VOCABULARY FOR IELTS 1
Useful English phrases for giving directions
If you're in a new town or city and you want to know where a place or building is, these are useful phrases to ask for (and get) directions.
How you can ask
Say "Excuse me" before you ask a person. To make it sound like a question, make your voice go up on "me".
"Excuse me. How do I get to (the railway station) please?"
"Excuse me. Where's the nearest (post office) please?"
"Excuse me. I'm looking for the Number 6 bus stop."
The person who helps you often says how near or far the place is:
"It's about five minutes from here."
"It's about a ten-minute walk."
"It's easier if I can show you on the map…"
Here are some useful words and phrases for giving street instructions.
"Turn left / right."
"Go straight on at the lights / when you come to the crossroads." (Lights = traffic lights; crossroads = where two roads cross)
"Go across the roundabout." (Roundabout = where all the cars go round a circle in the middle of the road)
"Take the first turning / road / street on your left / right." (Turning = road that goes left or right)
"You'll see / You'll come to a (bank). Then …"
"Don't take the first road."
"Go on for about (2 minutes / 100 metres)."
We often make reference to landmarks when we give directions to help the other person. These can be places in a town, such as cinema, bank, bus stop, etc. They can also be parts of the road system. Here are some common terms:
taxi rank = a place where taxis queue for passengers
level crossing = where the road and railway meet. There are barriers that go up and down to signal when a train is coming
underpass = a walkway that goes under a busy road so pedestrians can get to the other side safely
overpass / flyover = a road that goes over another road (or railway)
zebra crossing = black and white markings in the road for pedestrians to cross the road (the markings look like a zebra's stripes)
pedestrian crossing = a place in the road where pedestrians can cross. Often there are traffic lights.
tunnel = a road under (or through) mountains
crossroads = where two roads cross each other
junction = where one road meets another, and you can either go left or right
fork in the road = where the road divides, and you decide to go left or right
turning = a road off to your left or right
main road = a big road where there is lots of traffic
lane = a small road, or a part of a road (the left-hand lane / the right-hand lane; the bus lane)
Use prepositions of direction
Go past = continue past something so that is is now behind you
Go across = cross something, like a road or crossroads
Go along = continue down a road
Go straight on = don't turn left or right
Go up = walk / drive up a hill
Go down = walk or drive down a hill or a road
Go through = pass through something, such as a tunnel or a town
Go out of = exit (i.e. a railway station)
It's in front of you = you can see it facing you
It's opposite the bank = it faces the bank
It's on the corner = it's where two roads meet at a 90° angle