English phrases for directions


Now that we are in a global world, we are in an era where everyone can easily go on an overseas trip. Many foreigners long for Japan, which has a beautiful nature and a mysterious and long history, and tourists from all over the world visit.

It's very heartbreaking to get lost in a place where you don't know the land or to find a destination. Let's learn and use the basic phrases of directions so that we can quickly give directions to people in need and help them.

Basic phrases for asking the way

The easiest way to ask for directions abroad is to open the map, point to the destination and ask "where?". This is enough when words do not come out at once. But save it for survival when your head is blank, and remember some basic phrases.

Regardless of which phrase you use, instead of asking for directions suddenly, first say "Excuse me" and the other person will think "I have something to ask". increase.

Where is ◯◯?

If you use a direct expression when asking for directions, using where is the simplest expression.

Where is ...? (Where is?)

Do you know where… is? (Do you know where?)

In this case, if the second sentence "Do you know where is ...?", The following is not the question "Do you know where is ...?" Let's put on.

I would like to go to ◯◯

If you want to know the directions, you can also ask for the location with the indirect expression "I want to go to".

I'd like to go to…. (I'd like to go to)

I'm looking for….

Can you give me directions to ◯◯?

If you want to know the directions more concretely, you can use the following expressions.

Could you tell me how to get to… ?

How do I go to…? (How do I go to?)

It's nice if you can say it quickly, but the other party may be in a hurry. In that case, don't try to use long phrases like "Excuse me, where is Shibuya Station?", But use "Where is ...?".

Basic phrases for directions

On the contrary, let's learn how to answer when asked the way. Each one is a very short phrase, such as "go straight", "turn left", "nex to".

However, if you combine several of these, you can explain in detail like "Go straight and turn left at the next corner, there is FamilyMart, so next to it." Practice repeatedly with various patterns while looking at the map and imagining.

Standard phrases used in directions

Be sure to remember the following phrases that are essential for directions, such as "turn left" and "straight", so that you can use them quickly.

turn right / left at… (turn ~ to the right / left)

take the 1st / 2nd left / right (turn left / right on the first / second street)

go straight until

go along

go under (passing through)

go over

go past

cross the street

English expression indicating the position used in the directions

There are four expressions to remember that represent positions such as "front" and "back". It's not just a guide, but it's something that's often used on a daily basis, so be sure to keep it in mind.

nex to (next to)

in front of

across from / opposite

behind _

Conversation example of directions

There are many different patterns of directions, but here are some examples. Can you somehow imagine the situation? Please practice with various different patterns repeatedly while looking at the map.

A.Excuse me, where is R Hotel? (Excuse me, where is R Hotel?)

B.You see that McDonald's? Turn left there and go along the street for 2 blocks.

“For… .blocks” is also often used with directions phrases, so it's useful to remember.

A.Excuse me, I would like to go to X Museum but I'm lost. (Sorry, I want to go to the X Museum, but I'm lost)

BI don't know exactly where it is. Let me google it. Oh, It's quite close. Cross the street and go straight until the first traffic light. You will see 7-11. The museum is in front of it. I think It takes only a few min on foot. (I'm not good at it, so I'll google it. Oh, it's pretty close. Cross the street and go straight to the first traffic light. You'll see Seven-Eleven. The museum is in front of it. I think you can walk in a few minutes.)

Although google is a proper noun, it can be used in English and as a verb in the same way as the Japanese word "google".

A.Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to Y restaurant? (Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Y restaurant?)

B.It's a long walk. You should take a taxi. (It's hard to walk. You should take a taxi.)

Sometimes it's too far to explain. In that case, we recommend that you go by taxi or train if the station is near.

A.Excuse me, do you know where XY Clinic is? (Excuse me, do you know where the XY clinic is?

B.Oh, it's very easy . Go under that bridge and keep going straight. You will see Mizuho Bank on your right. It's right next to it. You cannot miss it. Go straight underneath. You will see Mizuho Bank on your right, right next to it. You won't miss it.)

Please remember that "You will see" and "You cannot miss it." Are also very often used expressions in the directions'.

What would you do in such a case?

Sometimes you can't always explain the way smoothly. Here are some ways to deal with such situations and expressions that can be used. Please memorize it as it is and practice until it comes out of your mouth immediately. Even if you know it as knowledge, it is difficult to actually say it, so repeat the practice until the words come out.

I don't know the way

If you don't know the way, it's a good idea to apologize honestly, "I'm sorry, I don't know." The following expressions can be used in such situations.

I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with this area.

I'm sorry, I'm a stranger here. (I'm sorry, I'm unfamiliar around here.)

I'm not sure, sorry! Could you ask someone else? (I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Can you ask another person?)

I can't explain well in English

If you know the location but can't communicate well in English, you can take it with you if you have time. In that case, let's invite with the following words.

I'll take you there. (I'll take you there.)

I'm heading in the same direction. We can go together if you would like. (I'm going in the same direction. Let's go together if you like.)

I'll show you the way. Please follow me!

Some people are wondering

If you find a tourist who is wandering around while looking at the map, let us know if you need help. Overseas, it is common to help carry strollers and luggage on the stairs, and feel free to talk to people who may be in trouble.

Visiting a strange land is a very enjoyable experience, but I'm still very happy to hear from you in a foreign country where you don't understand the language. Some people may have already refused to say, "I can't speak English," and I may be feeling lonely. It's also a good opportunity to learn and practice English, so don't be shy and try to speak out.

Are you lost? (Did you get lost?)

Are you OK? Do you need help?

Are you looking for something?

Where would you like to go?

It's a difficult place to explain in words

It's not a matter of language ability, but the roads are complicated and it may be difficult to explain with words alone.

In such a case, let's explain while showing the map and tell us the features of the landmark building. Also, for places that are difficult to understand with a single explanation, it is good to explain the directions to the landmarks for the time being, and encourage another person to ask when you get there.

Do you see the post office ? Turn right there and go straight for 3 blocks. The building you're looking for is yellow and there is a convenience store at the entrance. Go straight for about 3 blocks. The building you are looking for is yellow and there is a convenience store at the entrance.)

Go down this way, take the 5th left onto Jam street , and cross the road. When you see a blue building, please ask someone for directions again. Cross the road. When you see the blue building, ask someone again for directions.)