Have you ever been on vacation abroad and needed to book a taxi to get to the airport? If you do not speak English well, it can be very frustrating. How do you give the correct address? And how do you explain your destination to the taxi driver? Imagine that you have been travelling by taxi for half an hour and you then realize that the taxi driver has taken you to the other side of the city – the opposite direction of where your destination is!
We know that taking taxis in English may not be so easy. That is why we decided to put together a practical guide for all the moments that may arise in your trip by taxi, from reserving by telephone to arriving at your destination. You will always know what to say and how to say it, guaranteed!
To book a taxi, you usually have to do it by phone. Even if you speak a little English, managing to understand what they are saying while making yourself understood is not easy. Remember that, generally, to indicate an address in the United Kingdom and the United States, you simply provide the zip code for the area your destination is in. The following is a phone conversation between a client and a telephone operator.
Hi, this is Uber taxi. I am Caroline. How can I help you?
Hi, this is Giovanna. I need a taxi tomorrow morning at 5:30 am.
Ok, where do you want us to send the taxi?
I can give you the postcode: XXXXX.
Where do you want to go?
Can you give me your phone number?
Do you have any special requests?
Yes, I am in a wheelchair and I need help to get into the car.
Yes, I am traveling with five kids, so I need a spacious car.
Yes, there will be a second stop to pick up a friend of mine at XXXX.
What is the fare for this route?
What is the fare for a night trip?
The Taxi’s Arrival
Now it is time to take the taxi. Some of the phrases that you will exchange with the taxi driver will be similar to those in the previous dialogue. Let’s look at some other phrases that may be useful.
Good morning, could you help me with the bags?
We need to go to the Stansted Airport. Thank you.
We have a flight at 6:00 am, do you think we will arrive on time?
Could you help me get the wheelchair into the trunk, please?
I can’t open the window.
The Taxi Driver
Here are some phrases that the taxi driver might say to you.
I am really sorry, but there is a lot of traffic this morning due to an accident. I will try to take the motorway to see if it is faster.
The postcode seems incorrect. Could you write the complete address on a piece of paper, please?
To enter the airport area, I have to pay a tax, so if you want to pay less I can leave you at a hotel nearby. From there you can walk 5 minutes to the airport.
You have arrived at your destination! Now you just have to pay the fare and say goodbye. Usually, there is not much to say. The taxi drivers tend to limit themselves to showing the fare on the meter or passing you a receipt with the amount you have to pay. But, you may have to ask the driver how much you should pay or you may have to ask for something in particular. What phrases might you need?
How much do I owe you?
Would you mind stopping a little closer to the pedestrian zone?
Can I pay by credit card?
Thank you very much. Have a nice day!
Now that you have (almost) all of the phrases that you need, you are ready to travel by taxi in cities like New York or London. But if you have other phrases in mind that you would like to learn before leaving, you can study English with ABA English. Our native teachers are ready to clear up all of your doubts and answer all of your questions. We also offer 144 video classes to polish your language skills. Start your trip today with ABA English!