Asking and Giving Directions

We use prepositions to talk about where someone or something is: in, inside, on, at, beside, next to, behind, in front of, above, below, beneath, between, in between, among, by, near, under, underneath, opposite, over, through, etc.

 

If you want to know where someone or something is, you can use one of these expressions to ask for directions:

• Where is …?

• Where can I find …?

• Can you tell me the way to …?

• Can you show me the way to …?

• Can you tell me where … is?

• Please tell me how I can get to … from here.

• Which way is it to …?

• Do you know where … is?

• Is this the way to …?

The listener will probably reply to you with one of these expressions:

• Follow me, please.

• Go straight ahead.

• It’s across the street from …

• You’ll pass … You can’t miss it.

• It’s next to the …

• It’s on the opposite of the …

• Turn left/right

• Go down/up this street.

• Take the elevator to …

• It’s on this floor.

 

You can ask with a direct question, for example, “Where’s the public library?” or you can ask with an indirect question to make it sound more polite, “Could you tell me where the public library is?” We call this indirect question as an embedded question because you add (embed) another question to it.

 

Example:

A: Do you know where the public library is?

B: Just go straight ahead. You’ll pass the intersection at Queen Avenue and Palm Street, the public library is on the right side of the street. You can’t miss it.

A: Thanks a lot.

 

Exercise: Look at the map below and complete the dialogs.

Use: in front of, behind, between, on the corner of, next to or across from.

 

Pat : Excuse me. Where’s the phone box?

Jim: It’s _____ Town Hall.

Pat : Thanks. I also need to go to the bank. Where is it?

Jim: It’s _____ the Korean restaurant.

Pat : That’s great! I love Korean food. Is there a car park nearby?

Jim: Yes, there’s one _____ Palm Street and Queen Avenue.

Pat : How convenient! I also want to go to the theater after dinner. Can you tell me where the theater is?

Jim: Sure. It’s on Lane Street right _____ the supermarket.

Pa t: Is it _____ the newsagent and the school?

Jim: Excactly, right _____ the chemist.

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