Giving direction helps to show where someone he/she want to reach also through this topic students could have a knowledge on how to ask for directions and identify the four points of a compass.

The Common words (prepositions) used includes: left, right, straight, crossing, opposite, near to, in front of, beside, behind, under, adjacent to, between, on, in, to, by, at, into, onto, etc. for different situations.

The main purpose of this topic is to give compass direction mainly four cardinal points i.e. East, West, North, South

The compass is instrument for find direction. It has magnetized needle which sits on a face. The face has different directions drawn on it. The needle always points to the magnetic north. The compass sometimes called Magnetic compass.


We often make reference to landmarks when we give directions to help the other person. These can be places in a town, such as cinema, bank, bus stop, etc. They can also be parts of the road system. Here are some common terms:

taxi rank = a place where taxis queue for passengers

level crossing = where the road and railway meet. There are barriers that go up and down to signal when a train is coming

underpass = a walkway that goes under a busy road so pedestrians can get to the other side safely

overpass / flyover = a road that goes over another road (or railway)

zebra crossing = black and white markings in the road for pedestrians to cross the road (the markings look like a zebra’s stripes)

pedestrian crossing = a place in the road where pedestrians can cross. Often there are traffic lights.

tunnel = a road under (or through) mountains

crossroads = where two roads cross each other

junction = where one road meets another, and you can either go left or right

fork in the road = where the road divides, and you decide to go left or right

turning = a road off to your left or right

main road = a big road where there is lots of traffic

lane = a small road, or a part of a road (the left-hand lane / the right-hand lane; the bus lane)

Useful English Phrases for Giving Directions

If you’re in a new town or city and you want to know where a place or building is, these are useful phrases for asking for directions. There are also phrases for giving directions to other people who ask you for help.

How you can ask for directions

Say “Excuse me” before you ask a person. To make it sound like a question, make your voice go up on “me”.

“Excuse me. How do I get to (the railway station) please?”

“Excuse me. Where’s the nearest (post office) please?”

“Excuse me. I’m looking for the Number 6 bus stop.”

Giving directions

The person who helps you often says how near or far the place is:

“It’s about five minutes from here.”
“It’s about a ten-minute walk.”
“It’s easier if I can show you on the map…”

Specific instructions

Here are some useful words and phrases for giving directions on the street. Maybe you’re helping a driver, or someone who stops you to ask for directions.

“Turn left / right.”

“Go straight on at the lights / when you come to the crossroads.” (Lights = traffic lights; crossroads = where two roads cross)

“Go across the roundabout.” (Roundabout = where all the cars go round a circle in the middle of the road)

“Take the first turning / road / street on your left / right.” (Turning = road that goes left or right)

“You’ll see / You’ll come to a (bank). Then …”

“Don’t take the first road.”

“Go on for about (2 minutes / 100 metres).”

Learning words and expressions related to the directions below:

Asking for and giving directions

Rehema: Excuse me could you tell me the way to the pharmacy?

Suzy : yes, it’s that the way, just go straight away after two houses

turn left, it’s on the corner opposite the post office.

Rehema: Thanks, I’ have only been in town for a few days, so I really

don’t know my way around yet

Suzy : Oh! I know how you feel. I was born in this town so I know where everything is.

In giving directions:

1.Use transitions: After that, then, next, when you get to……… go

2.Specify distance: Some people feel better knowing how long it will take to get to their destination, example “it’s about five minutes away.”

3.Use landmarks: “You will see large clock”, “You will see blue large building.”

4.More useful language: It’s on [street name], It’s opposite …., It’s near…..

5.Repeat yourself: If you repeat the direction again, the other person will feel comfortable.

6.Clarify: Make sure that the person understands your directions, example “did you get all that?”

7.Don’t guess: I am sorry, I’m not from here, I’m afraid I can’t help you.”

Use prepositions of direction

Go past = continue past something so that is is now behind you

Go across = cross something, like a road or crossroads

Go along = continue down a road

Go straight on = don’t turn left or right

Go up = walk / drive up a hill

Go down = walk or drive down a hill or a road

Go through = pass through something, such as a tunnel or a town

Go out of = exit (i.e. a railway station)

It’s in front of you = you can see it facing you

It’s opposite the bank = it faces the bank

It’s on the corner = it’s where two roads meet at a 90° angle


Look at the Map below. Imaging your one of the children asking for the direction. Practice asking for and giving directions to:

  1. The mosque
  2. The dispensary
  3. The market
  4. The school
  5. The agriculture office

Locating places

Discuss the location of the school

-Where the school situated in Tanzania? (north, south, East, west or central)

-Is it in town or in the country side?

-Are there any houses, shops or offices nearby?

– How many roads lead to the school?

-Do the roads leading to your school have name?


Asking for Directions

1. Excuse me! Where can I __
2. Excuse me! How can I __
3. Excuse me! How __ I get to the centre of town?
4. Excuse me! Is this the __ way for the railway station?
5. Excuse me! __ where the town museum is, please?
6. Excuse me! __ for the swimming pool.
7. Excuse me! Is there a bank __
8. Excuse me! Where’s the __ post office, please?
9. Excuse me! Do you know __
10. Excuse me! Could you __ me directions for the motorway?


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