a compulsive or spontaneous shopper?

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Hello everyone!

I am trying to do an English Vocabulary exercise and I am between two possible answers.

The sentence is " Mrs. Smith is a(n) ........... shopper. She cannot go into a shop without purchasing something.

Possible answers : a) compulsive b) nationwide c) inflated d) spontaneous.

I am between compulsive and spontaneous. But I assume than only one of them is correct, otherwise my English book wouldn't give me two correct options.

Can you please help me with this?
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    A spontaneous shopper would suddenly decide to go shopping. That is not what the sentence describes. She goes into a store and then must buy something, which makes it a compulsion.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'm trying to imagine how one can "shop spontaneously".

    Nobody forced her to shop - she did it spontaneously.
    She didn't plan her shopping expedition two months in advance - her decision to shop was quite spontaneous.

    If she "cannot go into a shop without purchasing something", she feels compelled to buy things by some irresistible impulse: she is a compulsive shopper. This is a common collocation.


    Sparky Malarky

    English - US
    Someone who buys things she sees without stopping to think might be called a spontaneous shopper, but the common phrase is impulse buyer.


    Senior Member
    To me, a spontaneous shopper would be someone who, while doing something else, suddenly chose to go shopping. It's an unusual concept to me. I don't think I know anyone who does this.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I'm trying to imagine how one can "shop spontaneously".[...]
    A woman walks down 5th Avenue and sees a Saks window display. She is enchanted with one of the outfits and goes into the store. It is only $6,000.00 so she thinks to herself, "What the hell, let's go for it".

    Temptation for a spontaneous shopper. I think window displays are all about spontaneous shoppers, as are cash register displays and other point of purchase displays.
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