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How to ask & give directions in English?

In this lesson, Niharika teaches you how to give directions correctly when you are approached by strangers.

The quickest/easiest way is : To keep it simple and crisp, you could start by saying ‘the quickest/easiest way is to…’

Common verbs :

  1. Go (left, right, straight, down, up, through)

Examples : go left, go straight, go down the hill/slope, go up the hill/slope, go through the tunnel.

  1. Take road name : you can also take the road name/number

Examples : Take road 1, take the Avenue road.

  1. Turn (right/left) : You can say ‘turn right/left’ if the person is driving as he would need to turn his steering wheel in a particular direction.
  2. Stay on + the road name + distance/time

Example : You turn left and stay on Avenue road for 5 kms/ ten minutes.

There are other things you can mention while giving directions to people.

Use transition words : as they make it easier for the people to find their way through.

  • After that : you take road 1.
  • Then : turn right.
  • Next : you will see a bakery shop.
  • When you get to : the bakery, you go down the hill.
  • Finally : And finally, you will reach the new mall.

Landmarks : are important/popular/well known buildings, cinemas, restaurants etc.

Examples  :

  • You will the City hospital on your left. (the hospital is well known in that area)
  • Across the Cookies and Morebakery . (the bakery is popular in that area)

 

Warnings : It is important to give warnings to people while giving directions. This would help them to know what they have deal with o their way to their destination.

Examples :

  • It’s a on way lane.
  • It’s a very busy road.
  • There might be road repairs.

Remember, make yourself clear, repeat if you need to so that he knows how to get there without being confused.

What if you don’t know the correct directions ?

There are times you may not know how to give people directions because you are new in the city/area, or you haven’t heard of the place that he wants to reach. Don’t be rude by shrugging your shoulders and walking away.

You could always say :

  • I’m sorry. I’m not from here so I don’t know my way around.
  • I’m afraid. I can’t help you.

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