The word "street" is used when talking about the paved areas on which vehicles travel though cities and towns. This word cannot be used for highways and roads.

  • My car is parked in the street.
  • Get out of the street! There’s a car coming.
  • The street sign tells you what street you are on.
  • Joe is walking down the street and talking on his phone. (walking on the street = walking on the sidewalk)
  • Our apartment building has off-street parking. (It has a garage, so it’s not necessary to park in the street.)
  • You should ride your bike on the street, not on the sidewalk 
  • A group of protestors are walking in the middle of the street. (in the middle of the street is the place where people protest or have a parade. In this case, traffic is rerouted.)
  • The parade went down the middle of the street as the parade goers watched from the sidelines.

Notice that there are some very fine differences in meaning when using the word "street."

  • Which street do you live on?
  • I live on 76th Street.
  • Bob is living on the street. (He doesn’t have a home.)
  • There’s a group of kids standing on the street corner.
  • There’s a dead squirrel lying in the street.

Because the word "street" is associated with living in a city, it’s often used to describe urban life:

  • Darryl belongs to a street gang. (street gang = a group of young gang members)
  • He’s got good street smarts. (street smarts = a knowledge of how to live in a city, especially the tough areas.)
  • The police are interested in getting criminals off of city streets.
  • Cheryl walks the streets and hustles for a living. (She makes a living through an assortment of illegal activities.)
  • She would like to get off the street and live a clean life. (get off the street = end a life of crime or a day-to-day existence)
  • There’s a street vendor selling hot dogs from a hot dog stand on the sidewalk. (street vendor = a person who sells things from the sidewalk near the street)

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April 20, 2016