As drivers or passengers, at some point we all use cars to get around. In this lesson, I’ll teach you essential vocabulary and expressions we use to talk about driving on streets and highways. You may need to give someone driving directions in English, or perhaps you’ll be describing your favourite driving routes — we all have these conversations! Knowing this vocabulary is especially great to practice your English because drivers talk about driving as often as the weather. Learn about on-ramps, off-ramps, toll booths, passing lanes, merging, and more. Increase your vocabulary and your conversational confidence in English by learning to speak about driving! Most importantly, always be aware of driving conditions, and drive safely!
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TRANSCRIPT

Hey, everyone. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on “Talking About Highway Driving”. So, today, we’re going to look at some of the vocabulary that is associated with driving on the highway. So, if you have a car, if you’ve ever had a car; if you have ever ridden, driven on the highway, this vocabulary will help you to talk about this experience in English. Now, again, it’s not only specific to the highway; it can also be about city driving. But a lot of it is just specific to the highway.

So, for example, first: to get on the highway. So use the phrasal verb, if you’re in the city: “Oh, I want to get on the highway.” To get on the highway, you have to find an on-ramp. So, the on-ramp is the lane that goes on to the highway, that puts you on the highway. So you’re driving and, you know, the person beside you might say: “Oh, look. There is an on-ramp.” or: “There is the on-ramp.” So on-ramp to get on the highway.

Once you’re on the on-ramp, you have to merge with traffic. So you’re driving and let’s say the traffic is here on this side, and you can see that people are driving fast, slow, etc. You have to match the speed and merge with the traffic. Next, you have to go with the flow of traffic. So drive the same speed or similar speed to what other drivers are driving.

And again, you still have to do something, though, in relation to going with the flow of traffic. You have to go the speed limit. You can also use the verbs “drive” the speed limit, “follow” the speed limit, “respect” the speed limit. If you don’t follow the speed limit or respect the speed limit, you could get a ticket, and this is called a speeding ticket. So don’t speed. Again, you can use “speed” like a noun, you can also use it like a verb. So: “Don’t speed. Don’t get caught speeding.”

And again, don’t switch lanes too often. So “switch” means to change. You can say: “Change lanes” or: “switch lanes”. So when you’re driving on the highway, say: “Don’t switch lanes or change lanes too often.” Again, if there is someone slower than you, you know, the person beside you might say: “Hey, can you switch lanes?” Or you might say: “Oh, I need to change lanes. This person is too slow.” If the person is too slow, you can use the passing lane or the fast lane to pass slower cars. Now, again, I live in Canada, so to me, the passing lane is on the left side of the road. That is called the passing lane or the fast lane. So you can say: “Okay, get in passing lane and pass this car because he’s driving too slow.”

Let’s continue on with some more vocabulary. To use some highways, you have to pay for them. So to pay for the use of the highway, you use a toll booth. So you have to pay the toll at the toll booth. And again, the toll is usually pretty small; it depends where you go, obviously. Like, in the States, you can go through various toll booths and it can be very expensive by the time you drive across the country. But the amount you have to pay is called the toll. So you can say: “The toll was $2.”, “The toll was $5.” It’s a $2 toll, for example. And again, the place where you pay, and you drive, and you give the money is called the toll booth.

Next, some advice for you: don’t get pulled over by the police. So, if you’re driving too fast, you are speeding, the police can pull you over. So if they pull you over, you have to go to the side of the highway, get a ticket. So don’t speed or don’t get caught speeding. So you can tell your friend: “Oh, I got caught speeding.” or: “I got a speeding ticket.” And also, don’t-the phrase is-drink and drive. So, don’t drive and drive, meaning, you know, don’t drink alcohol and then drive the car, or you can get pulled over by the police. And today, very important, don’t text and drive either. Right?

And finally, when you’re finished, you have to exit or get off the highway. So, remember you get on the highway, and then when you exit, you get off the highway. To get off the highway, you need to find an exit. An exit can also be called an off-ramp. So you can say: “Okay, I’m going to take the next exit.” or: “Take that exit.” or: “Get on… Get off at that off-ramp.” Okay?

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