You are lost in a small town in the United States! You need to ask someone for directions. More than that, you need to understand the directions they tell you!

Tip! Taxi drivers, police officers and local restaurant owners usually know their cities pretty well. Don’t be afraid to ask them to help you. Be careful if the taxi driver says he will take you. He will still expect you to pay and it might be just around the corner!

Here is a quick guide to getting help if you get lost.

Asking for Help

If you are asking a stranger on the street, it is a good idea to start politely. Use:

Excuse me. Can I ask you a question?
Pardon me. Are you from around here?
Sorry, could you help me?

There are many ways to ask for directions. Here are some standard forms:

Where can I find the City Hall?
Is the City Hall that way? (Pointing down the street)
How do I get to the City Hall from here?
Could you tell me how to get to the City Hall?
Could you show me where we are on the map?

Understanding Directions

Brush up on your imperative grammar and learn the following vocabulary and you should be good to go!


Turn   at the next traffic light.
Go right at the church.
Hang a left at the intersection.
Make a    


Make a right at the church.
Hang a left at the intersection.
Go right at the next traffic light.

You can also use “follow this street for 2 blocks until …”
*Note that follow requires an object, so the order of the sentence is slightly different from the other examples above.

Going Straight Ahead:

Go   on       you see a traffic light..
Keep going straight down this street for 2 blocks until you hit a set of lights.
Keep on   up that road for 5 minutes   you pass a bank.
Continue           you find an intersection.


Go straight down this street for 5 minutes until you hit a set of lights.
Continue on that road for 2 blocks until you pass a bank.


Use the map and follow the directions. Click on Answer to show where you should have ended up!Map

  • Start at the high school. Continue up Cross Street for 2 blocks until you hit an intersection. Turn left and go straight for 1 block. Take a left again and go to the first building on the right. Where are you now? Answer
    You are at the hospital.


  • Start at the hospital and go right until you get to School Street. Take a left and continue down the street for three blocks until you pass the Police Station. Turn left. Go up this street until the second set of lights and turn left again. Go to the building that is just before the next intersection on your right. Where are you?  Answer
    You are at the 5 Star Hotel.

Questions? Comments?

Let me know in the comments form on the side or book a class with me to learn more!