Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever heard people talk about their commute in English?

Have you heard people complain about how long it takes to get to and from work?

Have you heard people talk about how they wish they worked from home?

We’re going to talk about what a commute is, and how you can make a conversation with a native English speaker at work talking about this very common topic.

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Commutes Are Often An Inevitable Part of Life

There’s no doubt that working from home can definitely have its perks..

It seems to be more prevalent as people have the ability to manage their jobs from home.

Commuting can be tough depending on where you live.

Many people have a rather lengthy commute, and this takes up a lot of time in a given day.

This is a common situation where you have to go a significant distance or length of time to get to and from work.

It’s Helpful To Know How To Talk About This

So how can you share information about your commute?

This is a big conversation starter when you first start talking to somebody.

We are going to share one main phrase that will really help you consolidate your explanation of your commute.

First of all, the word “commute” is almost always used to talk about traveling to work.

It can be used to talk about traveling to other places, but it’s really more about the day to day commute to and from work.

Commutes can vary significantly, even heading into work versus heading out of work.

One Phrase Ties It All Together

So what is this one useful and common phrase?

The phrase to help you in talking about commutes is “door-to-door.”

It sounds so simple, and yet it’s so common.

This useful phrase can describe your commute one way, from the beginning to the end.

It’s literally how long it takes you to get from one DOOR to the final DOOR.

Making This Part of Conversation

You might talk about the details of your commute such as the type of transportation that you use.

You might talk about how far you walk or where you pick up your transportation.

In the end though, you will likely talk about total time you spend traveling.

Door to door is a way to say “in total” for your commute.

It shows people how much of your day is spent getting from your door to your employer’s door.

Other Helpful Ways To Talk About This

Though door-to-door tends to be the most common, there are other ways to describe your commute.

Knowing these and using them can help you to really feel comfortable talking about these issues.

  • One-way: Just what it says that this is how long it takes you to get through one half of your journey. You might say “It takes me 20 minutes one way.”
  • Round trip: This is similar to door-to-door because it talks about a total travel time. You might say “It takes me 40 minutes round trip.”
  • During the morning/evening rush hour: Travel times may vary between the morning and the evening. It may take you 20 minutes in the morning and much longer in the evening, or vice versa.
  • With traffic: This factors in traffic as that plays a significant role in your commute time. You might say “It takes me about a half hour with traffic.”

All of these phrases help you to talk about your commute, and they can go hand in hand in conversation.


Commute time is a huge conversation topic when you are trying to have small talk with your colleagues at work.

Door to door is one unique phrase to use that can describe the total time it takes you to get from one door to the other.

It’s a convenient way to discuss your commute.

This is one of those things that many people have in common, so it’s a great way to get a conversation going.

Try it and see how you can make great connections by talking about a common theme like this.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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