intersection, junction, crossroads

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Hi

Could anyone please explain me the differences betweenn these types of a road joint?
Which one is the most general term?
Are there any local (AE/BE) differences between them?
Which one would you use in such a sentence:
Could we meet at the ... of Upper Brook Street and Park Street?

Any contributions would be more than welcome,
Thomas
 
  • nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Have you downloaded the glossary for driving directions? It defines many such terms quite well.

    And you could always add the polish terms if you like ;-)

    In America:
    Surface streets intersect.
    Freeways have interchanges, exits, overpaseses and underpasses.

    A junction is more of a plumbing or electical term than a driving term. It would be understood, but seem an odd choice of words.

    While a crossroads refers literally to an intersection, its usually used in more figurative terms with conceptual things. A crossroads in one's life, for example.
     

    Kelly B

    Curmodgeratrice
    USA English
    I agree with NYC; the appropriate word (American English) for your sentence is intersection.
     

    bartonig

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thomas1 said:
    Hi

    Could anyone please explain me the differences betweenn these types of a road joint?
    Which one is the most general term?
    Are there any local (AE/BE) differences between them?
    Which one would you use in such a sentence:
    Could we meet at the ... of Upper Brook Street and Park Street?

    Any contributions would be more than welcome,
    Thomas

    In the context of roads and in British English:

    These are common usages:

    1. Let's meet at the crossroads.
    The crossroads is a place where two roads join and cross each other. You can chose to carry on on the same road or join the other. The roads can be any type except a motorway.

    2. Let's meet at the junction.
    The junction is a place where two or more roads meet, join or cross. Sometimes, especially on roads built in the last 40 years or so, there are ramps, sliproads, underpasses and overpasses for traffic needing to move from one road to another. The places where you get on or off a motorway and some other major roads are always called junctions and almost always have a roundabout system above or below the motorway. The beginnings and ends of motorways don't always follow this rule.

    3. There's a roundabout just down the road. Take the third turning (on the left is understood).
    The junctions of roads are sometimes in the form of a roundabout to ease traffic flow.

    4. There's a pub after the third turning on the right.
    The turning is any place where you can leave the road and move onto another road. In this instruction the pub is on the same road. The turnings have to be counted but not taken. You can instruct someone to take a turning but on a motorway you'd say take the next junction and then, when on the roundabout above or below it, advise him to take this or that turning.

    5. At the T-junction, turn left.
    The T-junction is a place where one road ends as it joins another road. So, from whichever direction you approach you have two choices.

    6. Take the left fork.
    The fork is a place where either a road divides or two roads combine so that there is one acute angle and two obtuse. A bit like a Y shape.

    There are others. Basically, all of these are intersections. Come to think of it, they're all junctions!

    A typical direction could be:

    A. (Pulling up by a man on the pavement) Where's the Vine?
    B. What mate?
    A. The Vine. The pub.

    B. You mean the Bull and Bladder! (some pubs are known by two names)
    A. No, the Vine.
    B. Yer. You mean the Bull. Are you walking or taking the motor?
    A. (Revving the engine). I'm driving.
    B. Alright! Don't get sarky. Go down here to the crossroads and turn left. Follow that road but be careful. You want the third junction of the right. If you miss it you'll get to a roundabout and that's no good. You'll have to come back. Go down that road, the third turning, that is, it's only a little lane, and then there's a fork. Go right and then left at a T-junction. Make sure you don't go right because that'll take you to the motorway junction. The pub's about a 100 yards on the left. .... and so on.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    So, in AE "intersection" word is in the use and in BE "junction" and "crossroads" (depending on the road type).
    NYC I've checked the translations in Polish-English dictionary but they're all translated as a one word since we don't defferentiate between a surface road joint and motorway joint, there isn't any differentiation if the word is AE or BE either. The glossary for driving directions seems an apt suggestion ;)
    Bartonig thanks for a thorough and clear explanation, it's much more han I expected :)

    Thank you guys for the answers
     

    naplb

    Member
    English - Australia
    In Australian English, we only say "intersection". Crossroads is only ever used in the figurative sense, or for some old (usually dirt) country roads where there's an intersection but no traffic lights.
     
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