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English Conversation – Traffic & Commuting

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 12:05 PM
posted by Jo

English Conversation - Traffic & Commuting

This is the preparation material for an English Conversation lesson about traffic and commuting. Watch a video about 'transportation woes' and learn some useful expressions and phrasal verbs that people use when they are talking about traffic and their daily commute into work. You can also learn how to answer some of the most common conversation questions on this subject.

Video about Traffic and Congestion

Listen for the following expressions in the video. Can you work out what they mean?

  • Stuck in traffic
  • Traffic congestion
  • Transportation woes
  • Gridlock

Traffic Expressions

  • Traffic jam - a long line of vehicles on a road that cannot move or can only move very slowly.
  • Bumper to bumper traffic – when cars are traveling so close together that their bumper bars are almost touching
  • Hold ups - a situation that stops something from happening or making progress
  • Road rage - violence and angry behaviour by car drivers towards other car drivers
  • Rush hour / Peak hour - the time of day when the roads, buses, trains etc are most full, because people are travelling to or from work

Phrasal Verbs

  • Run out of (gas /petrol) – “I ran out of petrol on the highway and had to wait for 1 hour until help arrived”
  • Pull over – “I was driving too fast and the police signalled for me to pull over”
  • Pull out – “the car pulled out right in front of me and I almost hit it”
  • Run over – “I am so upset because this morning I ran over a cat on my way to work”

Conversation Questions

  • How do you commute to work?
  • What is the preferred method of commuting in your country?
  • Are there traffic problems in your city or town?
  • Have you ever been in a traffic jam?
  • Have you ever been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic?
  • What is your preferred way of travelling in rush hour?
  • What transportation problems are there in your country?
  • Have you ever witnessed road rage?
  • What kind of things annoy you about other people’s driving?
  • Have you ever been in or witnessed a car crash?
  • How can traffic accidents be prevented?
  • How do you think countries can reduce congestion on the roads?
  • Is parking a problem in your country? (shopping malls, etc)
  • Do you think that governments should encourage public transportation more?
  • How could governments’ encourage people to ride bicycles more?
  • How could the government discourage people from taking their cars into the city?
  • Is the public transportation in your city efficient?
  • If public transportation were free, would you use it more?
  • How could public transportation in your city be improved?
  • Do you feel safe when you use public transportation?
  • What are the advantages of using public transport compared to driving?
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