I am not sure how to use articles in the expression ** I would like to buy**. For e.g.

I would like to buy an ipad.

I would like to buy a box of chocolates.

I would like to buy a can of beer.

However If I want to use just the brandname itself, should I use any article, for e.g.

I would like to buy (any article?) Budweiser.

or In case of jeans/shoes, Obviously this works

I would like to buy a pair of shoes/jeans.

But what would be the construct if I drop a pair, does it make sense

I would like to buy jeans/shoes.

3 Answers 3


Narrowly focusing on "I would like to buy" I think the problem is that this sounds so formal that we expect the rest of the sentence to be just as formal.

In a less-formal sentence, "Budweiser, please" or "I'm looking for jeans," it doesn't bother us when you leave out the article for a plural (or ambiguous) item. But when you say "I would like to buy . . ." I (at least) don't expect you to cut corners in the rest of the sentence. I expect "I would like to buy a bottle of Budweiser, if you please." Or "I would like to buy some jeans. Can you direct me?"


It is safe to add the article, though you have to spend more time on uttering it. However, depending on context you can leave it out.
For example, if you go to the bar counter and say, without any introduction, "I would like to buy Budweiser" it would sound odd (but "I would like to buy beer" would be ok). But if the waitress asks you "Today we have Budweiser, Stella Artois and Pilsner at reduced price. Which one would you like?", you can answer safely "I would like Budweiser".
Now if you are in a shop that sells various types of clothing items and say "I would like to buy jeans/shoes." you would be understood. This is because the selection you made is already understood from context (the same as the brand example above).
Another important thing to note is that using the article, you show that you want one item, and not multiple ones. By "I would like shoes" you may mean that you want to buy multiple pairs of shoes, though perhaps statistically people more likely only buy one pair of shoes per visit.


Generally it doesn't matter that you're referring to a brand; you still want to use "a", so, "I would like to buy a Budweiser."

For the jeans/shoes, the way you stated is valid, but usually refers to a very general case. If you were actually in a shop, you'd probably use "some", as in, "I would like to buy some shoes." (This can still mean a single pair of shoes.)

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