When we ride a ve­hi­cle, we con­trol it as it moves, or we sit in­side it as a pas­sen­ger. You can go horse rid­ing (UK) or horse­back rid­ing (N. Am.), ride a bike or ride a mo­tor­bike, but you can also ride the bus or ride the sub­way.

If you give some­one a ride (N. Am.) or a lift (UK), you take them with you in your car. They might ride shot­gun (N. Am. ifml.) if they sit in the front pas­sen­ger seat. Don’t con­fuse this with tak­ing some­one for a ride (ifml.), which means to “cheat or trick them”.

At the fair­ground, a ride is also a large ma­chine peo­ple ride on for fun, like a roller­coaster ride.

Some­one who sur­vives a cri­sis or hard times is said to ride

out the storm or ride it out.

Some­one who is very pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful is said to be rid­ing high. Don’t con­fuse this with rid­ing up, which means that an item of cloth­ing is mov­ing up­wards out of its proper po­si­tion: “My new skirt rides up when I walk!”


When we drive a ve­hi­cle, we sit in­side it and op­er­ate it: “Most adults can prob­a­bly drive a car.” You shouldn’t op­er­ate a ve­hi­cle if you have drunk al­co­hol: “Don’t drink and drive!”

If some­one drives a ve­hi­cle as their job, we call them a driver, such as a lorry (N. Am.: truck) driver,a bus driver or a taxi driver.

You can also use the word “drive” to de­scribe dif­fer­ent kinds of ve­hi­cles, such as four-wheel drives or right-hand drives.

You might have a drive­way, or drive, out­side your house. This is the pri­vate park­ing space or short road lead­ing from the street to your house.

You might also have a drive in your com­puter, which is the part that stores in­for­ma­tion. A disk drive is the part of a com­puter that passes data be­tween a disk and the com­puter’s mem­ory.

If you like sports, you might drive a golf ball or drive a

ten­nis ball by hit­ting it very hard and far.

Peo­ple who work hard be­cause of a strong de­sire to suc­ceed are said to have a lot of drive. You can also say that they are driven by am­bi­tion. If some­one or some­thing an­noys you, you can say it drives

you crazy or it drives you up the wall (ifml.): “We love our three-year-old, but some­times, she drives us crazy!”

If you ask some­one What are you driv­ing at?, you’d like to know what they re­ally mean.

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