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Talk About Transportation

Transportation System

  • Public transportation: bus, coach, train, plane, ferry, cruise ship, taxi, cab, bicycle for rent, rickshaw, tuk tuk, tram, subway, tube(London)
  • Private transportation: car, motrobile, bicyle, jet, yacht, boat, van, scooter

catch a bus vs. take a bus

  • Catching a bus describes the process of getting to a stop/station, waiting and boarding.
  • Taking a bus describle the entire process, including the journey itself.

Must of the time, the distinction isn't important.

"How did you get to work today?"
"I caught a bus."
"I took the bus."

However, it could be relevant:

"I read a book while I was taking the bus." (yes:reading while the bus is moving)
"I read a book while I was catching the bus" (unlikely: reading while stepping onto the bus, paying the driver, etc.)

One other thing, you catch a bus at a specific place, where you take the bus from a place.

"You can catch the bus to Coventry on Smith Street".
"You can take the bus to Conventy from Smith Street"

get a taxi vs. take a taxi

To get a taxi is to secure the services of a taxi for transportation. To take a taxi is to ride in one. That is, you have to get a taxi before you can take a taxi.

You'll never get a taxi in this neighbourhood/at this time of night/in this weather.
We got a taxi at the airport and took it to the hotel.

for the past six weeks, tension, supply routeFor the past six weeks, there's been increasing tension along one of the global economy's supply routes - the Red Sea.
attack commercial ships , state solidarity/ˌsɒlɪˈdærəti/ with sbHouthi rebels in Yemen have been attacking commercial ships in the area, stating solidarity with Palestinians /ˌpæləˈstɪniən/ in the Gaza Strip.
In response, coalition /ˌkəʊəˈlɪʃn/In response, the U.S. military has organized a coalition of 20-some countries to protect ships traveling throught the Red Sea.
escalated /ˈeskəleɪtɪd/Things escalated this weekend.
fire on, board a container shipNavy helicopters fired on and killed Houthi fighters who were trying to board a container ship.
be backed byThe U.S. military says the Houthis are backed by Iran, and now Iran has sent a warship to the Red Sea, according to Iranian state media.
on the show, under pressureToday on the show, we look at this growing threat to the region and what it means for global supply chains that are already under pressure.
a narrow strip of water, to the west, to the eastThe Red Sea is a narrow strip of water, with Egypt and Sudan to the west, and Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the east.
waterwayAnd the waterway is a crucial piece of the global supply chain. Between 10 to 15% of the world's shipping goes through this area.
oil tankers and massive container shipsThis includes oil tankers and massive container ships transporting everything from microchips to furniture.
on the northern end of , Suez/ˈsu:ɪz/ CanalAnd on the northern end of the Red Sea is the Suez Canal, which is the most direct sea route for trade between Europe and Asia.
maritime /ˈmærɪtaɪm/ historian /hɪˈstɔːriən/, merchant mariner /ˈmærɪnə(r)/Sal Mercoglioano is a maritime historian at Campbell University and hosts a Youtube show called "What's Going On With Shipping?". In his previous career as a merchant meriner, he was a civilian stationed on U.S. Navy ships. He's been through the Suez Canal a few different times.
a herd of camelWhen we were heading down it and a herd of camel were swimming across the canal.
look out for deer, dicey /ˈdaɪsi/ And I though driving through country roads and looking out for deer was dicey.
sit at the northern end of , at the southern end of, strait /streɪt/So the Suez Canal sits at the northern end of the Red Sea. At the southern end of the Red Sea is a strait called the Bab al-Mandab Strait, also known as the Gate of Tears.
boarder , a good number ofThis narrow strait borders Yemen and it's where the Houthi rebel group has been making a good number of its attacks.
fight a civil war, be vying/ˈvaɪɪŋ/ for, be backed byThe Houthi rebels have beeing fighting a civil war in Yemen for almost a decade and vying for control against the internationally recognized government of Yemen, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.
brutal conflict, the largest humanitarian /hjuːˌmænɪˈteəriən/ crisisThese years of brutal conflict have created what the United Nations calls the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.
tactic, land a helicopter on a ship and hijack/ˈhaɪdʒæk/ the vessel /ˈves(ə)l/, has links toBut then in November, they used a tactic taht Sal hasn't seen them try before. They landed a helicopter on a ship and hijacked the vessel, which reportedly has links to an Israli/ɪzˈreɪli/ company.
no cargo abroad, be holdThere was no cargo aboard. But as of this recording, there were 25 crew members who are still being held.
seizure /ˈsiːʒə(r)/Sal says the seizure of the ship signaled something new and dangerous, and the situation has only escalated from there.
Initially, Israeli-flagged, Israeli-ownedInitially, they announced they were attacking ships that were either Israeli-flagged or Israeli-owned.
ratch up, any connected at all with ...But then they ratched up, and they said any ship connected at all with Israel will be attacked.
wind up, have nothing to do withAnd what they wound up doing was actually attacking ships that have nothing to do with Israel at all.
That ship has nothing to do with Israel. It wasn't going to Israel. It wasn't coming from Israel.
In the maritime industry, insurance that covers acts of war and piracy /ˈpaɪrəsi/, war risk insurance.In the maritime industry, ships can get insurance that covers acts of war and piracy. This is a special kind of insurance called war risk insurance.
ramp-upSal says that before this ramp-up in violence, the war risk insurance for the Red Sea was considered low - around 0.02% (point zero two percent) of what the ship's total value was.
in more indiscriminate way , tack onBut after the Houthis started attacking commercial ships in more indiscriminate way, war risk insurance for the Red Sea went from 0.02% to 0.7% (point seven percent). That could potentially tack on millions of dollars in extra insurance costs.
carry in , worth of cargoA container ship can carry, you know, in excess of hundreds of millions of dollar's worth of cargo. And when you have to start paying insurance on that at 0.7% of the value, the becomes extremely expensive.
rerouteThey also began rerouting some of their vessels to avoid the area altogether.
on a detourSome of these ships were already on a detour.
Panama /ˈpænəmɑː/ Canal, Atlantic/ətˈlæntɪk/ and Pacific/pəˈsɪfɪk/ OceansSome of these ships were already on a detour. They were originally planning to travel through Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean in Central America.
low water levelsBut the Panama Canal is having problems with low water levels, which reduces the number of ships that can actually use it.
be opting forSo some ships were opting for the Suez Canal instead.
change course, detourBut now the Houthi attacks are making them change course again, and this detour also comes at a cost.
maritime intelligenceCorely Ranslem is CEO of Dryad Global Limited, a company that specialized in maritime intelligence.
transit, going around, back into, Mediterranean /ˌmedɪtəˈreɪniən/Some of the top shipping comapnies have paused any transit through the Red Sea and are now going around the Horn of Africa and then back into the Mediterranean, which can add anywhere from potentially 14 or 15 days, may be even to 25 or even more days.
due to, a longer voyageThat increase in costs could be due to higher labor costs for the crew on a longer voyage /ˈvɔɪɪdʒ/ , plus additional fuel to get all the way around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
reroutingCorey said that depending on how contracts are written, cargo ships that are delayed because of rerouting might also have to pay penalties for late deliveries.
pass down , as well asThere's always the risk that these higher costs get passed down the supply chain in the form of higher oil prices, as well as more expensive consumer goods.
drag out into , divertSo if this drags out into a year or two years and we're seeing threats against shipping at high levels and vessels still diverting around Africa, you will see the cost of goods go up.
disrupt, break out, didn't ... tillThis is not the first time that war has disrupted shipping in the Red Sea. When war broke out in the Middle East in 1967, Egypt closed the Suez Canal to international shipping. The canal didn't reopen till 1975.
motivationWith the Houthi attacks, the U.S. military cited the impact on global trade as a motivation for getting involved.
stree call, based inWhen the Navy helicopters fired on the Houthi boats over the weekend, the U.S. was responding to a distress call from a container ship owned by Maersk, a major shiping comapny based in Denmark.
under international lawUnder international law, all countries have to help when ships are attacked.
proactive move, convoy/ˈkɒnvɔɪ/ What you're seeing right now is a very proactive move. We're talking about convoy. We're talking about organizing the ships into groups and sailing them through the area.
Somali /səˈmɑːli/ pirates, get involved withIt's a change because in previous conflicts, including when Somali pirates were active around 15 years ago, the U.S. only got involved with American-registered ships.
comes to, coalition, to help with the effortNow, when it comes to this U.S.-led coalition in the Red Sea, so far, countries like Britain and Greece hase sent military ships to help with the effort. But China, along with majar Arab /ˈærəb/ countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have not joined.
amount to a major stree testThe attacks in the region are obviously a threat to the safety of crew members and, combined with the low water levels of the Panama Canal, amount to a major stress test for global shipping.
it comes to , take up the strainWhen it comes to supply chain, particularly ocean supply chain, it's actually kind of a web. And when you attack one part of the web, the other parts have to take up the stain.
indefinitelyThis afternoon, Maersk, the comapy that owns the container ship that was attacked over the weekend, said it was pausing shipping through the Red Sea indefinitely.

Traffic Phrases

Traffic PhrasesUse in Sentence
rush hourTake alternate routes during the morning rush hour.
It takes twice as long to drive to work in the rush hour.
The rush hour traffic was slow.
It took him 45 minutes to reach the office because of the rush hour.
I'm stuck in trafficI'm stuck in traffic for the past 25 minutes
He's been stuck in the traffic jam for the past 30 minutes.
Traffic is heavyAt this time of the year, the traffic is heavy on this route
I'm running late because of the trafficDuring this time of the day, I'm usually running late because of traffic.
I have to slow downMy brother told me that I have to slow down on the right turn because of its angle
The traffic is backed-upThe traffic is backed up on Highway 24.
I have to take a detour /ˈdiːtʊə/I have to take a detour because the road is blocked ahead
The road is closeThe road is closed because of the landslide.
I'm merging onto the highwayShe told me to merge into the highway from entrance number 3
I'm changing lanesI usually change lanes while overtaking on the road.
I have to yield to the right of wayYou have to yiled to the right of way and let others pass while the light is red
tailbackThere's a 2km tailback on the city highway because of an accident.
Yesterday there was a four-mile tailback on the main road into the city after a crash.
pick upI need the car tomorrow to pick up my girlfriend at the airport.
Dad, could you pick me up at school this evening?
drop offCan you drop me off on your way home, please?
I'll drop your kids off on my way to work.
Could you please drop me off here?
commuteShe commutes to work daily by metro.
I have only a short commute to work..
He used to go into the office every day despite a fairly long commute.
They avoid the commute.
I've got the commute, plus the Zoom calls.
pull overJust pull over here, and I'll get out and walk the rest of the way.
Be sure you're in an area where a taxi can safely and legally pull over to pick you up.
Popular belief has maintained that police love to pull over drivers with red cars more than other vehicles.
The police officer pulled him over for changing lanes without signaling.
walk the streetsI was walking the streets of my neighborhood looking for my lost dog.
People don't feel safe walking the streets at night.
It was not safe to walk the streets at night.
nickSomeone nicked my car.
lay one the hornI lay on the horn.
slam on the brakesI slam on the brakes.
put the pedal to the metal/floorI put the pedal to the metal
rev /rev/ the engineI rev the engine.
put the air on the full blastI put the air on full blast.
roll down the windowI roll down the window.
put on my blinkerI put on my blinker.

Traffic Jam

  • traffic jam / traffic congestion traffic congestion
  • traffic gridlock traffic gridlock
    • They were caught in a gridlock.
  • tailback traffic tailback
  • stoppage
    • There have been more than 10 minutes of stoppages.


  • on-ramp vs off-ramp on-ramp vs off-ramp
  • school zone school zone
  • intersection intersection
    • The next intersection is 10 Km ahead.
  • crosswalk crosswalk
  • sidewalk / pavement /ˈpeɪvmənt/sidewalk
    • I was walking on/along/down the sidewalk, when I saw a car moving slowly towards me!
    • I was walking the streets of my neighborhood looking for my lost dog.
  • roundabout roundabout
    • At the roundabout, take the second exit.


  • pedestrian /pəˈdestriən/pedestrian
  • cyclist cyclist
    • As a professional cyclist, his lower body has incredible strength.
  • driver's license driver license


  • traffic signal / traffic light (red light, green light, yellow light) traffic light
    • You should only move when the traffic lights are green.
  • traffic cones traffic cones
  • parking lot / car park parking lot
  • road sign (stop, yield, speed limit, etc.) road sign


  • pop the trunk pop the trunk
  • pick up pick up
  • drop off drop off
  • roll down the window roll down the window
  • pull over pull over
  • turn on/off heat/AC
    • How to turn on the heater in your car?
    • How to turn on heat in car?