Giving and Taking Directions in Spanish

By Audrey Alleyne

Do you need classroom ideas for your Basic Spanish or Spanish immersion programs? This article provides certain suggestions and links. It uses the method of gestures and theater to help students learn. There is a download available for vocabulary study.

Giving and Taking Directions

Giving and taking directions is an everyday fact of life, in every country in the world. Pedestrians and drivers are always finding themselves in situations where they need to stop and ask someone for directions.This article includes a media download vocabulary of words and expressions for giving and taking directions.

The Imperative Mood

In teaching directions, the teacher also teaches the use of the Imperative Mood, since this is the mood used to give commands. The formal second person of verbs (usted) is commonly used when giving commands. Place pictures or flash cards of buildings and sites in different locations, both inside and outside of the classroom. Have the students take turns at acting as tourists and passers-by, and ask for and give directions to certain places. For example:

“Where is the bank? Dónde está el banco?

The tourist must now repeat the directions, follow them, and return with the picture or flashcard to the teacher, and student(s) who acted as passer(s)-by.

AWords and Phrases

Here is a list of direction words and phrases:

Perdóneme Señor/Señora, ¿donde está….?

Excuse me Sir/Madam, where is…?

¿Señor/Señora, estoy perdido(a), dónde está....?

Sir/Madam I am lost, where is…?

¿Esta cerca o lejos de aquí?

Is it near or far from here?

Hay… por aqui?

Is there….nearby?

por ahí- that way

Cómo-Pardon?

Vale-understood

vaya - go

tome - take

siga - continue/follow

doble - turn

gire - turn around

cruce - cross

venga - come

la calle - the street

el primer, la primera - the first

la segunda calle - the second street

tercer (a) - third

los semafóros - the traffic lights

la bocacalle - the intersection

la avenida - the avenue

la plaza - the square

enfrente de-opposite

detrás de-behind

delante de-in front of

por esta calle-along this street

a la derecha-on/to the right

a la izquierda-on/to the left

vaya todo derecho -go straight ahead

al final-at/to the end

hasta-up to/as far as

a la esquina-at the corner

está en-It is on/in

tiene que ir hasta-you have to go as far as

encontrar-to find

baje por esta calle-go down this street

sube por esta calle-go up this street