Answering Questions - English for Tour Guides

This page covers vocabulary needed by people working as tour guides in an English-speaking context.

question markAs a tour guide you will face new challenges every day. One of the hardest parts of your job may be answering questions. Unlike a speech that you can memorize, you won't always know what questions people will ask. However, you can anticipate certain types of questions and certain ways that questions will be asked. You should also learn how to use variety when you answer questions or respond to comments. You may lose interest in your job if you say the same thing each time. Finally, it is important to know how to politely explain that you don't understand a question.

Tour Guide

  • Do you have a question, Sir?
  • Yes? (if you see a hand raised)
  • Is there something I can help you with?
  • I'll try my best to answer your questions.
  • I'm afraid I don't have the answer to that. (Sorry I don't know.)
  • That's an interesting question.
  • I wish I knew the answer. (Sorry, I don't know.)
  • Hmm.That's a tough (difficult) question.
  • I'll have to look into that further.
  • I'll have to ask someone about that.
  • Hmm. I've never been asked that before.
  • Pardon my English; I don't quite understand your question.
  • I'm not sure, but I can find out for you.


  • Where is the ______ from here?
  • How long has _______ been here?
  • Where are we headed (going)now?
  • What time does _______ stay open until?
  • What else is there to do here?
  • Which _________ do you recommend?
  • Are we allowed to take pictures?
  • What's that over there? (tourist points)
  • Where's the best place to buy _______?
  • My son wants to know if _________? (parent asking a question for shy child)
  • Do you know where the nearest washroom is?
  • Could you tell us where the nearest bank is?
  • You don't happen to have a first-aid kit, do you?

Sample Conversation

Guide: If you have any questions while we're going along, please don't hesitate to ask.

Man: I have a question actually.

Guide: Sure, what's that?

Man: Where's the best place to have dinner around here?

Guide: Well, that's a tough question. There are so many good restaurants. My personal favourite is Spaghetti Alley.

Man: How do we get there?

Guide: I'll point it out when we pass it. It's going to come up on your right in a few minutes.

Woman: My daughter wants to know if we're going to be be passing any castles today?

Guide: Castles. No I'm afraid all of the castles are further into the city. We're going to be staying near the coast today. I can give you a map of the city, though. It shows where all of the castles are.

Man: Sorry, I have another question.

Guide: No problem. That's what I'm here for.

Man: Are we allowed to take pictures once we get inside the museum?

Guide: Oh, I'm glad you asked that. I forgot to mention that taking photographs inside the art gallery and the museum is prohibited. However, you can take pictures of the grounds and the outside of the buildings. The architecture is beautiful.

Woman: Oh, and what time will we be stopping for lunch?

Guide: We'll break around noon and meet back at the bus at 12:45 sharp.

Check your understanding

Test your understanding of the conversation above with this quick quiz.

1. What does the tour guide recommend?

his favourite tour
his favourite meal
his favourite restaurant
a) his favourite tour b) his favourite meal c) his favourite restaurant

2. The tour will NOT be

passing any castles
stopping for lunch
visiting an art gallery
a) passing any castles b) stopping for lunch c) visiting an art gallery

3. The tour guide says tourists are prohibited from photographing

the museum and gallery
the grounds nearby
the exhibits and artworks
a) the museum and gallery b) the grounds nearby c) the exhibits and artworks

Your score is:

Correct answers: