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English for Taxi Drivers

This page from the EnglishClub English for Work series covers language that is useful for taxi drivers speaking in English.
English for Taxi Drivers

Example Phrases

Phrases that taxi drivers can use with English-speaking passengers.

Welcome

  • Hi / Hello
  • Good morning
  • Good afternoon
  • Good evening
  • How are you today?
  • Hi. I can take 4 passengers.

Destination

  • Where can I take you?
  • Where are you going?
  • What's your destination?
  • I don't know that place. Do you have a map?
  • Can you show me on this map?
  • Are you in a hurry?
  • It is very close.
  • It is pretty far away.
  • It will take about 15 minutes.
  • It takes about one hour to get there.
  • It is faster to take the expressway but you have to pay the toll.

Understanding the passenger

  • Speak slowly, please.
  • Sorry, I don't understand.
  • Yes, I understand. I'll take you there.
  • Please ask someone to write it in Thai / Chinese / etc.
  • No problem.

Special instructions / requests

  • I'll put your luggage in the boot / trunk.
  • Put on your seat belt, please.
  • Is it okay if I open a window?
  • Is the air-conditioning okay?
  • Please don't eat in the car.
  • No smoking, please.
  • Do you want me to wait?
  • I have to get some gas.

Traffic conditions

  • It's rush hour.
  • There's a traffic jam.
  • The traffic is bad over there. You'll get there faster if you walk from here.
  • I think there's been an accident.
  • I'll try a different way.

Fare and fees

  • The total price is $10.
  • Thank you for the tip.
  • Do you have smaller notes/bills?
  • I don't have any change.
  • The customer pays for the expressway, OK?
  • You in a hurry? Take the expressway?
  • There is a tollway fee. You pay the fee, ok?

Goodbye

  • Watch out for motorcycles before getting out!
  • Don't forget your things.
  • Thank you for your business.
  • Hope to see you again.
  • It's been nice chatting with you.
  • Enjoy your stay in Thailand / China / etc.
  • You're welcome.

No service

  • Sorry, that is out of my boundaries.
  • I can't go there. I would have to come back without a fare.
  • Sorry, I don't go to the airport.
  • I'm all done for the day / night.
  • I have to return the car on time.
  • My car needs servicing.
  • I'm sorry. Have a nice day.
  • I can call another driver / company for you.

Small talk

  • Have you been here before?
  • Are you from around here?
  • How do you like Bangkok / Beijing / etc?
  • Are you here on business?
  • Are you staying long?
  • Good weather, huh? Not too hot, not too cold.
  • I hope the weather gets better for you.

Things a passenger could say

  • Can I get a ride?
  • How many people can you fit?
  • How long will it take?
  • Please wait for me.
  • You can keep the meter running.
  • Do you have a flat fee to the airport?
  • I'm in a bit of a rush.
  • Can we get there by 10 o'clock / noon / 4pm / etc?
  • Could you slow down, please?
  • Is this the quickest way?
  • Do you take credit cards?
  • Do you have change?
  • Keep the change.
  • Thanks for the ride / lift.

passenger: person travelling in car, bus, train (not the driver)

destination: place where you want to go

map: diagram or picture showing streets and roads

in a hurry: rushed; need to go fast

expressway / motorway: fast road

tollway: fast road with fee

toll: charge; fee

boot / trunk: box at back of car for luggage, cases etc

seat belt: strap to hold somebody in their seat in a car or airplane

accident: crash; a car hitting another car or a person

fee: price; charge

note/bill: paper money

boundaries: limits

fare: price for taxi; passenger

flat fee: fixed price

in a rush: in a hurrry; late; want to go fast

Sample Conversation

Read this conversation between a taxi driver and passenger. Then do the test to check your understanding.

Taxi driver: Hi. Where are you going?

Passenger: To the train station, please.

Taxi driver: Shall I put your bag in the trunk?

Passenger: No thanks. I'll keep it with me. How long will it take to the station?

Taxi driver: About 30 minutes. Are you in a hurry?

Passenger: Yes, I'm a bit late.

Taxi driver: We can take the expressway. There's an extra charge, okay?

Passenger: That's okay, thanks.

Taxi driver: Fasten your seatbelt, please.

Passenger: Okay.

Taxi driver: Here's the expressway. Can I have $3 for the fee?

Passenger: Here you are.

Taxi driver: Are you catching a train at the station?

Passenger: Yes, I'm going to the beach to meet some friends.

Taxi driver: Okay. Here is the station.

Passenger: Thank you. How much is it?

Taxi driver: $55.

Passenger: Here's $60. Keep the change.

Taxi driver: Thanks. Don't forget your things.

Passenger: Okay. Bye. Have a good day!

Test yourself on the conversation above ↑

1. Where is the taxi driver taking the passenger?

2. How much luggage does the passenger have?

3. Before getting out of the taxi, the passenger gives the driver

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