Asking for directions is something that is very common to do in any language.
In English, however asking for directions can be used for different situations. For example
- Which way to the shopping mall?
- How do I build this table from Ikea?
While both are used to ask for directions, the first question is asking for someone to point them in a particular direction. However, the second has an entirely different meaning resulting in an answer with detailed instructions on how to put the table together.
To see the difference lets look at the definition of Direction.
- A path or course which a person or object may move along.
- When an instruction is given to someone or something.
Let’s look at ways to ask for directions based on these definitions of the word.
We commonly ask for directions when traveling:
- How do I get to (place)?
- Which road should I take to get to (place)?
- In which direction is the nearest (Gas Station / Shopping Mall etc.)
- What is the quickest route to (place)?
- Can you show me which way to go using the map?
- Can I follow you?
- Could you please guide me?
- Where is (place)?
- What direction should I take?
All of these examples would give us an answer about the path or course we should take. However, the response would probably include instructions about how to follow the directions. For example, take the next road to your left and go straight until you reach the end.
The second definition of the word, however, can be used on its own to ask for instructions about many different things that don’t have to do with a path or course which a person or object may move along.
Let’s look at our earlier example, How do I build this table from Ikea? It is used to ask for specific instructions on how to put the different pieces of the table together. The instructions or details depend on the steps a person would take to assemble the table.
We can ask for directions using this definition of the word for almost anything. Here are just a few examples:
- How do I boil an egg?
- How can I build…?
- What do I need to do to buy this house?
- When can I remove the bandage?
- When should I take my medicine?
- Where can I find a good mechanic?
When you are asking for directions you only need to remember two things, are you asking about which course or path to take? Or, are you asking for instructions about how to do something?
If you have this idea clearly in mind, you will be able to ask for direction in any situation that you face.
I hope this article helps you to ask for directions in the future. Leave your comments below if this article helps you and don’t forget to check out our other blog posts on our site as well.