I wouldn't write 'to the store' in British English, 'to the shops' is much more common even if you are only going to one shop, and even if you don't buy anything. 'Going shopping' usually means you have something you need to buy, unless it's 'window shopping' when you don't mean to buy anything - just look.
Also a british english speaker - I'd say 'to the shop' if I'm going to buy something specific, if there was only one shop in the area, or only one specific shop that was relevant in the context.
If it's a specific type of shop I might name it (e.g. greengrocer, supermarket, corner shop).
I'd say 'to the shops' if there were more than one in the area and the context didn't specify one shop (e.g. 'I need to get a few things, I'll go to the shops').
I do know people that will say 'to the shops' when they talk about going out to the nearest shop, usually one where you can buy a variety of things. I gather it's a bit more coloquial.
Sorry about the late reply - "to the shop" is accepted, I assume, I just don't think "to the shops" is a good translation when the Swedish sentence has a specific single shop.
It's also worth noting that the Swedish sentence means you're going to the grocery store, not that you're going shopping in general - which makes "to the shops" (in the plural) an even worse translation.
Yes! It's also pretty common to say "I'm going down the shop(s)", and in very informal English, "(I'm) going shop(s)", usually followed by "want anything?"
We do sometimes say 'store', but it's mostly an Americanism. We'd also say we're 'shopping around' if we're looking for a specific item but going into several shops to get the best deal (this applies in a more abstract context too, for example online shopping, or something like houses... it could even stretch to online dating in a colloquial setting!).
There's a difference in implication. gå på bio doesn't just mean walking to the cinema, it includes the whole visit. If you don't enter the building and see a movie, you haven't gått på bio. By contrast, you can gå till affären, turn around at the doors and go back home again, and you will have gått till affären.
If you just walk to the cinema, that is går till bion.
OK then it's that case again where you started with a specific Swedish sentence and the English translation looses important nuances. The på bio vs. till bion contrast is perfectly clear. But when you say "going to the store" in English that actually means the shopping by default not the way to the building -- the same way as it does with the cinema. Should you want to imply staying outside, the English sentence must stress that too and you would walk up to the store as well.
Also it would be much useful to have fully functional sentences in the course. Buildings are generally meant to be visited, not simple landmarks. So teach that at first. Should you want to teach the contrast, a simple addition "I walk up to the store and meet you there" would make it clear and make a sentence that is perfectly usable IRL
I've given this some thought and I think you've misunderstood my comment. The Swedish sentence Jag går till affären (and the English I am going to the store) are in practice most often used to mean that you're going shopping. But they don't necessarily mean that, and this is a crucial difference from the Swedish sentence Jag går på bio, which can really only be used if you see a movie.
Example: Let's say I work as an usher at the cinema or as a clerk in the store. If I'm going to my job in the store, I can say Jag går till affären. But if I work at the cinema, I really cannot say Jag går på bio. That would simply not be true.
So there's an important difference here between meaning as in 'what people in most cases mean when they say this' and meaning as in 'what is required for a statement to be true at all'. Yes, when people say 'I'm going to the store' or Jag går till affären, they usually mean they're going shopping. But that is just a question of what situation the expression is most often used for. It is not a question of intrinsic meaning, as in the case with the cinema.
If you want to say that you 'walk up to' a store, that would be gå fram till in Swedish.