Interested in Language
Stop at the red light
Stop on the red light
Take a turn on a red light
take a turn at a red light
Take a turn on the red light
Take a turn at the red light
Right turn on red
Right turn at red
Could you please tick them right or wrong?
Last edited by nyota; 19-Sep-2011 at 18:06.
"Turn right at the traffic light" can mean "turn right as soon as you get to (or see) the traffic light".
I do feel there is more to it, though. And I'd like to know what native speakers think of the last two phrases.
In the US at least, "Right Turn on Red" would be the proper phrase. This refers to a law that was enacted in 1980 that allowed drivers to make a right turn when the traffic light was red, but only after coming to a complete stop first. Individual jurisdictions were allowed to determine which intersections red light right-turners might create a traffic hazard, so warning signs stating "NO TURN ON RED" were erected at these junctions.
This Oregon Driver Manual does have "stop at the red light". How do native speakers automatically decide when to use what? Do they learn from what they hear or see or do they consult grammar books? I think it's a bit of both. We, non-native speakers, find it disturbing when native speakers don't see eye to eye on, supposedly, simple things.
If it's any help, the only reason I know about "Right turn on red" is because I've driven in America.
In BrE, we don't have that rule, so we pretty much consistently use "at".
You have to stop at a red light.
He got a ticket for not stopping at a red light.
She's a terrible driver and frequently fails to stop at red lights.
I got 3 points on my licence for not stopping at a red light. The thing is, I'm convinced that it wasn't red. I think I drove through an amber light.
Go down this road, turn left at the lights and the supermarket is on the right.