Signs are everywhere around us. On the streets, at the subway station, in the mall etc. And sometimes the words are in English so it’s hard to tell what message they are saying.
You’re lucky if there’s a picture that can help you understand. If not, you have to consider the whole situation and guess the meaning. There’s usually a similar sign in your own country and language anyway. So, you can make a good guess.
Well, here are 10 of the most common street signs and warnings in English that you might come across. It would be very practical for you to learn them, for your own safety and future emergency.
|all images courtesy of stock.xchng|
This sign simply means that there are construction workers who are working in the area. You can see men wearing yellow hard hats. They could be drilling a hole in the street:
The complete version of this sign is:
(There are some) men at work (here).
at work = working
“Tow-away zone” means a space where parking isn't allowed or it’s illegal. If you park your car in this space, it will be towed away.
“Tow away” means to pull your car away using another car or a truck.
“Post No Bills” means you mustn’t put any notice or advertising poster on that wall or in that place.
The word “bill” in this sign is another expression for advertisements. This expression is quite old so people sometimes get confused about what this sign means.
“Mind the gap” was first used on the Underground in the UK. This sign means that you should be careful when you leave the tube (train) because there’s a space between this and the platform.
The space between the tube and the platform is the “gap.”
“Honking” means blowing your car horn.
As you can imagine, blowing or honking the car horn makes a lot of noise. So, in certain places this is not allowed.
“Hump” is short for “speed hump” or “road hump.”
It's a bump on the road usually made of asphalt or concrete. Humps help slow and minimize traffic on residential roads (not usually main roads). They also prevent speeding.
As you probably know, warning signs are needed to notify a driver before a hump.
“Slippery when wet.” This sign is a shortened message; the complete sentence is:
(This floor is) slippery when (it is) wet.
Another sign is actually more common than this one and carries almost the same meaning. It is:
Caution: Wet Floor
“Pickpockets” are thieves (singular: thief) who will steal your wallet from your pocket.
“Beware” means you should be careful and alert to danger.
SOS is a signal that is understood worldwide. It is sent by people on a ship when they are in danger. Most people believe that SOS means “Save Our Ship.”
In any case, it’s a signal that means danger and the need for help.
These days, the meaning of SOS is clear to most people. This signal is used for emergency help only.
So, in the photo above, an SOS phone means an emergency phone.
“Trespassing” means entering somebody’s land or property without permission. In other words, you are entering a private place illegally.
If you do this, you will become a “trespasser,” and you will be “prosecuted.”
“Prosecute” means to bring legal action against someone.
Hope you learned something!