar rote Gummistiefel.

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    Another possibility, but rather seldom and maybe a bit old-fashioned: "Führen Sie auch rote Gummistiefel?" Mar 31, 2019 at 19:42
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    @jonathan.scholbach: „Ja, aber wir haben keine vorrätig.“
    – Carsten S
    Apr 1, 2019 at 5:47
  • @CarstenS Ah ja, Feinheit! Apr 1, 2019 at 8:44
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    @jonathan.scholbach "Führen Sie auch [whatever]" is a sentence that could be found in a language guide of the 1950s, but nobody, really nobody, even not the most over-bourgeoise lady in a mink fur coat would today use that phrase in real life. You wouldn't even use it in a formal business letter. The only person I can imagine saying this is someone who had the bad luck of having one of these old language guides. Apr 1, 2019 at 11:14
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    "Gibt es das auch in XXL" would be perfectly colloquial. What's clumsy about it? Es gibt nichts dagegen einzuwenden.
    – vectory
    Apr 6, 2019 at 11:32

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