Learn English Phrases – Off the beaten path / In the middle of nowhere

Everyday English Speaking Course

Hi students, how are you today? It’s Shayna from Espressoenglish.net and today’s phrases both have to do with travel. The first one is, “it’s off the beaten path.” When you describe a place as being off the beaten path, this means that it’s in a location where not many people go there.

For example, if you have a bit city that receives a lot of tourists and 20km outside the city there’s a little village which is also interesting to visit, but most people don’t go there; they stay in the city. You could say, “The village is off the beaten path.” It’s a bit distant from the areas where most visitors and most people tend to go and stay. A place being off the beaten path is actually considered a good thing because when you visit, it won’t be very crowded.

Another expression to describe the location of a place is “it’s in the middle of nowhere.” This means that a place is extremely isolated; it’s very distant from all the other important places and important cities.

For example, when we were taking a road trip across the country, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. This means we were very far from the nearest city, the nearest gas station and any other signs of civilisation.

Whereas off the beaten path is usually considered positive, in the middle of nowhere is considered a little bit negative, because it means you’re very distant from everything.

So those are two phrases you can use when traveling. It’s off the beaten path, meaning a place is distant from the areas that most people go; and in the middle of nowhere, meaning a place is extremely isolated.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s video and tune in tomorrow for another phrase of the day.

You’ll learn hundreds of conversational English expressions in this course:

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