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Giving Directions (Madrid) - Elementary / Pre-intermediate - Useful Language
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Giving Directions (Madrid)

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Giving Directions
By michelle (2012)

To practice how to give instructions to help someone get somewhere
when you don't have a partner!

Grammar comment for Elementary students: When we give directions, we use the Imperative, e.g. Go / Don't go; Turn / Don't turn; Take / Don't take, the sentences "it's (somewhere)" or "that's (this or that place)", and sometimes, "you have to" to indicate obligation, e.g. "Take the 32 bus" or "You have to take the 32 bus". You should at least know very well how to use: "Go straight on", "turn right/left", "take the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th… on the right/left", the questions, and the prepositions (indicating place).

Giving Directions 1
(For dialog(ue)s: How can you (impersonal) /I (pers.) get from the language school to the train station?)

I'm going to explain how to get from the language school to the train station. ("going to" future)
Go straight on and take the second on your right. That's the main street in this town. It's called calle Madrid. Then go straight on and on and on until you see a fountain called La Cibelina. It's like the Cibeles (Cybele /síbeli/) fountain in Madrid, but smaller and uglier / less beautiful! Then turn left and go straight on.
You'll see the train station opposite you, at the end of that street. You can't miss it!

Giving Directions 2
(For dialog(ue)s: How can I get from your house to Cibeles?)

I'm going to explain how to get to Cibeles from my house.
Go straight on. Then turn right. Go straight on until you see a roundabout. Keep on, straight on. Then turn left at the traffic lights. You'll see the train station.
Take the train to Madrid. There are trains every ten minutes. The ticket is one euro thirty-five cents (€1.35).* The return ticket is double. And you can also buy ten journeys. That's seven euros forty (€7.40). The journey is about 20 minutes.
When you get to Atocha train station, leave the station and look for the bus stop closest to the Botanical Gardens. Take the 27 bus. When you see the Cibeles fountain, a woman in a chariot pulled by lions, get off!!
You can't miss it!

NB: The prices have gone up this year or the year before this! L Now it's €1.50

More Useful Language

"Go straight on" can be "Go down this street", "Go up this street", "go ahead", "keep going along this street"
Where can I find an ATM? (Automatic Teller Machine, ¿dónde habría un cajero?)
When you get to the bridge, go/stop/turn (Imperative)…
Where is the post office?
Go straight on, go past the roundabout (Sigue recto, pasa la rotonda)
Excuse me, I'm (totally) lost!
How can I get to the airport (from here)?
Could you tell me the way to the nearest pharmacy (US) /chemist's (UK)?
It's across the street. You can't miss it!
It's round the corner (Está al doblar la esquina)
It's opposite the station (Está enfrente de la estación)
It's past the supermarket (Está más allá del super)
It's next to a clothes shop (Está al lado de / junto a la tienda de ropa)
There is a bakery (just) opposite the station (Hay una panadería/pastelería (justo) enfrente de la estación)
There is a boutique (very) nearby* (hay una boutique (muy) cerca)
Is there a restaurant nearby / near here? (¿hay un restaurante por aquí cerca?)

*nearby = adv. CERCA. (Se basta a sí mismo, va solo)
near + (where) = prep. CERCA DE (es preposición, necesita ir con algo, p.e., cerca de + mi casa = near my house)

Follow-up Exercises: Extra Listenings

Remember this: people express directions in many different ways, so if you hear something different, just focus on key words, because key words are the same. Watch this video. Advanced and Upper Intermediate students will find it really easy. If you don't understand it, it's OK, because they use other expressions. Now listen again and try to focus in key words: (USA) http://youtu.be/6tRvWNld_t4 You should understand more, right? Watch this other video, you'll probably recognize the sentences, thought it's real English! (UK) http://youtu.be/fvA604-8HVA

Finally, do the BBC listening on this webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1212_how_to_instruct/page2.shtml