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Hi,

could someone please answer my (slightly unusual) questions that came to my mind when I was driving home yesterday?

1. Parking

What is the most common and natural question about where someone parked their car?

Where are you parked? OR Where did you park? OR something else?

2. Seatbelts

If you're driving, how do you remind your "passengers" to fasten their seat belts?

Fasten your seatbelts(, please) seems to be the obvious choice but can you just say "(Your) seatbelts (, please)." ?

Can you use the phrase Fasten your seatbelts non-literally, such as in "You want to hear that story? Well, fasten your seatbelts. It goes like this..." or "Fasten your seatbelts because it's not going to be an easy task..."
I'm quite sure you can but is this usage common and are the contexts in my examples correct? In the former example: I want to say/do something surprising. In the latter example: I'm talking about a difficult situation / task.

3. Driver / Passengers

Is it to OK to call the people who are not behind the steering wheel passengers when speaking about a car (not bus/train)?

4. Indicators

Imagine the driver has forgotten to indicate. What is the common way to remind him/her to do it?

In my opinion, "Indicate!" seems to be the obvious choice. The reason why I'm asking for confirmation is that in my mother tongue we would say "Indicators!"(i.e. the name of the blinking orange lights, not the verb describing the action) in such a situation. Emotion: wink

Thanks in advance.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
1. I never heard "shoot the lights" before, but we call it "running a red light" or "running through a red light."

2. Yup, we use "automatic" as a noun that way all the time.

3. I usually hear "yeild" or "yeild the right of way."

Happy to help. Emotion: big smile
Just a couple more cents…

Turn signals – are the lights that tell other drivers that you are intending to make a left or right turn.

Indicators – usually are referred to the lights that tell you something is wrong or lights that are normally off until a function is activated. For the troubled conditions, the lights are turned on by the sensors when a condition started to develop, like radiator over heating, low oil level, low brake lining, or defrost heater on/off. Etc.. For on/ off status indicators, they are lit when the driver manually activate or turn them on, like the high beam or defrost heater.

Please your seat belt or buckle up
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GoodmanJust a couple more cents…

Turn signals – are the lights that tell other drivers that you are intending to make a left or right turn.

Indicators – usually are referred to the lights that tell you something is wrong or lights that are normally off until a function is activated. For the troubled conditions, the lights are turned on by the sensors when a condition started to develop, like radiator over heating, low oil level, low brake lining, or defrost heater on/off. Etc.. For on/ off status indicators, they are lit when the driver manually activate or turn them on, like the high beam or defrost heater.

Please your seat belt or buckle up
In BrE, indicators are the same thing as turn signals in AmE. Now that's interesting: what's the British term for "American" indicators???

P.S. Also, I'd love to know whether Britons really use the term "demister". Defogger sounds much better, in my opinion. Emotion: smile
Right, let's see if I can remember all these questions from so many people. Emotion: thinking

In the UK

GG - Indicators/indicate seems much more sensible than blinkers to me. After all, it's not the only context where 'indicate' is used to mean 'tell us your intentions', is it? But yes, you'd say 'Nona, don't forget to indicate!' or just 'indicators!'. I've been giving my son driving lessons (practise, he does have real lessons) and never mind the indicators, probably the one thing I yell most is 'start braking now....you should be braking now...brake now....brake NOW.....NOW.....BRAAAAAKE!' Emotion: smile

The little lights on the dashboard that tell you when you have a problem are also called indicators sometimes but usually just 'one of the lights on my dashboard' or a 'warning light'. My brakes warning light, my oil level warning light.

Goodman - yes it is a demister.

Past simple

Seatbelts. I would only normally check that children have done their seatbelts but I must admit that my dad still checks with us every single time we get in his car even though we are all decidedly grown-up. Just saying 'seatbelts?' in an authoritative but questioning tone of voice seems to do it. Or 'Have you done your seatbelt?' 'Have you got your seatbelt on?'

Red lights. You 'run a red-light' or slightly more commonly I think 'go through a red light'.

Automatic. Yes, just the noun 'automatic' is used to describe these cars. We do have them - they are just a lot less popular than manuals here. (note 'manual' used as noun too). My boyfriend only drives an automatic, the big girl! They are considered a bit wimpy over here...for people who can't drive very well. Not actually true in his case but that is their image.

Yield/give way. We only use 'give way' here in the UK. In fact, you'll even find road signs saying 'give way' at junctions where you don't have right of way, which is something I believe American tourists usually find quite commical and they like taking photos of the signs! Emotion: smile. You give way at junctions, you give way to the right at roundabouts

(ooohh there's another thing we love here in the UK that scares USAnians half to death when they first encounter one, so I understand. Near me is a multi roundabout that is actually 6 roundabouts and you can weave in and out them all in either direction! Sounds like chaos and brings a lump to the throat when you first approach it, but it actually makes a lot of sense once you get the hang of it. See the attached pic. There is one big central roundabout surrounded by 5 small roundabouts at each junction and you really can turn either clockwise or anti-clockwise around the whole thing. There are only a handful like this in the country and they are scary on first encountering them. At normal roundabouts you only ever travel clockwise.)

European driving. Eeeeeeek! I don't think I would ever try to drive in Europe. (now what do you deduce about the British mind-set from that?)

Does that cover everything? Any more for any more?
Nona The BritEuropean driving. Eeeeeeek! I don't think I would ever try to drive in Europe. (now what do you deduce about the British mind-set from that?)
...that Britons are a part of Europe, yet they are different from the rest of Europe (i.e. continental Europe) Emotion: wink. With "being different" interpreted as "refusing to go metric and switch to driving on the right" by most of the continental Europeans. But we like them anyway. Emotion: smile
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