Driving (plus vocabulary exercise)

Mejorar tu vocabulario es sinónimo de mejorar tu speaking. Además, si conoces las palabras correctas y utilizas expresiones naturales, tienes y transmites mucha más seguridad a la hora de hablar.

Nuestros vocabulary posts no están repletos de palabras extrañas que ningún nativo utiliza en su día a día. Todo lo contrario.

El vocabulario en todo el texto es tremendamente útil y al final encontrarás un ejercicio que te vendrá genial para identificar y memorizar nuevo vocabulario. Además, cada semana enviamos las respuestas a ese ejercicio en nuestra newsletter.

Hi, I’m Mick!

I’m an English teacher, and today I’m talking about driving.

Some people are mad about driving. Sometimes, they get into their car and drive for no other reason than to enjoy driving. In all honesty, I don’t understand. I mean, as a way of getting from A to B, I think driving is one of the best means of transport that there is. But, in my book, that doesn’t make it anything to get excited about. It’s OK. It’s fine. And that’s all.

Am I not wildly enthusiastic about driving because I’ve never actually owned a car. Or, have a never bought a car because I don’t get any real pleasure out of driving? I guess, it’s one of those which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg? questions.

Anyway, I’ve done more driving than usual in the last few weeks. The other weekend, I drove up to Galicia and back, and last week, I hired a car from Stansted airport to Hull for my sister’s wedding.

Going up to Galicia from here in Madrid is a good six hour drive. It’s quite an easy drive too, though I don’t like it as much the other way round . Coming into Madrid means that the last section, just when I’ve had enough of driving, is also the most stressful. Overall, though, it’s fine. There’s lots of nice scenery – I love the wide open plains of Castilla y León as much as the greenery, and winding roads of Galicia, so I’m quite happy to take it easy and enjoy the view.

In comparison, it only takes 3 hours to get from Stansted to Hull, but it’s not a pleasant drive at all. There’s more traffic from start to finish. Also, no matter which way you go, there’s always be roadworks somewhere which will bring everything grinding to a halt. But, worst of all, is that there’s absolutely nothing of any interest, or beauty, to see out the window. As a result, I get incredibly impatient to get to where I’m going, which means I arrive totally stressed out.

As a Brit living in Spain, I get asked about driving on the left quite a lot. The question is usually why. Frankly, I get bored of answering this. So, if you’re interested (and, it is genuinely interesting if we give equal consideration as to why 65% of the world drive on the right?), check out this article.

I also get asked if it’s hard to switch from driving on one side to driving on the other, but, at this stage, I’ve probably driven more on the right than on the left, so I don’t find it hard at all. In fact, I never did. It’s a doddle.

The first time I drove on the right was in the U.S. I actually had more problems getting used to driving an automatic instead of a manual than being on the other side. It helps that there were hardly any roundabouts in the US. In my three months there, I didn’t come across a single one! It wasn’t until the next time I drove on the right, which was in Italy, I learnt that an empty roundabout does make you stop and think for a second. Only a second, but you do have to stop and think.

By the way, when I say it’s easy, I say it with the proviso that the car is set up for the country you’re in. I’ve never driven a British car on the right, or the other way round. If you try it – let me know how it goes!

Exercise

Now try and find how we say the following expressions in the text. The questions are in the same order as they are in the text.

  1. a mi modo de ver
  2. al revés
  3. estar harto/a de algo
  4. tomárselo con calma
  5. a estas alturas
  6. está chupado
  7. acostumbrarse a algo
  8. con la condición de / a condición de que
  9. Finally, which adverbs are used with the following adjectives? – enthusiastic, impatient, stressed out, interesting

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