The word "Priority"

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The word "Priority"

Post by Kangas on Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:09 pm

Hi all,

The other day I was talking with a friend and we were talking about the common mistakes that occur when you try to convert a Portuguese sentence into English.

One of the words that came to mind was the word priority.

For example in Portuguese when you say "dar prioridade" regarding to traffic rules it is translated to english by "give way" and not by "give priority" .

But then we start thinking of other sentences and if it would be correct using the word "Priority". I must confess that I've got a bit confused on this one even though I live in Australia and I listen to natives everyday.

So if any colleague could help me on this one ...

The examples are:

1 - You go on the road with someone. Then you get to an intersection and the person who is with you prepares to cross without giving way to another other car. You say: "Stephanie stop!That guy has priority over you ... you must give way!"

2 - You witness an accident on the road. When you get home you tell your brother about it. You say: "I saw a terrible accident today. There was two cars involved, a blue and a red car. The accident happened because the guy of the blue car didn't respect the red car's priority and crossed without giving him way."

Are these two sentences correct?

Thank you very much for your help

Regards

Kangas

Kangas

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Age : 39
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Sort-Of :-)

Post by XionXxen on Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:59 am

Hi Kangas,

Priority is a word that is used more by American people, rather than the English (sorry, British) in these circumstances. Your sentences are sound, but in Britain it would be easy to tell you were not native. You might pass it off in America but I'm not sure about Australia.

I might say "Stephanie stop!That guy has right of way!" or "I saw a terrible accident today. There were two cars involved, a blue and a red car. The accident happened because the guy in the blue car didn't respect the red car's right of way and crossed without giving way."

Priority is more used in sentences like "Sorting out my finances is my number 1 priority." or "My priority is passing my exams."

I think the British have a peculiar set of phrases for driving and roads, mainly due to history. We can call a road with traffic in both directions either a road, lane or street but they were originally called a carriageway when carriages used to run on them. A road with a central reservation (or divide in America) is called a dual-carriageway and we also have motorways, using the 'way' stem for the modern motorcar. That's why the language is right of way and give way.

Hope that helps!

XionXxen

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Re: The word "Priority"

Post by Kangas on Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:34 pm

Hi XionXxen,

It did help indeed! Very Happy

Your explanation was great, thank you very much.

I'm also not sure about Australia, but I'm almost sure it will follow the British rule. Maybe some of our members also living in Australia could tell us about that. Razz

In Australia we also call roads, lanes and streets as well as we also have motorways. It's very similar to the English from England. Smile

Thank you so much for your help.

Regards

Kangas

Kangas

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