How Do I Explain the Difference Between “Ride” and “Drive”?

Teaching the difference between “ride” and “drive” is initially simple; “drive” has many different uses outside of operating a vehicle. However, practicing all of these additional uses can create confusion in the classroom, as there is no similarity between them.

For example;
Mr. Yamada drives a car.
Mr. Yamada drives a screw into a piece of wood.
Mr. Yamada drives his subordinates to achieve success..
Mr. Yamada drives a golf ball over 400 yards.
Mr. Yamada drives a baseball through a window.

carWith no similarity between all of these examples, exclusively using “ride” in reference to cars becomes a lot more appealing, but as all native speakers know, the driver of the car cannot also be a rider in the car. To avoid all of the difficulty associated with learning each meaning, and the associated vehicle for each, simply have the student use “use”.

For example;
Mr. Yamada uses a car.
Mr. Yamada uses a bicycle.
Mr. Yamada uses a train.
Mr. Yamada uses a horse.

By avoiding “ride” and “drive” altogether, a more concise word can be used, making English conversation easier for the listener as well as the speaker.