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"I don't drive"

(270 Posts)
AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 03:50:41

I know IprobablyABU but this turn of phrase really winds me up. People say "I don't drive" when they mean "I cannot drive" or "I am not legally entitled to drive". It's not like they just decided that it's not something they'd like to do anymore so stopped. It really (unreasonably) winds me up.

Am I the only one?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 15-Dec-15 03:51:59

Possibly..sorry smile

Baconyum Tue 15-Dec-15 03:53:23

Except some people have had to stop driving eg myself because of my medication, people with epilepsy or who've had strokes, or been in a bad accident and its put them off? Or they've chosen not to learn for lots of reasons...

AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 03:57:04

Still comes under the heading of "cannot drive" but I accept that some people used to be able to but now cannot.

It's the people who have never learned using it as a turn of phrase.

No one casually says "I don't perform neurosurgery" or "I don't fly fighter jets" they would say they could not or had not learned to. Not I "do not"...

Sprink Tue 15-Dec-15 04:01:01

Based on your use of the word "unreasonably", I hope you won't mind my saying YABU.

Because "I don't drive" might mean:

1. I am legally entitled to drive and hold a licence but survived a near-fatal accident and fear being in control of a car, but would rather not discuss it with everyone I know as it's traumatic for me.

2. I've recently seen the light with regards to my impact on the environment and have made a choice to sacrifice personal convenience for the sake of the planet.

3. I have a personal chauffeur.


MidniteScribbler Tue 15-Dec-15 04:12:28

"I don't drive...."

Very often followed by: " you will need to pick me up."

AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 04:14:08

smile in all of those situations I will permit the use of 'dont' or even 'do not'.

But people who have never learned get my UNREASONABLE IRE

AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 04:14:24

beats chest

WaxyBean Tue 15-Dec-15 04:18:15

I say it. I passed my test 6 years ago and haven't driven since. DH and I own a car but Im not even now on the insurance. So it is technically correct.

AmusingSpoonerism Tue 15-Dec-15 04:21:18

Strive for independence waxy bean, insure yourself and enjoy delicious (environmentally damaging) freedom

GreatFuckability Tue 15-Dec-15 04:54:31

I also find it annoying when it applies to people who haven't passed a test/learned to drive OP! You are not alone!

TheBunnyOfDoom Tue 15-Dec-15 04:54:47

I can drive, but I can't afford to run a car, so "I don't drive" is correct wink

jorahmormont Tue 15-Dec-15 04:56:21

But people almost always ask "Do you drive?" as opposed to "Can you drive?".

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Tue 15-Dec-15 05:07:20

Saying, "I cannot drive." doesn't tell you whether or not they actually drive.

They may have a license but not own a car. Or not be allowed to due to medication. Or be banned for driving like a douchebag. So they can drive, but don't.

Saying, "I don't drive." covers all situations.

And I can't drive. If I say, "I can't drive." I get asked many questions about why not and whether I want to learn. Then I have to explain that I am uncoordinated, clumsy and have zero attention span meaning me driving a car would be a very bad idea. Then they look at me like I'm the douchebag.

Might start saying that I'm allergic to cars...

chrome100 Tue 15-Dec-15 05:09:04

YANBU At all! I hate this phrase. And I speak as someone who didn't learn to drive until I was 30 and took 7 tests.

jorahmormont Tue 15-Dec-15 05:11:05

I agree with Joffrey. I also hate when people act like non-drivers are twats. I can't tell the difference between left or right - trust me, it's for your own safety as well as mine that I don't - sorry, can't - drive grin

nanetterose Tue 15-Dec-15 05:12:06

What an absolutely crazy thing to care about.
I assume you *do drive then?
Some people assume especially people in the UK that once they get their licence, they become a special kind of human. A driver. No, you just learnt how to do something and now you are legally allowed to do it.
Honestly... confused

TheHouseOnTheLane Tue 15-Dec-15 05:12:54

I've decided I won't ever learn OP. So yes, some people don't drive. I don't and I won't. I have no desire to. I catch buses and trains and I cycle and walk.

53rdAndBird Tue 15-Dec-15 05:20:13

"I am not legally entitled to drive"?

Mmm. Snappy. Can really see that catching on in other scenarios.

"Do you play tennis?"
"I am practically prohibited from playing tennis due to the non-ownership of a racket."

"Do you smoke?"
"I am financially unable to afford the continual outgoings that smoking would incur."

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Tue 15-Dec-15 05:21:01

I also hate when people act like non-drivers are twats.

I know!

Some people just can't do stuff.

Plenty of people can't cook, do maths, do DIY, perform in bed, speak to the dead or are illiterate. No one bugs them. It's just accepted that they can't to stuff.

We deserve praise for recognising that we're shit at something and aren't going to be mowing down people's pets and ploughing into listed building trying.


Besides, there's taxis. Local economy, yadda yadda.

TheHouseOnTheLane Tue 15-Dec-15 05:21:07

And you're wrong about the grammatical use of "don't" too OP.

I don't eat fish.
I don't go surfing...unlike my daughter who does
And I don't drive.

I don't eat fish because I don't like it
I don't surf because I can't...and don't want to...unlike my DH and DD who can and DO want to.

I don't drive because I can't AND don't want to

If my friend says "Will you be surfing today?"

I can say "No..I don't surf. DH does...but I don't."

lilyb84 Tue 15-Dec-15 05:25:04

I only learnt/passed my test/got a car this year aged 31 and until then always said 'I don't drive'. It's a catch-all which means you don't have to explain that you never learnt, or can't afford a car, or (in my DH's case) learned but proved too daydreamy behind the wheel to ever take a test. It was also personal choice for a number of years, living in London where it was unnecessary to drive or own a car. YABU to care how people say it but I can see why it might irk you if you spend time thinking about it...

KeyserSophie Tue 15-Dec-15 06:00:40

The problem is that "don't" implies an element of choice in the matter.

If people say they dont drive, I would assume that they hold a license and there's no health or legal reason to stop them, but they choose not to. If they never learned, I'd then why not say "can't drive". If they dont have a car, then why not just say that?

"Would you mind giving me a lift as I don't have a car/ can't drive" is likely to elicit a more sympathetic response than same with "dont drive" on the end.

LadyNym Tue 15-Dec-15 06:02:54

I can technically drive. I had lessons and was physically capable of doing it. I just didn't ever sit my test.

Are you really saying you'd prefer I said, 'I'm not legally allowed to drive.' Not only does it sound clumsy; it also implies I've had my licence revoked!

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Tue 15-Dec-15 06:08:49

I would like to add that I'm not utterly incompetent. If there was an absolute emergency I could get in a car and drive it.

Just not very well...

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