On the road

Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary. You can find a transcript of this podcast on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk. There’s a page for this podcast with the transcript, an activity and a task for you to do in the comments section.

Today, I want to talk about driving. I’m going to roleplay a dialogue between two people in a car. After the roleplay, I’m going to talk about the B2 vocabulary and then, I’ll play the roleplay again so you can hear the language once more in context.

Roleplay – On the road

Mike: Come on Jack, you can drive faster than this, you know!

Jack: We’ve been on the road for less than an hour. I can’t believe you’re complaining already. You’re worse than my 4-year-old. 

Mike: But you’re not even keeping up with the car in front. 

Jack: I used to do this route every day. I’m in no rush.

Mike: You used to work in Birmingham. I can’t believe you used to commute to Birmingham every day.

Jack: It’s not bad now. There’s not too much traffic. But in the rush hour, the traffic could get pretty heavy.

Mike: I know what you mean. I used to work in Manchester. There were roadworks on the ring road for 6 months. It meant there was a traffic jam every day. It drove me mad, crawling along, bumper to bumper.

Jack: I like driving when it’s clear. I find it quite relaxing. 

Mike: Yeah, I can tell. Come on. Put your foot down.

On the road

On the road means travelling by car or motorbike. It can also be used to say that a car has been fixed. My car was broken and I had to wait weeks for the mechanic to get the right part, but it’s back on the road again. 

To keep up with somebody

To keep up with somebody or something means to travel at the same speed so that the person or thing you are following stays the same distance. I once went for a run with a friend who was much fitter than me. He was also much taller and had longer legs. I had no chance. I couldn’t keep up at all.

Route

A route, is a particular way between two places. This is really common small talk between men at family get-togethers, at least in my family. Good to see you. Did you have a good journey? What route did you take? Usually, I just follow the route that my phone suggests.

To commute

To commute means to travel to another town, generally a larger city, for work. Usually, commuters travel into work every day. I used to work in Manchester but would only go to the office twice a week because the commute was too long. When I was a kid, my mum worked in London, but we couldn’t afford to live in London so she would commute each day. 

Traffic

Traffic is all the vehicles on the road at a given time. If you live in a city, you will be familiar with questions like: what’s the traffic like? This means are there lots of cars, busses and motorbikes on the road at the moment.

Traffic jams

Traffic jams are caused when there’s too much traffic for the vehicles to flow. This is sometimes because of an accident, but usually it’s due to traffic lights and too many people trying to travel at the same time.

Rush hour

The rush hour is the time when the roads and public transport are really busy because people are travelling to and from work. I’m not sure why it’s called the rush hour because it’s about 2 hours in the morning and up to three hours in the evening. 

Roadworks

Roadworks are when there are jobs to do, either to repair a road or to dig up a road to repair pipes or cables buried under the road. In the UK, we are really bad at roadworks. I think it must be corruption because roadworks can last for years. I think that the M60 motorway around Manchester has had roadworks on it in the same place for the last 7 years. 

Ring road

A ring road is a road that goes round a town. Ring roads are designed to avoid the centre, but they are still in the town. Ludlow has a bypass which is a road that goes all the way around the town without going through the town at all. 

Bumper

A bumper is a bar that is designed to pretect a car in an accident. There’s one at the front that goes across the front or the car and one at the back. When you are in a traffic jam, the cars are sometimes packed together and can be described as bumper to bumper. You could say it’s bumper to bumper on the ringroad, meaning there’s a traffic jam on the ringroad.

Put your foot down

The last phrase I want to describe is put your foot down. This means drive faster. It’s an instruction to put your foot, the one on the accelerator pedal further down, making the car go faster. It’s quite informal, but you will hear it if you spend any time with drivers in the UK. 

Now it’s time to listen to the roleplay again to hear these items of vocabulary in context.

Roleplay – On the road

Mike: Come on Jack, you can drive faster than this, you know!

Jack: We’ve been on the road for less than an hour. I can’t believe you’re complaining already. You’re worse than my 4-year-old. 

Mike: But you’re not even keeping up with the car in front. 

Jack: I used to do this route every day. I’m in no rush.

Mike: You used to work in Birmingham. I can’t believe you used to commute to Birmingham every day.

Jack: It’s not bad now. There’s not too much traffic. But in the rush hour, the traffic could get pretty heavy.

Mike: I know what you mean. I used to work in Manchester. There were roadworks on the ring road for 6 months. It meant there was a traffic jam every day. It drove me mad, crawling along, bumper to bumper.

Jack: I like driving when it’s clear. I find it quite relaxing. 

Mike: Yeah, I can tell. Come on. Put your foot down.

Conclusion

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review. I’ve had some really kind reviews recently on Apple podcasts and on my website. Thank you Nicky, thank you Jindhuong, thank you Ngngrose and everyone else. I am making these podcasts after work and it’s really motivating for me.

I’d like to remind everyone that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk. I’m working on getting some more vocabulary quizzes on the site soon. 

Thanks for listening.

Language activity

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5 Comments

  • Nicky
    Posted 24/09/2020 at 6:02 pm 0Likes

    Hello Jack
    Thank you for the last quiz about vocabulary related to the road
    It was different than usual and that is why I liked so much.
    I am sure I already said that, but I will say it again just in case.
    I appreciate all your help and support in English.
    I get excited every time you create a quiz below the transcript so we can have fun while putting into practice what we have just learned.
    All I can say is thanks again 😉

  • Gianni Iliou
    Posted 02/10/2020 at 2:39 am 0Likes

    I really liked this podcast and it was very useful
    Thanks Jack!
    Greetings from Paraguay

    • Jack
      Posted 02/10/2020 at 8:09 am 0Likes

      Thank you Gianni, I’m delighted that you liked it.

  • Felipe Nascimento
    Posted 09/10/2020 at 1:24 am 0Likes

    Hello Jack!!!

    Thank you for share your knowledge with us.
    I found out this podcast in the Spotify in some days ago and i can say for you that i’m liking this lessons, listening every day driving for the job and when i can listen and study im my home.
    I hope that you keep doing this work because with certain will help many people!!!

    • Jack
      Posted 09/10/2020 at 10:21 am 0Likes

      Hi Felipe

      That’s great – thanks for letting me know.

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