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I'm confused how to use the word allowance

The word 'allowance' mostly related to some moneywise issues and that is why I'm not sure that the word 'allowance' fits the occasion and 'permission', 'opportunity' as well


Question:

What is the right way to say 'I stood behind the traffic light and waited for allowance to cross the road'

  • Maybe "I stood behind the traffic light and waited until it was OK to cross the road". OK meaning when it was safe and legal to do so. – user3169 Sep 17 '17 at 2:24
  • Where did you find that sentence? It doesn't strike me as idiomatic. It's certainly not anything a native speaker of AmE would say, when speaking naturally. permission, yes, allowance no. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 17 '17 at 14:23
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The only time allowance would not refer to money is with the idiomatic expression make allowance for X, meaning to include X in your plans, or to adjust for some factor X.

The engineers made allowances for the loose soil when designing the bridge.

We have to make allowances for his lack of experience.

With your example you would instead use the common verb "to allow"; however in this case this would ordinarily imply some person who is granting you permission (not a traffic light):

I stood at the crossing and waited until the policeman allowed me to cross.

I stood at the crossing and waited until I was allowed to cross.

If you are just waiting on the light to change, you would instead say:

I stood at the crossing and waited until I could/was able to cross.

or simply:

I stood at the crossing and waited for the light to change.

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