Expanding vocabulary = Streets or Roads. What to choose? Which to use?

We often use some common words in our everyday life and we have a hard time figuring out if we used them properly or did a big mess. Two words that are usually wrongly used are ‘’Road’’ and ‘’Street’’.  Technically, there is a difference between streets and roads, but most people either don’t know about it or don’t care at all about this. Let’s have a look into the matter by stating what roads and streets are.

ROADS: The things that you drive on to get from point A to point B. They often connect towns and cities.

STREETS: Roads with buildings on both sides and we usually find them in cities, towns and urban areas.  You can have a road in a village and a road in the country but not a street in the country.

In the street/in the road: where cars drive

               -Why are you running in the street Emre? Running on the pavement/sidewalk is safer.

               -The cat is not sleeping in the street. It is sleeping in the garden.

               -Don’t let your children ride their bikes so carelessly in the street. It is dangerous!

On the street/on the road: used for a location

                -My house is on Green Street. Where is yours, Ahmet?

                -The most famous Elementary School in my town is on Independence Street.

                -Which street is the Cinema On?

 If we want to say that someone is driving somewhere, we say ON THE ROAD.

               -Ben is always on the road. He is always on business trips.

               -I am on the road now so I can’t call you back until I get home.


   We can come across different phrasal verbs or idioms where the word road or street is used

               To hit the road- This can be used when we are traveling on foot, by car, or by bus. It is not used when traveling by plane.


 -I would love to stay longer, but it’s time I hit the road.

-We plan to hit the road around 6 am tomorrow so that we can arrive in Istanbul for dinner.

-Fatma better hit the road. She has to work in the evening.

This can be used when we are traveling on foot, by car, or by bus. It is not used when traveling by plane.


Down the road-Used for talking about the future and what may happen

Example: Two years down the road, you might feel very differently.

                  It is a decision that may well have an impact further down the road.


High road-a) Mainly US: A morally proper way of doing something

Example: Several newspapers reported the rumor, but the city newspaper took the high road to see if it was true.

                   b) An easy way to do something

Example: The professor claims to teach the high road to financial success.

Man in the street- An ordinary, average person

Example: It will be interesting to see how the man in the street will answer that question. (This expression came into use in the early 1800s when the votes of ordinary citizens began to influence public affairs.


Be streets ahead- Idiom (UK, informal) To be much better or much more advanced than another thing or person

Example: The latest sales figures show that we are streets ahead of the competition

Right up your street- If something is right up your street, it would be perfect for you or ideal for your skills and interests

Example: I have found a job that should be right up John’s Street. He is writing for a basketball magazine, so he could use his writing skills and his knowledge of basketball.

Example: I thought a tour of Scottish old castles would be right up your street, Murat.