Asking for and giving directions in Spanish

Hello there our Spanish learners! We have prepared a new Spanish lesson for you today! And today we are learning something you will need when traveling around Quito, Cusco, or Sucre: how to ask for and give directions in Spanish!. Something so simple and yet so tricky and important!

Keep reading and enjoy…our lesson of today will take you everywhere! 😉

Objectives: To ask for and give directions, to identify the main places in the city and practice the present tense and imperative in Spanish.
Grammar content: Courtesy expressions, the imperative form, the present tense, verb estar.
Vocabulary: Places in the city

How to ask for directions in Spanish?

There are couple courtesy expressions we generally use when approaching anyone on the street. In this case, we will use them as an introduction to our question:

– Formal: Disculpe/perdone (excuse me)
– Informal: Disculpa/perdona (excuse me)

Bear in mind that in Spain it is more common to hear the informal expressions disculpa/perdona, in Latin American countries the use of formal courtesy expressions is preferred.

….¿Dónde está….? (where is the/where can I find the…)
….¿Cómo se va hasta…? (How can I get to the…)
….¿Me puede decir cómo se va hasta…? (Could you tell me how to get to…?)

Examples:

Disculpe, ¿dónde está el ayuntamiento?
Excuse me, where can I find the city hall?

Perdone, ¿cómo se va hasta el aeropuerto?
Excuse me, how can I get to the airport?

Disculpa, ¿dónde está el banco?
Excuse me, where can I find the bank?

Perdona, ¿cómo se va hasta la librería?
Excuse me, how can I get to the bookstore?

How to understand and give directions in Spanish?

When we are asked about a certain direction we commonly use some introductory sentences and then we give the directions.

Example:

Disculpe, ¿dónde está la farmacia? Excuse me, where can I find the pharmacy?
Bueno, está un poco lejos…+ direcciones Well, it’s a bit far… + directions

Perdone, ¿me puede decir cómo se va hasta Machu Picchu? Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to Machu Picchu?
Sí, claro, es muy fácil + direcciones Sure, it’s super easy + directions

Disculpe, ¿dónde está el hospital? Excuse me, where is the hospital?
Está muy cerca + direcciones It’s very close + directions

There are certain verbs commonly used when asking for and giving directions in Spanish. These verbs are: ir (to go), seguir (to keep, to continue), cruzar (to cross), atravesar (to pass through), tomar (to take), girar (to turn).

When we want to give directions or give someone advice in Spanish we use the imperative form. Check out how to form the verbs in imperative in 2nd person singular and plural both formally and informally. (Remember than in Latin American countries it is preferably to address strangers formally, in Spain, it will depend on the age of the person we are talking to).

SPANISH IMPERATIVE FORM 2ND PERSON SINGULAR AND PLURAL


Singular Plural
Formal Informal Formal Informal
Ir (To go) Vaya Ve Vayan Id
Cruzar (To cross) Cruce Cruza Crucen Cruzad
Seguir (To continue) Siga Sigue Sigan Seguid
Atravesar (To pass through) Atraviese Atraviesa Atraviesen Atravesad
Girar (To turn) Gire Gira Giren Girad
Tomar (To take) Tome Toma Tomen Tomad

SPANISH IMPERATIVE FORM 2ND PERSON SINGULAR AND PLURAL


Singular
Formal Informal
Ir (To go) Vaya Ve
Cruzar (To cross) Cruce Cruza
Seguir (To continue) Siga Sigue
Atravesar (To pass through) Atraviese Atraviesa
Girar (To turn) Gire Gira
Tomar (To take) Tome Toma
Plural
Formal Informal
Ir (To go) Vayan Id
Cruzar (To cross) Crucen Cruzad
Seguir (To continue) Sigan Seguid
Atravesar (To pass through) Atraviesen Atravesad
Girar (To turn) Giren Girad
Tomar (To take) Tomen Tomad

These verbs are always followed by the instructions on where the person has to go. Check these examples out:

+ Perdone, ¿dónde está el teatro? Excuse me, where can I find the city theater?

– Está muy cerca. Sigue todo recto hasta
It’s very close. Continue straight on until
el parque the park
el final the end
el cruce the crossing point
el semáforo the traffic light
la plaza the square
la rotonda the roundabout

+ Disculpa, ¿dónde está el bar Phillys? Excuse me, where can I find the bar Phillys?

– Está un poco lejos. Gira
It’s a bit far. Turn
a la derecha right y cruza la calle the street
a la izquierda left la plaza the square
el parque the park

+ Perdona, ¿cómo se va hasta la piscina? Excuse me, how can I get to the pool?

– Es muy fácil. Toma la It’s very easy. Take the primera first calle a la derecha right
segunda second izquierda left
tercera third
cuarta fourth

To finish this lesson, let’s learn some basic vocabulary about the main places in the city.

Vocabulary

English Spanish
Airport Aeropuerto
Bank Banco
Bar Bar
Bookstore Librería
Bus station Estación de autobús
Café Cafetería
Cinema Cine
Drugstore (US) Farmacia
Gas station (US) Estación de servicio
Hospital Hospital
Hotel Hotel
Market Mercado
Museum Museo
Park Parque
Police station Comisaría
Post office Oficina de correos
Restaurant Restaurante
School Escuela
Train station Estación de tren

To know more about how to ask and give directions in Spanish (with more expressions) check out this video!

Time to practice what we have learned! Let’s do this interactive exercise:

Welcome to Asking for and giving directions

1. Complete the following sentences with the appropriate verb form and word:
+ Perdone, ¿cómo se va hasta el museo?

- (Tome/toma) la primera calle a la izquierda y cruza el (banco/parque)
-+ Disculpa, ¿dónde está la estación de tren?

- Está muy cerca. Gira a la (izquierda/rotonda) y (continúa/continue) hasta el final de la calle.
+ Perdone, ¿me puede decir cómo se va hasta el cine?

- Sí, claro. (Sigue/Siga) todo recto hasta la (plaza/parque) y (gire/gira) la primera calle a la derecha.
+ Disculpa, ¿cómo se va hasta el mercado?

- Atraviesa la (plaza/banco) y sigue todo recto hasta el final de la (museo/calle)

We hope you have enjoyed and learned a lot with us in this Spanish lesson! See you soon!❤️

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