An intersection of four roads, looking kinda like the Union Jack (a saltire plus a cross). An arrow is coming up from the south, making a sharp angle in the middle of the intersection, and exiting to the southeast.

Please see the image. When giving directions, how should I describe what the arrow indicates on the road? My ideas are

  1. turn right backward
  2. turn slightly right backward

I'm not sure if they make sense.

  • 2
    Turn sharply on your first right should cover it. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 6:32

2 Answers 2


As a curiosity, for the "standard" answer to such questions:

you have to look at the sentence formulas currently read by the two major GPS (sat-nav) makers, TomTom and Garmin.

There is no reason you would do anything other than what the two major platforms do, as a matter of safety and consistency.

It's an interesting curiosity that that is sort of the "new OED", for such issues :)

Exactly as Erik said, AT A ROUNDABOUT as far as I know both major platforms would say "in about 1 kilometer, at the roundabout, take the first exit". (I'm pretty sure they state the situation first, rather than "take the first exit at the roundabout")

The OP has said it's not a roundabout, then indeed I think both platforms say [actually I don't remember; but you should use that as your guide].

For whatever software you are working on you should strongly consider the current Garmin/TomTom formulas.

  • For hell's sake, vote up my answer dude! We only do this for poitns! Just joking, but as a new user it is Worthy to vote answers and TICK an answer, as it gives you "points" so you get less moderated, etc, in the future
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 9:47

If there is a roundabout in the middle of that crazy intersection, then "Take the first exit" will cover it. Otherwise, "Turn hard right".

  • thank you for the answer. *the case is not about roundabout.
    – Cavs
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 5:46
  • If it were, and you were in Britain (or most English-speaking countries) it would be the FIRST exit! But 'turn very sharp right' is the way I would direct anyone. It is also the way my sat-nav says it.
    – WS2
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:16
  • Thank you for the answer. Does 'Turn very sharp right' sound formal to English speakers? I'm looking for the right expression that can be used for voice navigation service.
    – Cavs
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:35
  • 1
    @WS2 - Actually, it would be the SEVENTH exit (remember, in Britain traffic flows clockwise round a roundabout because you drive on the left). Meanwhile, I assumed the hypothetical driver was driving on the right, because the arrow seems to be a tad closer to the right-hand side of the road than the left. But I agree that 'turn very sharp right' (and variations on that theme) is a good answer.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:39
  • @Canvas - I'd say it is very well suited to a navigation service. Because it centres on a technical instruction, it is neutral in tone.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 7:41

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