Buy in/from a shop

Babadeda

Member
Russian
Hey there,
I couldn't find such a thread on this forum, and I'm sure I'm not the only one among non-natives who's curious about this.
When do you buy things in and from a shop? I don't think these are interchangeable, so I'd be really glad if you could help me. Thanks a ton.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    These are often interchangeable but you haven't read the forum rules! In English much depends on context. You have to give us at least a whole sentence to be able to judge.

    Imagine us asking you which verb to use to translate "go" into Russian. You'd need us to specify the context before you could answer, wouldn't you?
     

    Babadeda

    Member
    Russian
    These are often interchangeable but you haven't read the forum rules! In English much depends on context. You have to give us at least a whole sentence to be able to judge.

    Imagine us asking you which verb to use to translate "go" into Russian. You'd need us to specify the context before you could answer, wouldn't you?

    haha I get it, thanks

    Let's say it's something like, "I had to buy it in/from the shop". Or "Can I buy it in/from the shop?"
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you buy something from a shop, they are the seller and you are the purchaser, wherever you are. (In other words, even if you buy over the phone or online.)

    If you buy something in a shop, you are physically in that shop when you make your purchase.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    buy in:
    • to buy a supply of;
      accumulate a stock of.
    • to buy back one's own possession at an auction.
    • to undertake a buy-in. Also, buy into.
    (WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English)

    None of those definitions is synonymous with "to buy from the shop".

    "I had to buy it from the shop" seems to suggest that you weren't able to buy it elsewhere: It's only suitable for certain contexts.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I was trying out some question and answers in my mind --

    Where do you buy your groceries? -- I always shop at Sainsburys.
    Where did you get that shirt? -- I bought it in a little boutique in X Street.
    Where did you get your car? -- I bought it from Podunk Ford.
    Those are my natural choices of prepositions.

    (I suspect that in the car example I'm more aware of the ownership transfer from them to me, and that affects which preposition I use.)
    .
     
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