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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    by car or in the car?

    Dear members of this forum,
    I have a doubt about an expression found on an English school book in Germany... Is it correct to say "Dartmoor is 30 minutes from Plymouth in the car."? Shouldn't it be "Dartmoor is 30 minutes from Plymouth by car."?
    I found this sentence written on the pupils' book. It is part of an exercise to choose true or false after listening to a dialogue. Curiously, to the girl's question "How far is it from Plymouth?", the boy in this dialogue answers "Not very far. It takes about 30 minutes by car." Nowhere in the dialogue nor in the exercise is a reference to a specific car...

    Thank you very much in advance!

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    #2

    Re: by car or in the car?

    "By car" is correct. And you found it "in" a book.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Lightbulb Re: by car or in the car?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruxinha View Post
    Dear members of this forum,
    I have a question about an expression found in an English school book in Germany. Is it correct to say "Dartmoor is 30 minutes from Plymouth in the car."? Shouldn't it be "Dartmoor is 30 minutes from Plymouth by car."?
    I found this sentence written in the pupils' book. It is part of an exercise to choose true or false after listening to a dialogue. Curiously, to the girl's question "How far is it from Plymouth?", the boy in this dialogue answers "Not very far. It takes about 30 minutes by car." Nowhere in the dialogue nor in the exercise is there a reference to a specific car...
    The expression by car refers to the mode of transportation, not a specific vehicle.
    Not a professional teacher

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: by car or in the car?

    Bear in mind, though, that in BrE, you will hear "in the car" instead of "by car" in some contexts.

    Helen: Hi, Steve! Hi, Paul! You're here earlier than I expected. How did you get here?
    Steve: Oh, we came in the car in the end. We couldn't be bothered with faffing around with trains!

    John: Mum, how long will it take us to get to Auntie Sue's?
    Mum: About fifteen minutes in the car or forty-five minutes on the bus.
    John: What if we walk?
    Mum: Don't even think about it! It would take about two hours. My knees aren't up to it!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: by car or in the car?

    Thanks a lot for your answer, emsr2d2! It does make sense...

    I just wonder why the book has a sentence written with "in the car", while the boy in the dialogue says "by car"... that's a bit confusing for pupils, I guess - especially whent it is a "true/false" exercise! Actually the whole sentence is true (Dartmoor is 30 min from Plymouth), but children may think it is false due to this change.

    Have a nice day!

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: by car or in the car?

    Thank you, Dave!

    Sorry, I do know it is "in" the book, I guess it was a typo, because the "o" is right next to the "i"... Shame on me, from now on I'll have to read my posts twice before I send them!

    Have a nice day!

  7. Moderator
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    #7

    Re: by car or in the car?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruxinha View Post
    From now on I'll have to read my posts twice before I send them!
    That's a good idea. Read them again after you've sent them, too. You have 24 hours to correct your mistakes by using the Edit Post feature.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: by car or in the car?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruxinha View Post
    Thanks a lot for your answer, emsr2d2! It does make sense...

    I just wonder why the book has a sentence written with "in the car", while the boy in the dialogue says "by car"... that's a bit confusing for pupils, I guess - especially whent it is a "true/false" exercise! Actually the whole sentence is true (Dartmoor is 30 min from Plymouth), but children may think it is false due to this change.

    Have a nice day!
    Maybe it's an extra little test to see if the students know (or can work out) that "by car" and "in the car" can mean the same thing.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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