Asking For Directions (Part 2)

looking for the way to West Gaoke Road on map

Conversations

Background: A Vietnamese tourist plans to visit the Shanghai World Expo 2010 but got lost in Shanghai Metro. He is asking for help from a metro station staff.

Conversation 1:

yóu rǎo xià,
下,
Tourist Excuse me,

.

qǐng wèn shì yuán de gāo kǒu zěn me zǒu?
西 走?
May I know the way to the West Gaoke Road entrance of Shanghai Expo?

.

gōng zuò rén yuán zuò tiě hào xiàn
线
Staff You may take the number 6 metro line

.

zài gāo zhàn xià chē
西
and alight at West Gaoke Road stop.

.

conversation 2:

yóu : yuǎn ma?
: 吗?
Tourist : (Is it) far?

.

gōng zuò rén yuán : shì hĕn yuăn.
: 远.
Station staff : Not very far.

.

yóu : yào zǒu duō jiǔ ?
: 久 ?
Tourist : How long (is) needed (if I) walk?

.

gōng zuò rén yuán : yuē shí fēn zhōng.
: 钟.
Station staff : About 10 minutes.

.

Conversation Breakdown and Explanation

When you asking for directions … You can say:

qǐng wèn shì yuán de gāo kǒu zěn me zǒu?
西 走?
May I know the way to the West Gaoke Road entrance of Shanghai Expo
  • qǐng it’s a polite expression, which is mean please.
  • 请问 qǐng wèn = May I ask .
  • 高科西路 gāo kē xī lù refers to a road = West Gaoke Road. where,
    • 西 = west
    • = road
  • 怎么走 zěn me zǒu means how to walk (how to get to)

It is used in asking for direction in Mandarin.
Eg: 中国馆怎么走? zhōng guó guǎn zěn me zǒu (where 中国馆 zhōng guó guǎn = China Pavilion)
How to get to China Pavilion?

Directions to take the metro:

zuò tiě liù hào xiàn zài gāo zhàn xià chē
线 西
Take the number 6 metro line and alight at West Gaoke Road stop.
  • zuò = Sit or in this case, it also means ‘to Take’ as in to Take a train, a bus or any other transportation means.
  • 地铁 dì tiě = metro
  • 六号线 liù hào xiàn = Line number 6. where,
    • liù = 6
    • hào = number
    • 线 xiàn = line
  • 下车 xià chē = to alight

Asking if the destination is far :

yuǎn ma?
吗?
(Is it) far?
  • yuǎn = Far
  • ma : this sentence structure is a very commonly used for asking questions. By adding a 吗 ma behind a sentence, you can very often change sentence into a question.

Asking how long you need to walk to destination :

yào zǒu duō jiǔ ?
久 ?
How long (is) needed (if I) walk?
  • zǒu = Walk
  • 多久 duō jiǔ = How long / How much time
yuē shí fēn zhōng.
钟.
About 10 minutes
  • 大 约 yuē = approximately
  • shí = 10 (ten)
  • 分钟 fēn zhōng = minutes

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