167 - 5-Minute English: Bad Driving


Words that are bolded in red are suggested vocabulary words for this episode.


Hi everybody. My name is Shana and this is the American English Podcast. My goal here is to teach you the English spoken in the United States. Through common expressions, pronunciation tips, and interesting cultural snippets or stories, I hope to keep this fun, useful and interesting. Let’s do it!


Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s episode. Hope you’re having a nice day and we have a very fun topic ahead of us.

The whole world has bad drivers. No country or city in the whole world is immune to them. What’s funny to me is that most of us don’t consider ourselves bad drivers. We always look at others, maybe we even judge them, which is why this lesson is going to be kind of funny.

In this 5-minute English episode, I’m going to tell a fictional story about the worst driver in the world. He’s going to do everything wrong. The things I’m going to mention in this episode are common and mostly what people complain about.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have learned vocabulary related to bad driving, what people say to themselves when bad driving occurs, or maybe what they say to a police officer if reporting cases of bad or reckless driving, and you’ll briefly learn a few ways that drivers are punished in the US.

This lesson will be intense in terms of vocabulary. I highly recommend signing up to Premium Content so you can get the full lesson that goes along with this audio.

You’ll also have the chance to master the vocabulary with my help and more.

So what inspired this lesson?

As you may know, I’m currently in Brazil, and the first time I drove here, which was this trip, my stress level went through the roof. To go through the roof means to spike or to increase to an extremely high level. My stress level went through the roof because I was not used to driving here. There are more motorcycles than back in the States. I was not used to so many buses and forms of public transportation and roundabouts! It just made me feel uneasy, very, very uncomfortable. You’ve probably felt this way in foreign countries too, right?

Despite my pretty high level in Portuguese, I realized that in difficult driving situations, I can’t describe what is happening well in Portuguese, at least not with the words a Brazilian would use. In all honesty, a Brazilian would probably sound cooler, maybe even use some expressions. Immediately, when I realized this, I thought foreigners in the US must feel exactly the same way.

Later that same week, I got a message from a listener named Yury or Yury, who’s originally from Belarus and is living in New Jersey. Yury said, "If you asked me what topic I would recommend touching on, I’d say car accidents or being stopped by the police, and all phrases and terminology related to that."

Yury went on to say that it would be useful to be able to describe clearly, in detail what drivers are doing around us.

We are on the same wavelength, Yury, thank you so much for your suggestion. I hope this lesson teaches you just how to talk about bad driving around you. Please let me know what you think.

Without further ado, let’s begin today’s episode.


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