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Pavements and Sidewalks – Language Differences

Sidewalk and pavement

Where Do You Walk?

In Great Britain you walk on the pavement. In the United States you walk on the sidewalk.

British English

Users with British English background are often confused by the word pavement. In British English pavement refers to the path along the side of a road, also known as the footpath or footway. In the US and Canada, as well as other non-commonwealth countries, the path along the side of a road is the sidewalk.

In other words, a pavement marking is the marking on the paved part of the road (road marking) and not a marking on the sidewalk. The sidewalk is the area set aside for pedestrians.

Why it is Important

You will see the word pavement in most manuals and it is likely to show up on your official knowledge test, so it is a good idea to make sure you understand what it means.

Sometimes, you will also see the word sidewalk in DMV questions.

Carriageways and Highways

The North American roadway or highway is in British English known as a carriageway. A single carriageway road is an undivided highway and a dual carriageway road is a divided highway.

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  1. Thank you so much for this clarification about pavement because when i read questions with pavement i imagined this must be a small neighbourhood road but the answer given showed something that made me think what a pavement was.

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