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Giving Directions in the City With Meanings and Examples in English

Giving Directions in the City With Meanings and Examples in English

Are you traveling to an English speaking country? If you are, one of the most important things you'll need to know is how to ask for directions in the city.

Here are how to ask and answer for directions in English.

Prepositions to give directions


Here are the ten most common prepositions to give directions in the city:

1. Across from: From one side to the other of (a place, area, etc.).

  • The library is just across from our school.

2. Behind: At or to the far side of (something), typically so as to be hidden by it.

  • There's a nice park behind the parking lot.

3. Beside: At the side of; next to.

  • My school is beside a small park.

4. Between: At, into, or across the space separating (two objects or regions).

  • You can find the coffee shop between the office building and the movie theater.

5. By: Indicating the means of achieving something.

  • I've got to do this report by Monday.

6. In front of: Opposite.

  • The market is in front of the City Hall.

7. Inside: Situated with the boundaries or confines of.

  • A radio was playing inside the apartment.

8. Near: At or to a short distance away from (a place).

  • The parking lot near the sawmill.

9. Next to: To the side of something.

  • It's next to the coffee shop.

10. On: On a surface of something.

  • They live in that old house on the hill.

Common places in a city to give directions


It's also helpful to know some common places people visit in a city, such as the following:

1.Bank: A place where you can keep or borrow money.

  • I need to go to the bank at lunchtime.

2. Post office: A place where you can keep a place where you can buy stamps and send letters and parcelsor borrow money.

  • The post office is very near,you can walk there.

3. Bus station/stop: The place where a bus starts or ends its journey send letters and parcelsor borrow money.

  • She called him up from the bus station. 

4. Park: A large area of grass, often in a town, where people can walk and enjoy themselves.

  • A walk around the park. 

5. Museum: A building where you can look at important objects connected with art, history, or science.

  • The museum is open to the public. 

6. Downtown/city center: In or to the central part or main business area of a city.

  • How long does it take to get downtown? 

7. Metro/subway/railway station: A place where trains stop so that you can get on or off.

  • There is no Metro station in the upscale neighborhood. 

8. Mall/ shopping center: A group of stores with a common area for cars to park.

  • I'll wander around the mall for half an hour. 

9. Gas station: A place where you can buy fuel for cars.

  • Don't forget to stop by at the gas station.

10. Bridge: a structure that is built over a river, road, or railway to allow people and vehicles to cross from one side to the other.

  • We drove across/over the bridge.

Road signs and directions to give directions in the city


Some prepositions and adverbs can also help when you're giving directions:

1. Alley: A narrow passageway between or behind buildings.

  • He took a short cut along an alley.

2. Avenue: A broad road in a town or city, typically having trees at regular intervals along its sides.

  • Tree-lined avenues surround the hotel. 

3. Block: He distance along a street from where one road crosses it to the place where the next road crosses it, or one part of a street like this, especially in a town or city.

  • The museum is just six blocks away. 

4. Boulevard: A wide road in a city, usually with trees on each side or along the centre.

  • We strolled along the boulevard.

5. Corner: The point, area, or line that is formed by the meeting of two lines, surfaces, roads, etc.

  • You go around corners too fast when you're driving! 

6. Country road: An internal road within a country.

  • She was cycling along a country road near Compiegne. 

7. Crossroads: An intersection of two or more roads.

  • The two vans collided at the crossroads. 

8. Exit ramp: Means any public road or turning roadway.

  • What used to be an exit ramp is now a boat ramp to disembark survivors. 

9. Freeway: A wide road for fast-moving traffic, especially in the US, with a limited number of places at which drivers can enter and leave it.

  • The Santa Monica freeway.

10. Highway: A public road, especially an important road that joins cities or towns together.

  • The interstate highways are usually faster, but smaller roads can be more scenic.

11. Intersection: The place where two or more roads join or cross each other.

  • Turn right at the next intersection. 

12. Junction: A place where things, especially roads or railways, come together.

  • You should slow down as you approach the junction. 

13. lane: A narrow road in the countryside or in a town.

  • He drives so fast along those narrow country lanes. 

14. Overpass: A bridge by which a road or railroad passes over another.

  • A capacity to overpass old limits.

15. Roundabout: Not following a short direct route; circuitous.

  • We took a roundabout route to avoid the accident. 

16. Sidewalk: A path with a hard surface on one or both sides of a road, that people walk on.

  • Keep on the sidewalk, Rosie, there's a good girl.

17. Signpost: A pole at the side of a road, especially at a point where two or more roads meet, that gives information about routes and distances.

  • The signpost said "London 18 miles".

18. Street: A public road in a city or town, typically with houses and buildings on one or both sides.

  • The narrow, winding streets of greenwich village.

19. T-junction: A place where one road meets another without crossing it, forming the shape of a letter T.

  • Turn right at the T-junction.

20. Traffic lights: A set of automatically operated colored lights, typically red, amber, and green, for controlling traffic at road junctions and crosswalks.

  • Cross with care at the traffic lights.

21. Tunnel: An artificial underground passage, especially one built through a hill or under a building, road, or river.

  • They hollowed out a tunnel through the mountain.

22. Walkway: A passage or path for walking along, especially a raised passageway connecting different sections of a building or a wide path in a park or garden.

  • This bridge and others along the walkway have been cleaned and made safe.

23. Zebra crossing: A place on a road, especially one where there is a lot of traffic, across which wide, black and white lines are painted, and at which vehicles must stop to allow people to walk across the road.

  • All car should stop at zebra crossing.

Expressions to give directions in the city


This is a list of common expressions to give directions in English:

1. At the end: At the end of the road or something.

  • At the end of the road you will see a roundabout. 

2. Cross: To go across from one side of something to the other.

  • If you cross the street, you'll find a bookstore there! 

3. Go along: To keep walking along the road.

  • Go along the main road until you find the gas station. 

4. Go back: To return.

  • That road was terrible - I will never go back from it. 

5. Go forward: Towards the direction that is in front of you.

  • Even if the road is bumpy, the car must go forward. 

6. Go past: Move past.

  • Go past the cinema and you'll find the library. 

7. Go over: To exceed.

  • To get to the building, you have to go over the walkway. 

8. Go straight on: Continue ahead.

  • Go straight on Main Street. 

9. Go under: To go down to something or to sink.

  • Go under the bridge. 

10. Go down: To move down to a lower level or place.

  • Go down the hill and you'll find the entrance to the park. 

11. Go up: To go to the top of something.

  • Go up the hill and you'll find the bus stop. 

12. It is that/this way: When you tell someone this is the way. You often point your hand in the direction.

  • A: Excuse me, I'm looking for the town hall. B: You have to go along that way. 

13. It's on your right /left: When you point a person in the direction, it is usually to his right or left.

  • Take the first narrow street, It's on your right.

14. It's right here: Is a phrase used along with the "ok" symbol you can create with your hand.

  • It is right here, near Central Park. 

15. Just around the corner: Not far away.

  • The museum is just around the corner.

16. Opposite: In a position on the other side of a specific area from; facing.

  • They sat opposite one another. 

17. Take the first road on the right.

  • Go down the corridor, and take the first road on the right.

18. Take the second road on the left.

  • Take the second road on the left and you will see the Shop on the left.

19. Turn back: To return in the direction you have come from, or to make someone do this.

  • If you get to the bridge, you went too far, you'll have to turn back.

20. Turn left: Indicates that he or she should turn left.

  • Turn left at the supermarket. 

21. Turn Right: Indicates that he or she should turn right.

  • Turn right on the next corner.

Asking for directions


When you ask for directions in the city, remember above all to be polite. So start by saying one of the following phrases:

  • Hello. Can you help me, please?
  • Good morning. May I ask for some help?
  • Excuse me, could you help?

See: 20 Road Directions With Meaning and Examples in English

Once you have someone's attention, you can ask for help to reach your destination. You can do that by using one of these phrases:

  • I'm trying to get to Downing Street.
  • Can you please tell me how I can get to Oxford Street?
  • Could you tell me how to get to the bank?
  • Could you tell me the way to the station, please?
  • Could you tell me where the shoe store is?
  • Do you know where the museum is?
  • Do you know where the post office is?
  • How can I get to the local market?
  • How do i get to the airport?
  • How do I get to the police station?
  • How far is it from the church to the station?
  • Is there a shop around here?
  • We can't find the subway station. Is it near here?
  • What's the best way to get to the supermarket?
  • What's the best way to the station?
  • Where can I find the nearest bakery?
  • Where can we find a park near here?
  • Where is Mc Donalds can you tell me please?
  • Where is the church?
  • Where is the nearest bus stop?
  • Where is the next bus stop?

If you're not sure you're going in the right direction, you can make sure by asking:

  • Are we on the right road to the city center?
  • Is this the right way to the mall?
  • What's the best way to get to the airport?

You can also ask for directions without making a question, a phrase commonly used is:

  • Excuse me, I'm looking for the town hall.
  • I am looking for the supermarket.
  • I am looking for the pharmacy.

Here are some examples of sentences used when answer directions in English:

  • Cross the street.
  • Drive for three kilometres.
  • Get to the supermarket.
  • Go North for two blocks.
  • Is it far from the church to the station?
  • It takes about 10 minutes by bus.
  • It's a 10-minute walk.
  • The bank is on the main street.
  • The best way is to turn right on Main Street.
  • The church is within walking distance.
  • The easiest way is to go along this road.
  • The hospital is around the corner.
  • The hotel is in front of the school.
  • The quickest way is to take the second right.
  • The school is between the park and the bank.
  • The Supermarket is on the main avenue.
  • Walk straight for two miles.

These are some phrases to indicate that you are not from here:

  • I'm sorry, I'm not from here.
  • I'm afraid I can't help you.
  • Sorry I don't know my way around here.

See: Giving Directions Inside a Building in English



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