If you move from a place to another by feet, you call it a walk. A long distance displacement by any means can be called trip, travel, journey. But what about small distances, like inside your own town, (e.g. by taxi). What is the most appropriated word?

"Yesterday I made a __ from Brooklyn to Queens (in my car)".

  • 1
    "I made the trip from Brooklyn to Queens" is appropriate (going from one particular place to another is a specific trip so it needs the definite article). A trip isn't necessarily a long distance, it's often as short as the distance between standing and lying. Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 16:12

5 Answers 5


"Trip" is fine and doesn't carry any implication that it covered a long distance. In my experience it would be the most common and ordinary word to use.

  • 3
    I think this is nicely backed up by the fact that "a trip to the store" is a pretty common phrase. For fun, I ran that phrase through Google N-Gram Viewer, which showed that it's used both in American and British English, though not as common in British English (about a factor 4 difference) and it's been in use for significantly longer in American English.
    – Jasper
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 9:18
  • 1
    @Jasper In British English you'd be much more likely to refer to ‘the shop(s)’. But I think ‘trip’ is used pretty much the same.
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 10:39
  • An Errand is defined as a short trip. I would go with that.
    – Dave
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 15:03
  • @Dave - "Errand" implies the goal of the trip is an action or activity of some sort. I think the question is more general about moving from one place to another that's not a long journey, but I think errand isn't appropriate.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 15:26
  • @Tim & Dave - More precisely, an errand is defined as "a short trip taken to perform a specified task." [emphasis added] Therefore, this suggestion may not work in the general case. A Sunday drive with no errand is well, no errand.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 16:51

That is called a drive. Though I'm not sure I'd call it that if I traveled by taxi, I'd probably call that a ride or a trip. A drive is if I drive there myself, the passengers take rides or trips.

Edit: This qualifies as slang just barely, so I'll note that I speak American English. You may have different answers from other regions.

  • 1
    I think "drive" by itself does not say anything about the distance, which is what OP is looking for. And that being said, I really can't find a word that is appropriate for only "small distances". Tricky question!
    – AIQ
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 3:57
  • 5
    I speak BrEng. I would say "I drove from Brooklyn to Queens". I would not say "I made a drive from Brooklyn to Queens". I might say "I took a drive around the neighbourhood", but that has an implication of driving for the pleasure of driving, not for the purposes of getting from A to B. Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 10:01
  • @MartinBonner: I speak AmE, and my intuition matches yours. However, I have no problem with, say, "The drive from Brooklyn to Queens took longer than I expected".
    – ruakh
    Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 0:26
  • @ruakh Agreed. That works in BrE too. Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 8:09

"Short drive" or "short trip" are both perfectly idiomatic.

A more colloquial expression for a short trip is a "hop" (see definitions under nouns and phrases), for example:

It's a short hop to the local store.

It is used as an informal way of referring to any short journey, especially one you might make regularly.

When speaking about a regular journey that you make, such as a daily commute to work, it is idiomatic to refer to any hop/trip/journey using the indefinite article, for example:

Yesterday I made the short hop from Brooklyn to Queens in my car.


The general activity is driving, no matter the distance. You can qualify the trip as a 'short drive' if you really want to structure the sentence the way you did (but see a bit further down on other ways you might express the same thing). In general, English tends to prefer to use phrases like this to express specific concepts instead of using special words. There are, as with anything in English, exceptions to this practice, but you will almost always be understood if you choose to phrase things this way instead of using more specific nouns.

You might also hear 'short trip' used in the same way, which has largely the same meaning but doesn't necessarily imply that any particular vehicle (or any vehicle at all for that matter) was used, just that the person traveled a short distance from one location to the other.

However, I would probably not structure things this way in the first place. At least in the American Midwest, it's far more common when you're specifying both the point of origin and the destination to just say that you drove from the first location to the second location. So, your example might instead be better worded as "Yesterday I drove from Brooklyn to Queens". Note how this does not try to qualify the distance traveled, because that's usually implicitly known (or at least, generically understood) based on the two locations that were mentioned. This also can be easily extended to include the exact distance if required.

Going a bit further, if you were known to be somewhere specific at the time you started traveling to the destination, you might just omit the point of origin altogether and simply say you made a short drive to your destination. Using your example, if you were known to be in Brooklyn yesterday, you could instead say: 'I took a short drive to Queens yesterday."


Aside from words mentioned in other answers, like "trip" and "drive", you might also hear it simply as:

Yesterday I drove from Brooklyn to Queens.

The distance might often be implied by context, i.e. the listener is familiar with the places, and the distance between them.

If you didn't expect they'd be familiar, you might actually say something like (if you really wanted to express the idea of it being a short distance):

Yesterday I drove from Brooklyn to Queens, which isn't too far.

Or, as said by @Astralbee, you might describe it as a "short" trip or drive.

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