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Car parts and driving (Andre Moreno)

All the basic vocabulary about cars and driving, by Andre Moreno.

See how much new vocabulary you can learn from the video and see if you can name all those things yourself after watching the video a few times. We’ll point to the differences between AmE and BrE here, though most of the vocabulary is the same.

The car we can see on the video is a MERCEDES C2-40 (pay attention to how he pronounces this, at the very beginning)

KEY WORDS= the most important words

HOOD (AmE)= Bonnet (BrE)

ENGINE= the machinery device that makes the car work

LICENSE PLATE (AmE)= Number plate (BrE)

WINDSHIELD(AmE)= Windscreen (BrE)

The car’s got 4 wheels, the outer soft part is the TIRE (AmE) or TYRE (BrE), and the inner hard metallic part is the RIM

GAS (AmE), an abbreviation of GASOLINE= PETROL (BrE). Gas/petrol comes from OIL (crude oil). In Britain GAS is only the substance which is like air, neither liquid nor solid. Gas derived from oil burns easily and is one of the most common kinds of FUEL, together with petrol/gas and COAL, black stones that burn ("coal" rhymes with "coat").

When you go to a GAS/PETROL STATION, you PUMP FUEL INTO YOUR CAR (in Britain and in America they are now usually self-service)

BRAKE= talking about cars, to brake is to stop the car or to SLOW it DOWN by pressing the BRAKE PEDAL with your right foot. With the same foot you can step on the ACCELERATOR PEDAL to SPEED UP your car. If your car is not automatic, you use your left foot to step on the CLUTCH when you change GEARS.

TRUNK (AmE)= BOOT (BrE), the place where you put the luggage. It is covered by the trunk/boot LID. You can open the trunk (esp. if you use a key) or, as with this car, POP it, when you do it by pressing a button (which is the usual thing today).

TURN the car ON (AmE)= START the car, or "start the engine" (BrE)

BLINKING= a blinking sound or light is one that goes on and off and on and off... You blink your eyes when you close them very quickly and open them again (to keep them moistened); it’s an automatic reaction. If you close just one eye consciously for a second, then you’re WINKING. When you turn right or left with your car, you activate a blinking light which is called the INDICATOR LIGHT. The lights at the front of your car, the HEADLIGHTS are of two kinds: the HIGH BEAM (to see in the distance) and the LOW BEAM (so as not to blind a coming car). And then, at the back, we’ve got the REAR LIGHTS (as opposed to the FRONT LIGHTS, usually simply called HEADLIGHTS).


If you want to send a loud sound signal you HUNK the HORN (AmE) or you SOUND the HORN (BrE)

When we turn EMERGENCY LIGHTS on, both the left and right INDICATOR LIGHTS start blinking.

Notice that this guy first refers to the NAVIGATION SYSTEM as the NAV SYSTEM. It’s an incorporated GPS device that helps you find your way when you’re going to a particular address. [GPS stands for "Global Positioning System", and uses lots of satellites to spot your position and direction anywhere on the planet].

YOU FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS= You can also say "like a million dollars", because BUCK is the colloquial word for "dollar". This expression (very common in the USA) means "you feel great".

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