When Google Maps gives directions, it says "In 200 meters slight left". There is no verb in this sentence. Is it grammatically correct or just a mistake by Google?

  • 6
    We frequently use incomplete sentences in speech and even in writing. I doubt it was a "mistake" (I assume they chose that wording to be concise and clear). Whether you think it is "legal" or "correct" depends how fussy you are, I guess. It is a perfectly normal statement.
    – user184130
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 14:18
  • They might not want to include a verb, because almost certainly the context is that the road currently being driven along bends slightly to the left. The driver might find it reassuring to know that the system knows where it is - but he doesn't need to hear a verb, because he doesn't need to change anything. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 16:01
  • A comma after "meters" improves the grammar significantly: "In 200 meters[,] slight left".
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


It obviously uses a notation system that's a type of shorthand. Take this example of made-up "pacenotes" a co-driver would speak in a rally car:

100 metres, kink right severity 2
200 m, square left
100 m, kink right severity 4
50 m, Jump into immediate right hand bend severity 2 tightens
Rally car pacenotes

Doesn't sound grammatical at all, right? It's just a type of shorthand. At least I assume.

It's just a convention, like have you noticed how news media headlines use a comma instead of the conjunction "and"?

For McCain, Bush Has Both Praise, Advice
Washington Post article

Also Why do newspaper headlines use strange syntax rules?, a question on this site. If all is understood you can speak however you like, provided there's a commonality of understanding.

  • 1
    +1 for this in particular: you can speak however you like, provided there's a commonality of understanding. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 15:31
  • Just a note that what’s spoken in the car is not what you’ve got here: “When pacenotes are read, the co-driver will not translate into the fully wordy text given above (which are here as an explanation for the reader), but instead will keep some abbreviations, such as 'K' for bend or kink. Distances are just given, the units are understood. The above notes might be read as: 100 K left 2, 100 K right 2, 200 square left, 100 K right 4, 50 caution Jump into right 2 tightens, don't cut, 100 oversquare right, 400 flat to crest into K left 4, 100 finish.
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:03

When you enable 'begin trip' with audible cues, the first instruction is a complete sentence. Subsequent instructions are navigational cues and may not be complete sentences.

navigation cues ridewithgps

Make a U-Turn. In 200 meters slight left. You have arrived at your destination - pop the cork.

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