Let's say, in a building or an enclosed area, people should first get in through (or "from"?) the entrance, which is point A, and then first go to point B, and then C and finally to their desired destination.

What's all this called? Route? Path? Way Or....?

Now if there's an alternative path/route/or whatever that they CAN take but they SHOULDN'T, and I have to point out to people that they shouldn't take that one, how do I communicate this without being too wordy? I'm looking for a short sentence like:

You must take the ABCD- route/path/way.


2 Answers 2


You are correct, that people go through an entrance (to get into the building). They then can take the route from there to Point A, then to Point B and so on.

However, for whatever reason -- clarity, common practice, whatever -- most people would describe the route in detail and not shorten it. For example:

To get to the office of the Registrar, enter the Administration building, head left to the second hallway, turn right and go past the Dean's office, and then left at the T-intersection. The office will be on your right.

You could shorten this, but it would assume people know where you're talking about.

Although, as a different example: Here in Southern California there are a lot of intersecting "freeways" (elsewhere called highways or expressways) and many routes to get from one place to another. So if I was directing someone how to get to Los Angeles Airport from Pasadena, I might suggest:

Take the route from the 210 to the 110 to the 10 to the 405 to the 105, and that'll take you right into the airport.

which assumes someone familiar with the freeway system and who knows what freeway numbers I mean, and how they run (generally north-south or east-west). If I was explaining this to someone not from LA, I would probably be more detailed.

(Of course if you look at the map you'll see you can just take the 110 to the 105, but sometimes traffic is a nightmare on the 110 south of downtown. I digress)

I don't know if there is a shortcut for this in other languages, but in English it's common to be "wordy" if that makes your directions more clear.

  • Thanks for the detailed and informative answer, Andrew. The reason I want to make it as short as possible is time, and that this is so frequently asked that it literally starts to hurt to say all those words after some time. I have one more favor to ask though, can you please cross check your answer with Peter's as he's suggested that I should use WAY instead of route for the usage I mentioned in my comment, which is an enclosed area? Because It still seems confusing to me. Do you believe WAY is definitely wrong for this usage? Thanks.
    – user34244
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 10:47

Inside a building, "way" can be used when giving or asking for directions

Do you know the way to the conference room?
how do I get to the conference room

Which way is the restroom?
where is the restroom

"Route" can be used when driving to a destination, although "way" may also be used

What route do I take to get to the Holland Tunnel?
Which way do I go to get to the Holland Tunnel?

If you don't want someone to go using a particular path, you might say

Don't go that way!
Don't use that route!

Instead of using "route" or "way" or "path", you could say

You must go along ABCD to get there!

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