In my latest series of Spanish Grammar audio lessons, we practice giving directions in Spanish within a Hospital. (Shout out to Bien, a member at docmolly.com, who recommended this topic! ✋) After  making this series, I feel really comfortable asking for and giving directions in Spanish, and I want you to feel the same. So I put together this summary of all the essentials covered in the Giving Directions in Spanish audio lessons. In this series:

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Asking for Directions in Spanish

In the audio lessons, we use the following common phrases when asking for directions in Spanish.

I will use the usted conjugation for this list. But we practice both the usted and tú conjugations in the audio lessons. 

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  1. Disculpe. Perdone.
  2. ¿Me puede decir …. ?
  3. ¿Me podría decir…?
  4. ¿Podría indicarme…. ?
  5. ¿Cómo llego a….?
  6. ¿Cómo se llega a…. ?
  7. ¿Sabe dónde está____?
  8. ¿Por dónde se va a…
  9. ¿Por dónde voy a….?

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  1. Excuse me.
  2. Can you tell me…. ?
  3. Could you tell me…?
  4. Could you show me… ?
  5. How do I get to… ?
  6. How do you (does one) get to… ?
  7. Do you know where ____ is?
  8. How do you (does one) go to ….?
  9. How do I go to …. ?

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Notes:

Can you think of more ways to ask for directions? Please leave a comment below!


Common Verbs for Giving Directions in Spanish

During the exchanging we use the following verbs when asking and giving directions in the audio lesson, and we practice both the usted and tú conjugation of the verbs and their respective commands.

When appropriate, I will use the tú conjugation of the verb.

Seguir

Seguir can mean to follow or simply to go.

“Sigue este pasillo. “(Follow this hallway.)

“Sigue todo recto.” (Go straight.)

Llegar a

As discussed above, LLEGAR is the Spanish equivalent of “to get to” in English. Note that we use the preposition “a” before the location to which we arrive.  It is common to use the subjunctive of llegar when giving directions.

“Cuando llegues a…. ” (When you get to… )

Doblar / Girar

Both are used in Spain and Latin America to say “to turn.” My impression is that DOBLAR is more common in Latin America and GIRAR is more common in Spain.

“Dobla a la izquierda.” (Turn left.)

Pasar

This verb can be used to say “to pass” or to simply express movement, as in “to enter, to move, to go, etc.”

“Pasa adelante.” (Come in or go ahead.)

“Pasa por recepción.” (Go through reception.)

“Pasarás la sala de urgencias a la izquierda.” (You will pass the emergency room on your left.)

Tomar

On the street you can simply say, “toma la segunda a la derecha” and it is understood that you are referring to the street.

“Toma la segunda (calle) a la derecha.” (Take the second right.)

“Toma el segundo pasillo a la derecha.” (Take the second hallway on your right.)

“Toma el ascensor o las escaleras.” (Take the stairs or the elevators.)

“Toma la derecha.” (Take a right.)

Subir

“Sube al cuarto piso.” (Go up to the 4th floor.)

Bajar

“Baja al sótano.” (Go down to the basement.)

Dar(se) la vuelta 

“Da la vuelta y sigue derecho.” (Turn around and go straight.)

Ver

“Verás los rótulos adelante.” (You’ll see the signs ahead.)

“¿Ves ese pasillo?” (Do you see that hallway?)

Entrar a

To express entering a location you follow it with the preposition EN or A. Many Spanish speakers prefer the preposition A as it sounds less redundant than EN.

“Entra al hospital.” (Enter the hospital.)

Cruzar

“Cruza el puente.” (Cross the bridge.)


When You Need to Get There Quickly

Tardarse mucho / poco en llegar. (To take a long / short time to get there.

¿Se tarda mucho en llegar? (Does it take a long time to get there?)

Se [indirect object pronoun] hace tarde. (___ running late. )

Se me hace tarde. (I am running late.)

Está a [period of time or distance]. (It’s ___ away.)

Está a dos horas de aquí. (It is two hours from here.)


Prepositional Phrases, Adverbs & Adjectives for Giving Directions

When appropriate, I will use the usted conjugation of the verb in the examples below. 

A la derecha / izquierda (to the right/left)

“Doble a la derecha.” (Turn right.)

A mano derecha / izquierda (on the right-hand/left-hand side)

“Verá la sala de recuperación a mano derecha.” (You will see the recovery room on the right-hand side.)

Cerca / lejos (close / far)

OJO: These are adverbs, so they do not change with the associated noun.

“El hospital está cerca.” (The hospital is close.)

Mas cercano(a) / lejano(a)   (closest)

OJO: These are adjectives, they do change with the noun they modify.

“¿Dónde están los baños más cercanos?” (Where are the closest bathrooms?)

(Todo) derecho / recto (straight)

“Siga todo recto.” (Go straight.)

Al final, al fondo (at the end)

The phrase “al fondo” has varied uses, which we will practice in the audio lessons.

“Está al fondo del pasillo a la derecha.” (It’s down the hall to your right.)

Enfrente de, frente a  (in front of, across from)

“La sala de espera está enfrente de la recepción. (The waiting room is across from reception.)

Delante de (in front of)

Used to refer to the order of things on the same side of the hallway or street.

“Ella está delante de mi.”  (She’s in front of me.)

Próximo(a), Siguiente (next)

Es la próxima puerta a la izquierda. (It’s the next door on the left.)

Detrás de, Atrás de (behind)

“Los ascensores están detrás de usted.” (The elevators are behind you.)

Adelante (ahead, forward)

“Verá las escaleras adelante.” (You’ll see the stairs ahead.)

A la vuelta (around the corner)

“Está a la vuelta.” (It’s around the corner.)

Entre (between)

“La salida está entre el ascensor y las escaleras.” (The exit is between the elevator and the stairs.)

Al lado de, junto a (next to) –

OJO: These are preopsitions, so they do NOT change with the associated noun.

“La oficina de seguridad está al lado de la oficina de estacionamientos.” (The security office is next to the parking office.)

A (la) mitad de (halfway, in the middle of)

“Lo verá a mitad del pasillo a la derecha.” (You’ll see it halfway down the hall on the right.)

En (el) medio de, en el centro de (in the middle of)

“Las escaleras están en medio del vestíbulo.” (The stairs are in the middle of the lobby.)

Sobre, encima de (over, above)

“Verá un letrero que dice ‘Sala de Maternidad’ sobre dos puertas grande.” (You will see a sign saying “Maternity Ward” over two large doors.)


Places and Structures Within a Building

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La recepción (reception)

El vestíbulo (lobby)

La sala (room, lounge, hospital ward)

La cafetería (cafeteria)

El pasillo, el corredor (hall, hallway)

El piso (floor)

El sótano (basement)

El ascensor (elevator)

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Las escaleras (stairs)

La puerta (door)

La salida (exit)

La entrada (entrance)

Los letreros, rótulos (signs)

El puente (bridge)

La oficina (office)

El estacionamiento (parking lot)

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Departments within the Hospital

In the Giving Directions in Spanish audio series, we use a lot of vocabulary for different departments in the hospital so I will cover departments in the hospital in an upcoming Medical Spanish lesson.

That’s all for today folks. Eso es todo por hoy.

Now it’s your turn to practice this vocabulary and put it to use as you interpret asking for and giving directions in Spanish.  

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© 2018, Molly Martin, MD. All rights reserved.