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Lesson 17 - La Ciudad (The City)
Navigation: Home Course Lesson 17 → Giving directions
Pages in this lesson: City - Prepositions of location - Dialogue - Reading - Quiz
This page: Learn how to give directions in Spanish.

road map

Giving Directions in Spanish

Dialogue Lesson

Vocabulary for giving directions

Click on the word to hear the pronunciation.

Giving directions in Spanish
Spanish word or phrase Translation
► Disculpe. (formal - usted form) Excuse me. (used to get someone's attention)
► Disculpa. (informal - tú form) Excuse me. (used to get someone's attention)
► ¿Cómo llego a _____? How do I get to _____?
► llegar get to, arrive (regular -ar verb)
► dar vuelta turn (literally, "give turn")*
► a la derecha to the right
► a la izquierda to the left
► derecho straight
► lado (m) side
► pasar pass (regular -ar verb)
► tener que have to
► cuadra (f) block
► esquina (f) street corner
► próximo (próxima) next
► adelante ahead
► calle (f) street
► avenida (f) avenue
► edificio (m) building
► autopista (f) highway
► semáforo (m) traffic light
► alto (m) stop sign, stop

stop sign         traffic light

*In some countries they say dar vuelta for "turn," while in others they say girar or doblar.

Note: It can be confusing because a la derecha means "to the right," while derecho means "straight." You need to listen carefully when being given directions. To make it even more confusing, derecho can be a masculine adjective meaning "right." For example, you could refer to the "right side" of something as el lado derecho.

You may also use command forms when giving directions. Command forms will be covered in lesson 35. For now, we will stick with present tense verbs.



Section 1
Select the correct translation.

1. turn       

2. straight       

3. Excuse me       

4. to the right       

5. to the left       

6. pass       

7. next       

8. ahead       

9. street       

10. block       

11. street corner       

12. avenue       

13. stop sign       

14. traffic light       

15. highway       

16. get to, arrive       

17. have to       

18. building       

19. side       


Cardinal directions

Cardinal directions in Spanish
Cardinal direction Translation
► norte north
► sur south
► este east
► oeste west
► noreste northeast
► sureste southeast
► suroeste southwest
► noroeste northwest




Section 2
Look at the compass above. Identify the cardinal direction labeled with a red letter.

  • Example:
  • A = norte

1)   B       

2)   C       

3)   D       

4)   E       

5)   F       

6)   G       

7)   H       



Listen to the dialogues and identify which building is being described (A, B or C).

map #2

1.   ► Dialogue #1       A      B      C     

2.   ► Dialogue #2       A      B      C     

3.   ► Dialogue #3       A      B      C     



Now read the dialogues.

► Listen to dialogue #1

Dialogue #1 - Between two people who don't know each other (formal - usted form)

  • A - Disculpe. ¿Cómo llego al correo?
  • B - Para llegar al correo, tiene que pasar la librería y el hotel y luego dar vuelta a la izquierda en la Avenida Reforma. Sigue derecho una cuadra. El correo está en la esquina de la Avenida Reforma y la Calle Segunda, enfrente de la estación de tren.
  • A - Gracias.


► Listen to dialogue #2

Dialogue #2 - Between two friends (informal - tú form)

  • A – ¿Cómo llego al supermercado?
  • B - Es fácil. Das vuelta a la izquierda en la Avenida Central. Vas una cuadra más y el supermercado está en la esquina de la Avenida Central y la Calle Segunda, al lado de la estación de policía.
  • A - Gracias.


► Listen to dialogue #3

Dialogue #3 - Between two college students (informal - tú form)

  • A - Disculpa. ¿Cómo llego al restaurante?
  • B – Sigues derecho y pasas la librería y el hotel. Luego tienes que dar vuelta a la izquierda en la Avenida Reforma. Es el segundo edificio del lado izquierdo, entre el hotel y el banco.
  • A - Gracias.



Dictations are great for practicing listening and spelling in Spanish. Click on "Listen" to hear the dictation of a sentence. The sentence will be read once quickly and then repeated slowly with pauses to write the words. Write the sentence in the textbox. Click on "Check" to check your answer. Don't forget to use correct capitalization, accents and punctuation, or the computer will mark it as incorrect.

1. ► Listen

2. ► Listen

3. ► Listen

4. ► Listen

5. ► Listen



Write a short dialogue like the ones that you read above of someone asking for directions and the other person giving them.

If you want to type a special character (like an accented letter) in the comments section, you could do one of the following . . .

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  • Use special codes on your computer if you have numeric keypad (instructions HERE).
  • Type your sentences into the text box below and use the special character buttons provided. Then select and copy your text and paste it into the comments section.

  Don't forget to paste your text into the comments section below!

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Lesson 17 - La Ciudad (The City)
City - Prepositions of location - Dialogue - Reading - Quiz




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