'As I walked up the drive, his dog started barking.'

The expression 'walked up the drive' seems quite strange to me. I am unsure of what it means. Please explain and give some further examples.

  • And it should have stayed there. This is a profound subject. When do we use 'up' and 'down' the road etc?
    – WS2
    May 12 '14 at 22:59

We use 'up' and 'down' when we simply mean along. It is a complex matter understanding exactly which of them is the more appropriate in any example. But in the case of a 'drive', i.e. the road leading to a house or other building, if you are walking in the direction of the building you would normally say 'up'. However if there were a hill involved, you would use up and down according to whether you were going uphill or downhill.

  • Up can be used when approaching something (the drive[way] is a path to your house, so up means you are walking toward the house) and converse for down.
    – LawrenceC
    May 25 '15 at 15:36

It means walking up the driveway (where you park a car in front of a house) towards the house. It could equally be "As I walked to the front door, his dog started barking".


In many cases a driveway outside of a home is graded such that rain and snow will run off into the street -- it is not perfectly horizontal, by design. So if one is walking toward the home from the street or sidewalk, and is on the driveway, one IS walking "up". The lower end of the driveway is near the street.

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