Hey where are you going? Explain to me how you get there. Not sure how? No worries. Let's chat about directions today. Directions are an important subject to cover for all English learners. This should be on the top of your list of things to learn in English. We need directions all the time. Imagine being in a foreign country or trying to explain to your foreign friend how to get to your house. How will you do it? What if you need the pharmacy while overseas? How will you understand how to get there? Directions are important and prepositions are a big part of giving directions so let's start with those first.
These small yet very useful words are used for many things, but this is just a review of how we use them for directions.
On - I live on Main Street. (My house is physically on this street)
Opposite - I live opposite the library. (On the other side)
Between - My house is between the library and the cinema. (Something is on each side of the location. ABC - B is between A and C.)
On the corner - I'm on the corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue. (This is when there are two streets that intersect and something is located at that corner point.)
Across - The football stadium is across from the supermarket. (They are on the same street but the street is separating them. You must cross the street to get to the other destination.)
Next to – I live next to the park. (To be near something)
Other helpful directional phrases are:
On the left /On the right – After you turn on Main Street my house in on the left. (Which side of the street is the location on? Right or Left?) Sometimes we say on the left/right hand-side.
Turn left/right- Turn left on 5thStreet. (To go towards the left/right)
Go straight- Keep going straight on Center Road. (To continue without turning.)
While driving you may encounter some of these things:
Stoplight- The lights above an intersection that are red, yellow, and green and tell you when to stop, slow down or go.
Street signs - Like a stop sign, street name sign, or construction sign. These help you while driving or walking to know when something is coming up, what to do when...etc.
To give specific directions, for example, if you are explaining directions to your home to your friend, perhaps it would sound like this:
To get to my house, you need to turn left on McKinley Street, continue straight for a few minutes. When you get to the 2nd stoplight make a right on Main Street. My house is between the library and the cinema on the left hand side.
Alright are you ready? Let's test your knowledge! Take a look at the map that's attached to this post and answer the following questions. Be as detailed as possible.
Let's do one example just for good measure:
Where is the Indian Restaurant?
The Indian restaurant is on Pine Street. It's next to the department store and across from the police station.
1. Where is the post office?
2. How do I get to the post office from the Chinese restaurant?
3. I'm at the electronics store, how do I get to the hair salon?
4. Where is the toy store?
5. Where is the pharmacy?
Practice extra questions if you like. Tell me how to get from A to B.
Where's the French Cafe? Explain how to get from your home to the internet cafe.
Try anything. Let's see how well you can give directions.
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