I am looking for the right expression in English for a person - male or female - who comes to a site for the purpose of selling goods (i.e. food) usually for a bigger community and then leaves. This can be a regular visit to a company premises, for example.

In an enviromment when English is the second langugage, they would always say, 'The pancake lady is here!' OR 'The man with the chimney cakes is here!'

However, I feel that somehow it's not correct. I would rather say, 'The pancake lady has arrived. Pancakes are up for sale!' OR 'Chimney cakes are up for sale at the reception!' or something like that.

Is it correct or incorrect to say , 'here' in such situations? Or is there better way to describe it when something happens temporarily for an interest but on a frequent basis?

Please help me to find the correct expresion or English idiom.

  • 2
    Your "second language" phrases are exactly what would be said in my office (in the UK). Although chimney cakes aren't usual fare, unfortunately, despite their moreish qualities.
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 9, 2017 at 20:05
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    @Cascabel Although I also thought the question was asking for a word replacement for "pancake lady", I think the OP just wants to know whether if his phrases are correct usage or he needs to reword them, specifically in regards to "here".
    – Hank
    Feb 9, 2017 at 20:33
  • 1
    There are lots of different ways to phrase it, depending on what you want to emphasize. "Pancakes are on sale at the reception desk" emphasizes the location and ignores the salesperson. "The pancake lady is here" emphasizes the salesperson, and assumes everyone knows why she's here and where she's normally located.
    – Barmar
    Feb 9, 2017 at 21:13
  • Anything like Pancakes are here is simple and correct. While Pancake Lady is common in private talk, you would be using more professional language (for yourself and for her) to call her the pancake vendor. Feb 9, 2017 at 21:33
  • The present tense simply tells you what is true right now; it need not be true all the time, in the past, or in the future. So it is fine to say some "is here"; even if it is only true temporarily true, it is true when you say it.
    – vpn
    Feb 9, 2017 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


First, whether English is a second language should be wholly irrelevant. Are you suggesting there is a necessary difference between 'real' English and English as a second language? Isn't the only difference how the language is learned?

'The pancake lady is here' was and remains correct. I first heard and used that form in 1973, although she happened to be a tea lady.

'The man with the chimney cakes is here' is a lot less likely but still correct. Very much more likely would be 'The chimney-cake man is here' or 'The chimney cakes are here.' What difference d'you think there should be between 'pancake' or 'tea' ladies and 'chimney-cake' or any other kind of men?

'The pancake lady has arrived' is grammatically fine and idiomatically extremely unlikely in standard English. If you want to argue for a difference in English as a second language then please specify at least why you think there are only the two forms of English, or where your particular version is spoken…

'Pancakes are up for sale' isn't ungrammatical but it's wholly unidiomatic. In standard, colloquial English the correct wording would be 'Pancakes!'

'Chimney cakes are up for sale at the reception' or anything like that wouldn't be ungrammatical but again, it would sound rather strange to any fluent English speaker, native or otherwise.

If this is a normal occurrence, expected by at least many and prolly most of the audience, the normal phrase would be simply 'Chimney cakes!'

If it's not a normal occurrence; if it's something unusual, the normal phrase would be something like 'Hey! There's a guy selling chimney cakes in reception! (Never, ever, 'the' reception.)

It is correct to say 'here' in your examples.

There might be a better way to describe 'it when something happens temporarily for an interest but on a frequent basis' but only if 'it when something happens temporarily for an interest but on a frequent basis' made sense, which sadly it does not.

Can you rephrase 'it when something happens temporarily for an interest but on a frequent basis' in at least two different forms, please?

  • 1
    To your first point, I think the OP was trying to express that the terminology was imported wholesale from their 'first' language and that they were uncertain whether that terminology was idiomatic in English. While perhaps not strictly relevant, it does help build the context for the question.
    – Lawrence
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:58
  • Thanks Lawrence and does that change anything, d'you think? Feb 10, 2017 at 0:11
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    You're welcome. On whether it changes anything - yes, as an element of context, it helps answer the question of why the OP would ask about whether "here" is idiomatic in the given examples. (As it isn't an element of the question's core content, it doesn't change the subject-matter part of the answer.)
    – Lawrence
    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:13
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    @Lawrence Thanks and did you notice, I pointed out "It is correct to say 'here' in your examples"? That remains as true as does the fact that the Question title doesn't at all reflect its contents. Feb 6, 2021 at 21:50

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