So today we want to talk about passing rules. And the first thing is that passing should always be done in the left lane. We should never pass a car to the right. It should always be done to the left. And the first thing we want to do if we want to make a good, safe pass is to put our indicator on and let the vehicles behind us know that we want to make this action of passing to the left.

The second thing is you can never pass over a solid line. So if you’re in a situation where you’re on a highway or in a situation where the line is solid, a pass is not allowed over a solid line. It has to be a staggered line. So we want to wait for that part of the highway where our line is staggered, and that’s when we can make our pass. You can’t pass over a solid line.

So you’re going to put your indicator on and then you’re going to start to look. You’re going to start to make sure it’s safe to make the pass. The first thing might be to check your mirrors. So you want to check your side view mirror to make sure it’s safe. Then you want to quickly turn your head. Make sure there isn’t any other car in our space of which we want to pass. And then we want to move our car into the lane and pass the vehicle on our right side.

(A source for this is Passing Rule for Driving).

I am really confused about use of you want to in the coach's speech. Could you tell me please if you want to and you are going to have any fixed usage in very informal speech or not.

I am pretty sure that the first we want to has its completely usual meaning of having an intention or willing, so I did not highlight it. But other want to's in the rest of the transcript perhaps have other meanings, don't they? And please do not tell me that this is not perfect or correct English; I know that is real English but so informal. And perhaps it must have a meaning? Do you want to and you are going to here mean you should? And if so, is it fixed meaning in slang? In informal and every day speaking? A million thanks in advance.

  • There is nothing special about them at all (and neither of them means "should"). Perhaps you will find the coach's speech more natural if you think of the narrative (what your coach says) as coach narrating what is happening right now. Apr 24, 2015 at 16:05
  • This is not "really informal English." It is, if we need to label it, "semi-formal," in that the coach or presenter is using what @Catija has aptly labeled as "instructor speech" or, also, "instruction speech." One will find similar type language in many teaching situations.
    – user6951
    Apr 24, 2015 at 17:38
  • 1
    Note: it is also common for instructors to say "going to want to". This phrase has effectively the same meaning. Apr 24, 2015 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


This isn't necessarily informal English. I'm making up my own term but it's appropriate to call it "instructor-speech"...

It's extremely common for someone teaching how to do something (baking, painting, driving etc...) to use "want to" and "going to" to describe the appropriate action or choice in a situation.

Because it's a how-to situation, they are explaining what you should do in the situation, though it's situational to their set of recommendations. Should can imply that it's required but that isn't usually the case in how-to situations, as there are many possible choices.

Here are some examples

Want to:

You want to wait until the coals are very hot and the firebox of the woodstove is completely heated.

Going to:

And we’re going to do indirect heat from now on. We’re going to let this cook for another 30 minutes, 45 minutes or so, until it’s about 150, 155 degrees, and then we’re going to come out with our barbecue sauce and start layering on barbecue sauce over the next 15, or so, minutes.

"Want to" and "going to" are sometimes followed by an explanation of why you want to do it at that point in time.

Want to with explanation:

And that you really want to watch because you want to stir it so it doesn’t burn and you want all the chocolate chips melted together with the peanut butter.

Going to with explanation:

So now I'm going to remove these blocks of wood with a chisel. I'm going to start at the corner and take chips out to see if the grain is diving or rising. Whenever we're removing gross material we want to have the bevel down on the chisel.

  • 1
    Terrific! But I'd say that in this particular example, the 'coach' or presenter has more a meaning of "you should" rather than "you can." (Although, in fact, 'you can' can also be a polite way of giving commands: 'Bob, you can sit over there.'). Anyway, the presenter is saying this is the way to pass a car, and he is coming from a 'you should do this' approach, which is appropriate for the material and setting.
    – user6951
    Apr 24, 2015 at 17:41
  • I like the "instructor-speech" term. I think one could argue there might be a distinction where "want to" is more of best practices indicator and "going to" is more of a requirement indicator. From the question, one should always use one's turn signal, but quickly turning one's head is (merely, relatively) highly desirable, but perhaps slightly less required. It may hold for the examples here as well (it might be possible to proceed before the coals are "very" hot, but we wouldn't consider doing direct heat). Probably a very small distinction with a lot of overlap.
    – Matthew W
    Apr 24, 2015 at 19:42

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