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I have to tell someone to take a flyover, rather than the road that is besides it to avoid the traffic.

Should I say "Go over the flyover"? This can also mean go to the other side of the flyover.

Could anyone please explain this?

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  • I've never heard of a flyover as a type of road construct. However it seems like you'd want to say, "Take the flyover so you can avoid the traffic." By the way are you instructing somebody who is driving, walking or biking? Take is usually used when somebody is driving. If they are walking I'd probably say, "Use the flyover to avoid the traffic."
    – Jim
    Feb 19, 2013 at 6:56
  • @Jim yeah I know, it is called overpass in US that is what the wiki says
    – Max
    Feb 19, 2013 at 6:58

1 Answer 1

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Let me break this down into two questions:

  • Is "go over the flyover" ambiguous? In your question, you wrote "This can also mean go to the other side of the flyover". However, I don't think that's true. I think this phrase means unambiguously to drive over the flyover, and not to take some other route.

  • Is "go over the flyover" a reasonable way to put it? I think so, yes. However, I would probably say "take the flyover" instead. I think either phrase would be appropriate if you were giving directions, but when you're telling someone which of two or more routes is best, "take the flyover" sounds more natural, at least to me.

Disclaimer: I'm an American, and we don't usually say "flyover" here. The above is what sounds most natural to me, but someone else might have a different opinion.

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    Take is what I would use too, as in "Take the Route 66." I have practiced my English speaking with a friend of mine, who is American; if there are differences between American, and British English, I am probably on the American English side. :)
    – apaderno
    Feb 19, 2013 at 8:58
  • NOAD lists this meaning of flyover as "chiefly Brit." Like Jim, I'd never heard it used in this context until I read this question. As an aside, in the U.S., a flyover usually refers to low-flying aircraft going overhead, as in, "The Navy did a flyover at this year's championship game."
    – J.R.
    Feb 19, 2013 at 9:26
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    @kiamlaluno "Take the Route 66" is subject to variation, too. In Illinois and Northern California, we leave out "the" and say "Take Route 66". Every time I go to Southern California, I'm surprised anew at the way the locals insert the word "the"!
    – user230
    Feb 19, 2013 at 9:58
  • @snailplane I think I mixed up things. :) Reading it now, take Route 66 seems more natural, but I don't remember if that is how my friend (from Long Island) says, or what indications given from a web site say.
    – apaderno
    Feb 19, 2013 at 12:58
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    @kiamlaluno -- I'd be surprised to hear "take the Route 66"; no "the" in (US east coast) dialects I'm familiar with. But "take the Interstate" is quite okay. And "take the flyover" (or "overpass" in the US) is what I'd expect to hear when receiving directions. Feb 19, 2013 at 17:58

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