Everyone has to get around somehow. Some people drive, some walk, and some take the bus. This is why it’s good to know some transportation collocations in English.

If you’ve ever wondered how to talk about transportation, this is the blog for you. Learn some of these transportation collocations and try them out (use them) in your everyday life!

Take a bus/train

When you travel by bus or train, you don’t “ride with” or “drive” it. You take the bus and you take the train. I take the bus everyday to work, and I take the train to visit friends in Berlin. When do you take the bus or train?

For example:

  • I need to take the bus to the airport today.
  • You’re going to Munich? Do you need to take the train to get there?

Hail a taxi

When you don’t want to drive yourself, you can also take a taxi. But how do you get a taxi to pick you up? You can either stand in the taxi line, or you have to wait for a free taxi to drive down the street past you. When you get a taxi on the street, you hail a taxi.

For example:

  • I don’t feel like walking back. Can we hail a taxi instead?
  • There are a ton of taxis around, so it will be easy to hail one if we want.

Get off the bus/train

When you’ve reached your destination (goal, where you want to go), do you know which of the transportation collocations to use? Well, it depends on (is decided by) the mode (way) of transportation. If you’re on a bus or a train, you use the phrase get off the bus or get off the train.

For example:

  • Should we get off the bus here, or at the next stop?
  • We got off the train a stop too early! We’ll have to wait for the next one, now.

Get out of a car

While you get off a bus or a train, you can’t get off a car. Instead, you get out of a car. This is because a car is much smaller.

For example:

  • I can get out of the car at this corner. Thank you for driving me!
  • We got home and got out of the car. Then we took the groceries upstairs.


Do you like walking places? I love going on a walk. Sometimes when the bus is late, I’ll walk where I’m going instead. If you’re going to walk somewhere, make sure you use the word walk, and not “go by foot”.

For example:

  • Do you want to walk there or drive? It’s not that far.
  • I decided to walk to work instead of taking the bus.

Sit in traffic

Sometimes the road (street where the cars drive) is very busy. This is usually in the morning and the evening. This is because people are going to work or coming home from work. When the road is very busy, the heavy (a lot) number of cars is called traffic. When you’re stuck in traffic, you are sitting in traffic. I hope you don’t sit in traffic that much!

For example:

  • I sat in traffic for a half hour this morning. It made me so late!
  • I hate having to sit in traffic, so I try to go to work early in the morning.

Take a detour

Sometimes when you’re driving, the road you need to take is closed. In this case you have to take a detour. This means that you take another way to get where you’re going.

For example:

  • I had to take a detour this morning. The main road is under construction (being worked on).
  • The bus took a detour to avoid (go around) protests in the city center.

Do you know any other transportation collocations? Will you use these phrases often? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Check out these other popular blogs: Dating Vocabulary in EnglishWhy You Could Use a Bespeaking ProofreaderItalian Loan Words in English, or these 5 Great Antonyms in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and views transportation much differently now that she lives in Europe.

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