English as a Second Language/Giving directions


QUESTION: Hi again,Amy.

A person asked me for directions on the street and said,“Excuse me,how do I get to….”  I wanted to take them to the place because I also went/live near there. In this case, how should we say? Please note that the person might think I’m a bad person if I ask them to follow me. I would be grateful if you could give some examples.

Best Regards,

ANSWER: Hello again CH,

thank you for yet another interesting question.
If someone asks for directions and you happen to be heading that way you can say something along these lines:

I happen to live near the place you're going to. If you'd like to come with me/follow me I'd be more than happy to show you how to get there.


I am heading that way myself. If that's OK with you, you can join me/follow me and I'll show you the way.


The place you want to go to is/happens to be on my way. If you'd like to follow me, I will show you where that is.

As far as what the other person may think if you ask them to follow you ... That's a different story. If you'd rather avoid an awkward or suspicious looking situation, then maybe you should refrain from asking them to follow you and stick to providing directions to the place they would like to go to. (Things like - go straight ahead, make a left at the first stop light, then another right at the second stop sign. You'll see the place you re looking for on the right side of the street about 100 feet from the street corner...or whatever other directions are appropriate given the circumstances).

I hope this helps.

Please feel free to follow up with me if this doesn't fully answer your question.

Looking forward to more questions from you.

Best regards,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much, Amy.

quoted "I happen to live near the place you're going to. "

Is it natural to omit "happen to" in the above sentence.(Please note that I have no intention to correct your English. I just want to simply it so that non-native speakers can remember it easily.)

"quoted "I am heading that way myself."

The above sentence is difficult for non-native speakers to remember. This is the first time I have seen "heading". Could you give me another example that have the similiar meaning, pleae?

I hope you don't mind.

Best Regards,

You can definitely omit "happen" and simply say "I live nearby...."

Other examples with heading:

There is a hurricane heading our way. (a hurricane is approaching)

He's always heading straight home after practice. (he's going home )

I'm heading out. (is something someone may say as they leave their house, meaning "I'm going out")

These birds always head south for the winter. (the birds are flying south)

Now, while you may consider these expressions as difficult to remember, they are used quite frequently by native speakers.

I hope this is helpful.

Please let me know if you require further clarifications.

Best regards,

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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