How do you get to work?: a conversation about commuting

By 11 noviembre, 2009Grammar, Posts with audio, Varios, Vocabulario

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Esta semana mi amigo británico Michael y yo hemos grabado una conversación sobre commuting (el viaje diario que se hace entre casa y el trabajo), y, cómo no, sobre los errores típicos que cometen los hispanohablantes cuando hablan de este tema.

Escúchanos aquí:

 

(Descargar el mp3 pinchando con el botón derecho de tu ratón y seleccionando “guardar enlace como”.)

A continuación incluyo unos términos y frases importantes de nuestra conversación…

How do you get to work?: ¿Cómo vas al trabajo?, o, literalmente ¿Cómo llegas al trabajo?

to walk: andar o ir a pie/ir andando

to take the metro: ir en metro

to bike (U.S)/to cycle (Gr.Br.): ir en bici

to ride a bike: ir en bici

contamination: contaminación, generalmente del tipo que estropea un producto consumible

pollution: contaminación del medio ambiente

to commute: viajar todos los días entre la casa de uno y el trabajo

a commuter: una persona que viaja todos los días entre su casa y el trabajo

a round trip: viaje de ida y vuelta

rush hour: la hora punta

to be/to get stuck in traffic: estar parado en el tráfico

narrow: estrecho

to pass/to overtake: adelantar

stressful: estresante

pass through a red light: saltar un semáforo (también se dice to run a red light)

to cut someone off: colarse delante de alguien

to double park: aparcar en doble fila

to unload: descargar

to be used to something: estar acostumbrado a algo

to go around something: rodear algo

cautious: cauteloso

Solemos usar verbos muy sencillos para hablar de medios de transporte. En general, la construcción to go + gerundio (to go biking, to go skiing) hace referencia a una actividad de ocio:

to walk: andar o ir andando/a pie (no se dice to go walking cuando se trata de llegar a un sitio)

to drive: conducir o ir en coche (no se dice to go driving cuando hablamos de conducir como medio de transporte)

to bike/to cycle: ir en bici (sólo se dice to go biking/cycling cuando es una actividad lúdica); También se puede decir to ride a bike.

Una cosa importante que no mencionamos en nuestro diálogo es el uso del término traffic jam. Este sustantivo contable significa embotellamiento y hace referencia a un atasco en un sitio concreto, por ejemplo, en un cruce o en la salida de una autopista. Como es contable, no podemos decir a lot of traffic jamX, y en muchas situaciones es mejor usar la palabra traffic sin más.

Había mucho atasco.–> There was a lot of traffic. (There was a lot of traffic jam.)

Ejercicio

Como ejercicio, os invito a responder a las siguientes preguntas (en inglés, por supuesto) en el espacio “comments” abajo:

Are you a commuter? How do you get to work or school? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this means of transport?

 

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Heather dice:

    I love the banter between you two! I lived in Wyoming for a brief period and my friend Leslie used to ski to work as it was impossible to walk during January and February…just a little imput!

  • tamara dice:

    me encanta ,estoy estudiando ingles pero sin escuchar como se pronuncian las paabras es dificil pero cn ustd esta bueno..

  • Diego dice:

    Yes, I’m also commuter in Madrid and i’m trying to learn english ;-). I usually bike to work every day. It takes me about one hour and I cross Madrid from south (Laguna) to north (Las Tablas). Moreover, I’ve a folding bike to use when the weather is bad. With this bike, I take the train to Fuencarral and I only bike 3 kms.
    The advantages of this means of transport is that is sustainable as well as cheap. Also, when i get to work, i’m happy and it help me to be fit. Disadvantages: in summer you usually sweat and often i have to change my t-shirt. In winter the same. With cold weather, I need to wrap up for the trip an then I have to get changed at work. Definitely, I love to bike every day. It’s a simple gesture than can change the world.

  • Nelson dice:

    Hi everyone!!
    YES!! I’m also commuter in Santiago, Chile. I’m a student of “art of speak english” (jajaja) and always take bus to work and university. This is because I live far away to these places. To get to work, I take bus 7:00 am and arrive at 7:50 am aprox. everyday. When I finish day trip, I take bus again and pass 1 hour aprox. to arrive to university.
    Disvantages: contamination to our world. This drives use diesel to move, and give all know consequences.
    The ONLY advantage of these, are reaction times. In our times, we need an efficient and faster reaction to get to every place, specially to dates (labor or custom).
    If I live more close to my work place or study place, I can get to in bike, or something without a “contamination consequence”.

    Maybe, in a few years, Chile can change their “mind” or “socially myths”, and use more these tecniques (these aren’t the GREAT thing), but can help to give a good place to enjoy. ^^
    Bye!

    Note: If I made a lot of mistakes, please give your oppinion. This be a good way to write a better post to next time. 😀

  • Carmen dice:

    I’m from Valencia (Spain).
    There is 7 km.between my work and my house.
    I always drive to my work. It takes 15 minutes.
    Normally, there isn’t a lot of traffic and it isn’t very difficult to arrive work.
    I haven’t problems for parking, because we have a car park.
    Ciclyng to my work is very dangerous, but, if I haven’t a car park, I would come to work by public transport.

  • maria dice:

    Hi, I’m from Cantabria (Spain). I live in Torrelavega and work in Santander, which is about 30 km. away. I usually go to work by coach because fortunately the it stops just in front of where I work and only ten minutes away from home. There is no coach service during the summer, so instead I go by car and have lunch in a beach nearby. If possible, I share the car with a colleague so each one only drives half of the days. I could also take a coach or a train and then a bus or a bicycle in summer, but Santander is kind of built on a hill and my workplace is on the other side of the train and bus station, so I would have to climb it up and down.
    Zach, many thanks for this great blog!

  • zacht111 dice:

    Hi María,

    Thanks for your commuting composition.

    We have an excellent word in English for sharing the drive to work with someone. We say “to carpool” or “carpooling”. So you could have said, “I carpool with a colleague, so each of us only drives half the days.”

    bye! Zac

  • maria dice:

    Hi Zac,
    Many thanks for your suggestion. I have read some papers about the topic with the expressions “car pooling” and “car sharing” but I’m still a bit confused about the differences between them, perhaps you could give an explanation.

  • Eva dice:

    son las 9.30 de la mañana, primer día de mis vacaciones, y mientras Tomás duerme en su cuna escucho esta conversación, me encanta, es realmente interesante, me estáis dando muchas ideas sobre cómo hacer más amenas mis clases. Gracias!!!

  • NERY dice:

    HELLO, MY NAME IS NERY, I LIVE IN CHILE. I AM STUDYING ENGLISH.
    I AM NOT A COMMUTER BECAUSE I LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN AND I RARELY HAVE THE NECESSITY OF USING SOME KIND OF TRANSPORTATION. ANYWAY, EVERY AFTERNOON I HAVE TO GO TO THE UNIVERSITY, BUT I USUALLY WALK. I LIKE THIS WEB SITE VERY MUCH, I THINK IT IS USEFUL FOR THOSE ALL THAT ARE INTERESTING IN STUDYING ENGLISH.

  • CHRISTIAN dice:

    well I do not a commuter… but I get to school in bus mmm the advantages of this transport is you can go the time what you want… and the disadvantages are what you go very very worried….

  • Silvia dice:

    Hi, I’m a commuter two. I go to work by bus every day. I live in Buenos Aires and to get to work I take the bus at 6.30 am and I arrive at 7.15 am. I work as a secretary in the British Hospital in Buenos Aires.
    Bye!

  • Andres Rodriguez dice:

    yep, I am a commuter, almost every days I go by bus, and here in Bogota there is a means of transport which is called Transmilenio, I think that it is efficient, but always in rush hours it is crowded and sometimes there is a lot of trafic because of that.

  • Kaeden dice:

    Hahahaha. I’m not too brghit today. Great post!

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