Let's I am In my car and I am trying to reverse.

claude23

Banned
FRANCE
Hi,



Let's I am In my car and I am trying to reverse.

What should I say ? I am going backwards or I am reversing . Are they both correct ?


Thank you,

Claude.
 
  • TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    In AE, you're backing up.

    "OK, I'm going to back up now. Is there anyone behind me?"

    Those annoying beeps you hear coming from trucks are called "back-up alarms."

    Elizabeth
     

    claude23

    Banned
    FRANCE
    I heard someone using backwards and reverse as well.

    What would you say if you were using backwards and reverse ?


    Thank you,


    Claude.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    claude23 said:
    Let's say I am in my car and I am trying to reverse.

    I am going backwards. :tick:
    or
    I am reversing. :tick:

    The only way to bring in the word "using" is to say something like
    I am using reverse gear.
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    As maxiogee noted, both of your options are grammatically correct. But in my experience, they are not the way people actually talk. You put your car in reverse so that you can back up. You might get other reactions from the BE speakers...

    Elizabeth
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me, driving backwards sounds rather like you are zipping down the street looking over your shoulder and alarming the other motorists.

    Going in reverse sounds OK, I suppose, but all in all I agree with Trentina.
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    Kelly B said:
    To me, driving backwards sounds rather like you are zipping down the street looking over your shoulder and alarming the other motorists.
    Unfortunately, a not unheard-of soccurrence in the Boston area. :eek: But I think that's why we say "back up." The implication is that when your car is moving backwards/in reverse gear, you should not be going far. You "back up" to reach a parking spot or assist in a turn, and no more! ;)

    Elizabeth
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In BE we are all reversing quite happily.
    We tend not to back up at all.
    Sewers back up when they are blocked... a very alarming phenomenon.

    We would not be driving in reverse, or driving backwards. As suggested, these imply a prolonged period of going in the wrong direction, not the normal short-term use of reverse.
    This is, however, a convenient method of getting from A to B the wrong way down a one-way street - at least you are pointing in the right direction.
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    panjandrum said:
    In BE we are all reversing quite happily.
    We tend not to back up at all.
    Sewers back up when they are blocked... a very alarming phenomenon.
    Somehow I knew there would be a transatlantic difference. ;)

    By the way, our sewers also back up. (Been there, unfortunately.) But in an entirely different context, we also back up our computer files.
     
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