Giving and Understanding Directions

Giving and understanding directions are an important part of communicating. When we travel on holiday, help tourists on the street, or give directions to friends, simple words and phrases can help.

Asking For Your Way (Asking For Directions)
  • Excuse me, I am lost. How can I get to the train station / the art museum / the subway station?
  • Excuse me, I am lost. Where is the zoo / the opera house / the theater?
  • Excuse me. I need some help. Where is the closest (nearest) pharmacy / toilet / cafe / gas station / doctor?
  • Can you please tell me where the train station / the cinema / the subway station is?

Giving Directions

Go straight until you get to 8th street / the first light / the second street.

People also say: Go straight on First street, go (straight) down Second street, and go (straight) up Third street.

Turn right at 4th street (the first street on the right).
People also say: Take a right (at).

Turn left at 9th street (the first street on the left).
People also say: Take a left (at).

Please note: 

1) A street is sometimes called a block. In American English, people often say block instead of street. 

2) An intersection is a junction where streets or roads cross each other.

3) There are different words for the Underground or Tube (in London). For example, people say the Metro (in France) and the Subway (in the United States). 

4) You get on or off a train, bus, boat, and plane. But you get in and out of a car.

5) To give a sense of direction, we say North, South, East, and West. In general, we also use N, S, E, and W with train lines, streets, and roads. For example, "Take the N line to Davis station."

Example Directions
  • To get to the train station, go straight until you get to the second light. Turn left and take a right at the first intersection.
  • To get to the National Museum, take the Tube at Victoria station. Go north to Baltimore station and get off there. Exit the station and go straight on James street. Turn right on Martin street and then take a left at Museum avenue. The museum will be the second building on the right.


Here are two videos for you to watch that demonstrate how to give and ask for directions:

When was the last time you were lost and you asked for directions? 
Where were you and where did you want to go?

Tell me by leaving a comment below or in a message by E-mail at, if you like.

To learn how to leave a comment, please click for instructions in English or click for instructions in French. It is not necessary to have a Google account. After you type your comment, click on the menu, "Comment as" ("choisir une identité") and choose "Name" or "Anonymous".


  1. hello Terry, I am Susan. thanks so much for your English experience. when i have some trouble in writing, i always get your message successfully. you help me a lot.
    also thanks for your updating every time.
    have a nice day. love you~~~

    1. Thank you very much for your kind message, Susan! I am happy to hear that you enjoy the blog and find it helpful!

      All the best to you,