Go/Drive/Ride/Take

How to talk about transport in English

In English, we use the verbs drive, ride, go and take to talk about travel and transport. Although they all express travel and movement, they are used in different contexts to refer to different modes of transportation.

Read on to learn when to use drive, ride, go and take to talk about travel in English. Test out your knowledge in the free exercises, and you’ll have no trouble getting yourself from A to B next time you’re in an English-speaking country.

Example

Ava is going to school.

Because Ava can’t drive, she cycles.

It takes her an hour to ride to school, but she enjoys the exercise.

Ava doesn’t like taking the bus because it’s always so crowded.

Sometimes her mother drives her.

She enjoys riding in her mother’s car.

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Go

  • If we don’t say how we travelled from one place to another, we use go.
Examples:
Ava is going to school.
We are going to Scotland next year.
  • If you want to say how you got from one place to another, just add by + mode of transport.
Example:
Ava goes to school by bike, she doesn’t go to school by car.

Drive

  • Use drive when someone knows how to control/operate a car or has a driving license.
Example:
Ava can’t drive.
  • Use drive for travel in a motor vehicle, especially when we are controlling it’s movement.
Example:
Sometimes, her mother drives her to school.

Ride

  • Use ride for travel on a bicycle, or horse when we control its movements. Use ride or drive for travel on a motorcycle, ride is more common.
Example:
It takes an hour to ride to school.
  • Use ride for travel in a vehicle (car, bus, train) when we aren’t controlling (driving) it.
Example:
She enjoys riding in her mother’s car.

Take

  • Use take for travel with public transport, we can replace take with ride
Example:
Ava doesn’t like taking the bus to school.
Sometimes, the family rides the train to Coney Island, just for fun.

For other uses of take see Take/Bring.