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I wonder if the structure of the following sentence is correct:

I'm off to my place with my car.

I'm the one driving the car, but I prefer not to use the verb drive. Would the following alternative make sense?

I'm off to my place in my car.

If anyone can help me handle this sentence without using drive, I'd really appreciate it.

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2 Answers 2

Your second sentence I'm off to my place in my car would be perfectly recognisable in Australian English. The alternative with my car suggests that the car is accompanying you rather than being driven by you.

As an aside, vernacular Australian would avoid identifying the ownership of the car, so the response to Where's John? is He's off to the library in the car.

And if the purpose of the trip was to make a purchase, you would be off down the shops in the car, regardless of the direction to the shops. We speak a strange dialect.

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Thanks for your answer. That's great to hear that the preposition 'in' usage in the sentence would be good in Australian English but I'm looking for a word that makes sense in all different dialects of English. Do you have a any suggestion? –  John Smith Mar 11 '13 at 14:59
    
The use of "in my car" also applies to Canadian English, and - if experience serves well - in American English. The examples using off, would be phrased as "he went to the library in the car" and "he's going to the store in the car". It would be more common though to say "he took the car to the library/store". –  Wayne Johnston Mar 12 '13 at 3:17

I wonder why you're so desperate to avoid "drive."

And just in case you're interested, this way of saying it (apparently common in Australian English) would be unusual in American English. An American would likely say, "I'm going home," and that's all; we wouldn't generally bother, nor would we usually see the need, to mention how we're getting there, unless there were some special importance to the mode of transportation, as in this example: "I'm going home, and I'm not taking the subway. I've got my own car now!"

There are also creative ways of "handling this sentence," as you ask us to do. You can completely restructure it if you like, and here are some examples:

"I'll just hop in my car and head home." "I need to go home. Where's my car?" "I'll take my car and make my way home." "My car and I are going to team up to get me home."

You can get into some fairly strange constructions, as you can see, which can be used to say the same thing, if it works for the story you're writing.

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Thanks for the answer. The reason I desperately avoid 'drive' is because I gotta find a word holds both the meanings of driving and riding the car. I know it's unusual in US to mention the transportation within the sentence as you said but I just want to find a way to say I'm off to somewhere .... my car. –  John Smith Mar 11 '13 at 13:33
    
So split the difference: “I’m going home in my car.” It works equally well if you’re Joe Wage-Earner who is lucky to own a car, or Joe Millionaire who has a chauffeur. // On a related (?) note, “ride” is commonly used for anybody obtaining transportation on a motorcycle, operator and passenger alike. –  Scott Mar 11 '13 at 18:40
    
@JohnSmith You're forgetting something important, which is REALITY. "Drive" of necessity includes "ride." You can't drive a car without riding in it, so "drive" already does include both "drive" and "ride," and there's no need to state "ride" in addition to "drive," nor is there any need for any other word to encompass both things. –  John M. Landsberg Mar 12 '13 at 5:41
    
@JohnM.Landsberg what if I'm not driving by riding my friend's car with the company of my friend who is actually driving the car. So can I say 'I'm riding my friend's car'? Because as I remember, I came across with an forum on internet saying the difference between ride and the drive is, you gotta be driving the car to use the verb 'drive', for the 'ride' it's enough you to be inside of a vehicle traveling. –  John Smith Mar 13 '13 at 15:12
    
@JohnSmith We don't say "riding a car," ever. If your friend is driving, and you are a passenger, you would say, "I am riding in my friend's car." Everyone in the car (including the driver) rides in the car; only the driver drives the car. I'll flip this statement around the other way to emphasize the point: The driver "drives the car," and also "rides in the car." Everyone else "rides in the car." –  John M. Landsberg Mar 14 '13 at 1:44

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