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Giving and Taking Directions in Spanish

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 3/2/2012

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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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



    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