Do you drive a car? In today’s vocabulary lesson, I teach you 10 common driving expressions you need to know before you get on the road. You’ll learn to talk about driving, and to complain about bad drivers! You’ve probably heard some of these phrases in movies or in your own life. I’ll teach you expressions like ‘pull over’, ‘run a red’, ‘hit the brakes’, ‘tailgating’, and many more! WARNING: Do not watch this English lesson whilst driving.
10 Common Driving Expressions video
Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, we are going to talk about… Can you guess? Driving. I’m going to teach you 10 common driving verbs. So let’s get started. Okay, and these are pretty common. Some of them are very, very common; you hear every day.
So the very first one is probably the most common word you will hear when it comes to driving: “Brake” or “Hit the brakes”. What is “the brakes”? “The brakes” is what stops the car. I put a big “X” here because when you brake, you don’t go; you stop. So, if you and I are in a car, we’re driving, I’m driving very fast and suddenly there’s a stop sign, you can say: “Emma, brake.” Or: “Emma, hit the brakes.” It means: “Emma, stop. Stop the car.” Okay. And notice it’s not: “Hit brakes”, “Hit the brakes”. And because there’s more than one brake in a car: “Hit the brakes.”
Okay, our second common verb is a very bad thing to do. “Run a red light.” So, first of all, red light when you’re driving… You might come to something that looks like this where you’ll have a green light, a yellow light, and a red light. Green, of course, means go. What does red mean? It means to stop. So if you don’t hit the brakes, and you see the red and you keep driving, and you drive fast even though you see the red – it means you run a red light. So this is a very bad thing to do. “Run a red light.” And notice we have an article there. So what’s an example? Yesterday-this isn’t true-yesterday, I was driving, I ran a red light. I didn’t hit the brakes.
Number three, another common verb we use when we’re talking about driving. “Cut someone off.” Okay, now this is a phrasal verb, very important. First of all, before I tell you the meaning, with phrasal verbs, you can have a different preposition and it can mean something totally different. For this: “Cut someone off”, “off” is the preposition we’re using. Now, what does it mean to cut someone off? Okay, when you cut someone off… Pretend I’m driving, vroom, vroom. What happens? Someone comes in front of me very fast. Okay? This can cause an accident. If you cut someone off, again, it’s a bad thing. It means you drive in front of someone very fast and you don’t give them a lot of room. So: “Cut someone off.” We cannot say: “I cut off someone.”, “I cut someone off.” Okay.
In terms of this also… So, again, it’s important to notice the “off”. We can also use it in a conversation. If you’re talking to someone and someone interrupts you, you just cut them off. Okay? You cut someone off. Oh, sorry, they cut you off. An example: “I’m sorry, I have to cut you off.” Meaning: “I have to interrupt.”
Number four: “Tailgate”. If you tailgate someone, this is another bad thing. So this is bad, bad, bad. Tailgate is when you drive too close to someone else. So your car is here, someone’s here, it means they’re tailgating you. “That man tailgated me.”, “I was tailgated by that man.” Example sentences.
Now, for running a red light, cutting someone off, and tailgating someone – you may be “pulled over” by the police over. “Pulled over”, can you guess what that means? If you’re pulled over, it means someone, maybe a police officer stops you, and you pull your car to the side of the road. So, “pull over” means you’re driving and then you move your car to the side of the road and stop. You know, maybe, for example: you hear an ambulance – you might pull over, meaning you might go to the side and stop the car. I hope you do that.
So now let’s look at 10 more driving verbs. Did I say 10? I meant five more. Sorry, guys. Okay, so our next one on the list is like the previous one. We said: “Pull over”, “The police pulled me over.” This one also uses the word “pull”, but it’s a phrasal verb. We have a different preposition. Instead of “Pull over”, now we’re saying: “Pull out of”. So this has a different meaning, even though both verbs are “pull”. “Pull out of” means you’re going backwards or forwards out of a small space. Usually, it’s a parking lot or a driveway. So usually you park your car in your driveway, and you go forward, you look, make sure no other cars are coming – you pull out of your driveway, you pull out of the parking lot.
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