Asking For And Giving Directions In English

If you don’t know how to get to a certain place, it is a good idea to ask for directions. Here are some standard expressions you can use while asking for directions.

Speaking tip

Start by saying ‘Excuse me’. This is a standard expression English speakers use before interrupting or disturbing somebody. If you don’t say ‘Excuse me’ people might think that you are rude.

  • Excuse me. Do you know where the nearest post office / railway station / bookstore / library / gas station is?
  • Excuse me. Do you know how to get to the nearest shopping mall?
  • Excuse me. Could you tell me where the post office is?
  • Excuse me. I was looking for the post office. Do you know where it is?
  • Excuse me. Could you give me directions to the railway station?
  • Excuse me. Is the railway station far from here?
  • Excuse me. How do I get to the Citi Bank? Is it far from here?
  • Excuse me. What is the best way to get to Mumbai?

Giving directions

When somebody gives you direction, you will hear them using expressions like ‘take a left’, ‘take a right’, ‘go straight’ etc. When somebody asks you to take a left, they are asking you to take a left turn.

Sample pieces of conversation are given below.

Conversation 1

A: Excuse me. I am looking for the gas station. Do you know where it is?

B: It is not far from here. Take a left at the next light. It is on the right.

A: Thank you.

B: You are welcome.

Conversation 2

A: Excuse me. Where is the nearest movie theatre?

B: When you get to the MG Street, take a right. Then keep going for about 200 metres. It is on your left.

Conversation 3

A: Excuse me. Where is the post office?

B: Take a right when you come to a stop sign.

Conversation 4

A: Excuse me. Where is the gas station?

B: It is just around the corner. Turn right after you pass Bank of America.

Conversation 5

A: Excuse me. Is there a shopping mall here?

B: Yes, there is one just around the corner. / Yes, there is one on the corner.

Conversation 6

A: Excuse me. I was looking for the Bank of America. Could you tell me where it is?

B: It is not far from here. Take a right at the traffic lights and go straight on. It is on the left.

Conversation 7

A: Excuse me. Where is the post office?

B: Go straight ahead. It is on the left.

Grammar notes

Far is used in questions and negatives. A long way is used in affirmative clauses.

  • ‘Is the station far from here?’ ‘No, it is not far from here. It is just around the corner.’
  • ‘Is the post office far from here?’ ‘Yes, it is a long way from here.’
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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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