How To Give Directions In English

How To Give Directions In English main pic-min


How to give directions in English?

Let me show you how.

Read on…

How To Give Directions In English

Some Common Words And Phrases For Giving Directions

First, let’s look at the most common words or phrases that people might use when giving directions.

Go through all the sections one by one and try to practice each one as much as you can.

Turn Left/Turn Right

This means to turn in the direction of left or right. Or go left or right.

Turn left at the traffic light.


At the next corner, turn right.


When you get to the end of the road, turn left.

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Go Straight

This means to go straight ahead, to continue going in one direction. Do not turn left or right.

Go straight for three blocks and then turn right.


Go straight until you reach the traffic lights, then turn left.


Keep going straight and you will see the library on your right.

Take A Left/Right Turn

This is another way of saying turn left or turn right.

Take a left turn at the next intersection.


Take a right turn just after the hotel.

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Follow This Road/Street

When people use the word ‘follow’, what they really mean is walking or driving on this road. Do not leave this road or street.

Follow this road until you see a sign for the highway.


Follow this street and then you get to Sunrise Avenue.


Follow this road and you will see the Chinese restaurant on your left.

The Location of a Place

Often if you are giving or asking for directions, you are telling or asking about the exact location of a particular place.

For example, you might want to know where the bank is. Or a coffee shop.

When you are giving directions or telling someone how to get to a place, you need to use certain words to say where the place is.

Check out the following words and phrases to help you.

Next To

If you say a place is next to another place or landmark, it means that it is to the immediate left or right side of the place.

You can say the following:

The bank is next to a big hotel. You can’t miss it!


The coffee shop is next to a department store.


The supermarket is next to the post office.

Across From/Opposite

Both of these expressions have the same meaning.

It means that one location is on the other side of the street — or facing — the second location.

Check out the examples below:

The bank is across from the park.


The drugstore is opposite the art gallery.


The park is across from the hotel.


The mall is opposite the train station.

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You use this word to describe a place being in the middle of two other places on either side.

So, there are three locations or buildings. And the place you are talking about is in the middle.

You can say the following expressions:

The hotel is between the bank and a coffee shop.


The library is between the church and the community centre.

The pet shop is between the cafe and the hair salon.


If you are giving directions to someone and you use the word behind, then the person is usually on foot.

Behind means at the back side of another location, usually hidden from view.

The car park is behind the hotel.


The coffee shop is behind the mall.


The park is behind a row of shops.

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In Front Of

This means displayed one level before another location. Usually easy to see and in full view.

Here are some things you can say…

I’ll meet you in front of the bank.


There are benches in front of the cinema. We can sit there.


There is a coffee shop in front of the mall.

It's On Your/The Left/Right

When you are giving directions to a particular landmark, you can use this phrase.

It means that the landmark or place is to the left or right as you look straight ahead.

You can say: It’s on your left/right

Or: It’s on the left/right

Both have the same meaning.

It’s on your left, next to the post office.


Go to the end of Dean Street and my house is on the right.


As you turn right on Philip Avenue, the shop is just on your left.

It’s Near

If you are trying to tell someone the rough location of a place, you can use this phrase.

Say the following things:

It’s near the park.


You know The Red Hotel? It’s near there.


If you are next to the shopping mall, it’s near there.


You are not telling someone the exact location of the place. But you are telling them they are in the right area.

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It’s Above…

Above means one level higher.

You can use this phrase when giving locations inside a building. For example, a shopping mall has many levels of shops and stores.

Or sometimes shops might have another level of shops or offices above the street level.

The lawyer’s office is above the cafe.


The clothes store is above the big toy store on the first floor.


The hair salon is above the lobby of the hotel.

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It’s Below…

And if the location is one level under another location, you can use this phrase.

Try the following example;

The car park is below the mall.


The sports department is below the fashion floor.


The swimming pool is below the main entrance.

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It’s Inside…

Sometimes you want to describe the location of a shop or store or place that is in another building. That’s when you use this phrase.

You can use these sentences below:

The restaurant is inside The Marquee Hotel.


The hair salon is inside the mall.


The newsstand is inside the community centre.

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It's Just Around The Corner

You can use this phrase to describe the location of a place or a landmark.

It means that when you go to this place from your current location, you might have to turn left or right.

So, effectively, you turn around one corner to get there.

It’s just around the corner from the bakery.


Come to my place, I live just around the corner.


It’s not far. It’s just around the corner.

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You'll See It On Your Right/Left

You can use this phrase to show where a landmark or place is.

Maybe you are giving someone directions on how to get to the hotel.

‘It’ is the hotel.

You can say the following:

You’ll see it on your right, across from the library.


Cross the road, and you’ll see it on your left.


Keep going until you reach the junction. You’ll see it on your right.

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It's Two/Three/A Few Blocks Away

Block is an American-English term.

One block is where you walk from one intersection/junction to the next intersection/junction.

It could be made of one building — or several.

But you can use it to help give directions to someone.

Check the examples below…

The department store is just two blocks away. Just keep walking straight ahead.


My building is three blocks away on the right.


It’s a few blocks away from the train station — maybe you should take a taxi.


Are you driving? It’s just a few blocks away.

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It's On The Other Side Of…

So you are trying to tell someone where a place is. Maybe they are familiar with a second place or location, so you tell them about that and how it is beyond that — on the other side of it.

It’s on the other side of the bridge, next to the river.


You know the post office? The community centre is on the other side of that.


You can’t miss it. It’s on the other side of the park.

(This means you cross the park grounds, and the location is on the opposite side).

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On The Corner Of…

Very often, a building or landmark could be on the corner of two streets that meet.

You can use this to help you give clearer directions to someone.

The building is on the corner of two streets, next to the bank.


The hotel is on the corner of Mill Road and East Street.


The cafe is on the corner of Grace Avenue and Nile Street.

Using Landmarks To Give Directions

When you give directions to someone, you can often use other buildings or places — landmarks — as part of your information.

It is very helpful to the person you are giving directions to.

Some Common Landmarks That You Can Use

Do you know all of these landmarks?

Do you know what they mean and how to use them in sentences when giving directions?

Roads and Streets




Street corner



Pedestrian crossing

Traffic light



Common Locations or Buildings in a Town or City


Town Hall/City Hall

Post Office

Police Station

Fire Station







Shopping Mall

Cinema/Movie Theater


Gym/Sports Centre

Football Ground/Stadium


Coffee Shop

Filling Station/Gas Station


Community Centre







Clock Tower







High Rise









Big Outdoor Spaces










Bus stop

Train station

Metro station


Natural World




Mountain Peak











Practice These Examples Using Landmarks

Look at the following directions that someone is giving to another person.

In each direction, they are using landmarks to help the person find their way.

Practice these by speaking them out loud.


Keep going along this road until you get to the roundabout. Then take a right and keep going until you see the big supermarket on your left.

Once you pass that, you will see the cinema on your right-hand side.



Do you know that big shopping mall on West Street? You do? Good, if you go past the mall, keep going down that road and then turn right on West Street.

Shortly after that, you will see the hospital. You can’t miss it. There’s a big clock tower in front of the hospital entrance.



Yes, I know the history museum.

You can walk there. Just go to the other side of the square here and keep going along Davis Road. You will see a hotel on the right. It’s all painted red. You can’t miss it.

When you see that, turn right and the museum is just down there.



The pier is very easy to find. Keep going down this road until the very end. Then you get to the seaside promenade.

Cross the road so you are by the seafront, then turn right. Keep walking and you will get to the pier.

You can see it as you walk along the path there.

Describing Landmarks or Locations

When giving directions, you have to describe landmarks.

These landmarks could be the final destination — or other landmarks that the person will pass on the way.

But you have to give a short description of these places. This is all part of giving directions.

I have included a few examples below. But you need to practice doing this alone.

Take a look at my articles on how to describe places below…

How To Give Directions In English (1)-min


On the way, you go past an old hotel. It will be on your left.

It is an old building and has red bricks on the outside. And there are two big Union Jack flags outside.

The hotel has a big doorway entrance and a doorman outside.


You should see an old war monument on your right as you drive down the road.

The war monument is old and brown. It has dates on the front of it.

You might see some flowers that people have left in front of it.

How To Give Directions In English (3)-min


The office is in the big skyscraper on West Street.

The building is very high and kind of bland-looking.

Grey, rectangular and lots of windows.

No signs or lights on the outside of it.

How To Give Directions In English (4)-min


You have to go over this footbridge. The footbridge is kind of ugly and goes over the railway tracks.

On either side of the footbridge is wire mesh to stop vandals from throwing things off the edge of it.


The library is on Corn Road.

It’s an old red-brick building. I think it’s Victorian.

Two big bay windows and a big sign on the front that says Free Library.

There’s a little white box on the top of the roof.

How To Give Directions In English (6)-min

Shopping Mall

You cannot miss the shopping mall. It’s one of those really unattractive modern designs — all yellow and green. With lots of big billboards advertising clothes and other things.

Big glass front and a white wall on the outside by the sidewalk.


I’ll meet you at the cafe on Dean Street.

It’s an oldish kind of white building with modern-style windows.

A few small trees outside and some wooden chairs and tables.

Asking For Directions

Here are some things you can say when asking for directions.

Excuse me, do you know where the train station is?


Sorry to trouble you, but is there a Starbucks around here?


Excuse me, I think I’m lost! How do I get to West Street from here?


Sorry to bother you, but could you tell me how to reach the Sunrise building?


Sorry to interrupt you, but I seem to have lost my way. Do you know how I can get to the subway station from here?


Hi there, could you help me, please? Could you point me in the right direction for the Blue Hills shopping mall? Thanks so much!


Hello, do you know this area at all? Which is the best way to The Red Hotel?


Excuse me, am I going the right way for the junction of West Street and Davis Road?


Hello there, I think I might be lost? Is this the right way for the old library?


Sorry to inconvenience you, but do you know where the Coffee Time cafe might be?

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Now You Try!

Take a look at the map below.

It shows four streets and a variety of different locations that you might find in most towns or cities.

Give directions to each location using the prompts below.

  • Someone is located at the hotel. They want to get to the shopping mall.
  • A person is in the cafe. They want to get to the park.
  • A man is in the mall, but he wishes to get to the hospital.
  • A woman is located at the bank. Now she wishes to get to the shoe store.
  • Someone is in the restaurant, but they now want to go to the post office.


You can make this harder by looking at a map of your own town or city.

Try giving directions to different places!


Of course, the best way to practice giving directions is to actually do it.

Practice as much as you can using all the examples above.

But anytime you have the chance to help someone in your hometown, you should try to do this in English.

Thanks for reading — and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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