Explanations » B1 Vocabulary Explanations » Transport – B1 English Vocabulary


In this B1 Intermediate Vocabulary Lesson, you will learn about various means of transport, common phrases used in transportation, and essential vocabulary used to talk about different transport (UK) or transportation (US) situations.

Means of transport

Set of pictures of different modes of transport including train, tram, bus, coach, underground subway, lorry truck, van, and ferry.

Here’s a list of the main means of transport (UK) or transportation (US).

1 A train is a series of connected vehicles on tracks for transporting people or goods.

2 A tram is a rail vehicle that runs on city streets, used for short-distance travel.

3 A bus is a large vehicle that carries passengers on the road. Buses follow a particular route.

4 A coach in the UK is a bus used for travelling longer distances.

5 The subway (US) or the underground (UK), also called the tube (UK), is a train system that operates in tunnels below cities.

6 A lorry (UK) or truck (US) is a large vehicle for transporting goods.

7 A van is a medium-sized vehicle used for carrying goods or people.

8 A ferry is a large boat used for transporting passengers and vehicles.

On the road

Infographic for the B1 intermediate English vocabulary lesson on transport that shows a set of pictures of various transportation elements such as bus/tram stop, train station, platform, etc.

When travelling around a city, you’ll often go to a 1 bus or tram stop, where these vehicles stop to pick up or drop off passengers. If take a longer journey, you might head to a 2 train/railway station. Here, you’ll wait on a 3 platform, which is the area where passengers board a train. When you take a train or a bus, you might purchase a 4 single ticket for a one-way trip or a 5 return ticket if you plan to go and come back.

When you have a long-distance journey on the road, you will probably use a 6 motorway (UK) or highway/freeway (US). These roads have multiple lanes. A 7 lane is a part of a road marked by painted lines. In towns and cities, there are bus lanes or cycle lanes, which can only be used by these types of vehicles. When you are on the road, you must be aware of 8 speed cameras and always drive within the speed limit. Unfortunately, 9 road accidents or car crashes often occur because drivers are going too fast or are not paying attention. Road accidents, or too many vehicles on the road, cause 10 traffic jams, which are long lines of vehicles that cannot move.

Navigating through cities, you’ll come across different means to control the traffic, such as 11 traffic lights or 12 roundabouts, which are circles where several roads meet.

Verbs and verb phrases

Visual guide to transport-related verbs including get on, get off, get in, get out, board, pick up, fill up the tank, run out of petrol/gas, commute, get to, miss, and take (it takes...).

When you 1 get on a vehicle, you enter it to start your journey. We use this phrase with larger means of transport, such as buses, trains, underground trains, planes, or ships, because it’s similar to getting on a platform. The opposite action is to 2 get off, which means to leave one of these types of transport when you reach your destination or stop. For smaller vehicles, which are more like a box, such as boats, cars, taxis or vans, we use 3 get in to mean ‘enter.’ Conversely, when you 4 get out or get out of the vehicle, you are leaving it.

5 To board is a more formal way of saying ‘get on’ and is often used with planes and ships.

  • He had to board the plane without his family.

6 If someone is coming to pick you up, they are coming in their vehicle to take you to another place.

  • Can you pick me up at the airport?

7 When you fill (up) the tank, you put fuel, like petrol (UK) or gas (US), into your vehicle’s tank. On the other hand, if you 8 run out of petrol/gas, it means you have no more fuel left to operate your vehicle.

  • We need to fill up the tank. We are running out of petrol.

9 Many people commute to work, which means they travel some distance to their workplace regularly. Commute is also used as a noun to refer to your journey to work.

  • Richard commutes to London every day. 
  • I have a 30-minute commute to work.

10 When you get to a place, you arrive there.

11 If you miss a train, bus, or other form of transport, you fail to catch it because you were late or it left earlier than expected.

12 The phrase it takes… is used to talk about the amount of time needed to go from one place to another. And we can say “How long does it take (you)” to ask about the duration of a journey.

  • It takes (me) one hour to get to the station.
  • How long does it take (you) to get to the airport?