It's probably a basic question but I got a little obsessive about it. When you 'take a ride', can you be the driver, too?

  1. Do these two sentences:

I took a ride in my car/in a car.

make you think of two different situations? e.i. 'in my car' makes you think I'm driving it and 'in a car' makes you think someone else is the driver? Or in both you think of me sitting in the back seat?

  1. Is the same true about bicycle? 'I take a ride on my bike' means 'I ride my bike?'

  2. How about a 'bus' or any public transport? Is a bus driver while driving the bus taking a ride, too?

  • 1
    For a bus, you would be more likely to say "take a bus" rather than "take a ride on a bus" Ditto for taxis- "take a taxi". You can use the expressions "take a ride", "take a hike" and "take a running jump" to indicate annoyance with somebody, usually not to their face, for example "If he thinks he can treat me like that, he can take a running jump". (... and if you "take somebody for a ride" it means that you are cheating them.)
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 7:55
  • For "I took a ride in my car.", I think you would more likely find "I went for a drive in my car." In this case you are driving, but you could pluralize it for a driver and passengers.
    – user3169
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can be the driver. Since it's your car, it's likely you will be the driver, unless you have a chauffeur.

  1. Yes, to some extent they do. If you take a ride in a car, it generally means that you took a ride in someone else's car. If you speak of your car you're typically the one who is driving. It is possible, of course, that someone else drove you home in your car, perhaps because you spent too much time drinking at a bar. In families, where children and spouses take rides in their car, one generally will say the car, unless there are two cars (one Mom drives and one Dad drives) and you want to specifically draw a distinction between the two. For example, a mother might say "You ride in my car and Joey will ride in Dad's car."

  2. "I take a ride on my bike" has a pretty similar meaning to "I ride my bike." The distinction is that taking a ride means riding the bike once, whereas riding a bike is more general. Look at these:

    I like to ride my bike.
    I like to take rides on my bike.

These two have a similar meaning, and you'll notice that "take rides" is plural.

  1. No, generally someone who is driving in a professional capacity will be said to be "driving" the bus. The passengers will "ride" or "ride on" (note that it isn't "ride in") the bus.
  • 2
    Take a ride usually has overtones beyond just the literal ride. It often implies a bit of recreation or getting away.
    – shawnt00
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 7:16
  • Just so. I was looking for the right way to put that, struggling with things like "take a ride to the grocery store." But usually, yes, recreational or leisure activity.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 7:33
  • 1
    @javalatte I've never heard "take a ride" used in that manner, personally. I have heard the others. There's also "take a long walk off a short pier." :)
    – BobRodes
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 7:52

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