What is come back – Troubleinthepeace

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Go and come are two verbs that are easily confused due to their similar meanings and both indicate displacement. Just a simple phrase: come to shool or go to school what is the difference, or are they both translated as going to school? The answer will be in today’s article with a special come and go distinction from Language Link Academic.

Go and come are two verbs that indicate relative movement between the speaker and the listener or with a third subject, position or object. In Vietnamese, go is usually translated to come, come is often translated as go. And most learners rely on this definition to distinguish come and go. However, in many cases, both “come” and “go” meanings are appropriate, so we need to distinguish go and come methodically.

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1. Distinguish go and come:

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2. Distinguishing phrases and structures of come and go:
3. Extend the structure:

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1. Distinguish go and come:

Go: Go is used to refer to the act of moving away from the position of the speaker, listener or person being talked about.

Eg: We will go to restaurant for our dinner tonight.

(Going to a restaurant for dinner – to a different location than where you are standing at the time of speaking)

They need to go to hometown office next week.

(Going to town headquarters – different location, requires travel compared to their own)

Come: Come is used to express movement towards, towards the speaker or listener, or based on the speaker’s direction.

Eg: My friend is coming to see my family next week.

(My friend is coming home to visit my family next week – The friend’s movement is towards the speaker’s location – “my family”)

He will finish the meeting at 10:00. Can you come for your appointment 30 later ?

(The listener will come, move towards the speaker’s location – in this case the office)

2. Distinguishing phrases and structures of come and go:

Go in and come in: from the above distinction, we can easily deduce the difference between these two phrasal verbs. Come in describes moving into the speaker’s space. Go in expresses moving into a third space, away from the speaker.

Eg: Let’s come in the class. (The speaker is in class).

Let’s go in the class. (The speaker is not in the classroom).

Go back and come back: both mean to go back in the same sense with the verb return. Go back is used when the person returns to another location, not the speaker’s space. Come back expresses a return to a space that includes the speaker.

Eg: Jimmy will come back New York to next week. (New York speaker).

Jimmy will go back New York to next week. (The speaker is not in New York).

To distinguish go and come easily, avoid confusion. We need to rely on the positional correlation between the mentioned place, the speaker’s position, the listener’s position to use the verb correctly.


3. Extend the structure:

Come from: used in the present tense to describe and talk about someone’s hometown or country. This is a fixed phrase, so we cannot use go from with this meaning.

Eg: She comes from Singapore.

Go often goes with prepositions or adverbs of hiding place, describing the direction of movement, of which the most common is the preposition “to”.

Eg: The price of energy is supposed to go up rapidly next year. (go up = go up).

Jimmy usually goes to bed late.

Go is followed by verbs in the V.ing form used to describe recreational activities: go fishing, go jogging, go camping, go shopping….

Some common phrasal verbs of come:

Come about: happen, change direction. Come across: by chance. Come along: to accompany, to promote. Come between: interfere. Come clean: deny. Come down with: sick Come down on: scold, punish. Come into account: to be taken into account. Come into effect: take effect.

Along with the meaning of movement, these two verbs have different uses and interpretations, showing the diversity and interesting colors of English. We hope that the knowledge and structures on distinguishing come and go in today’s article have helped you avoid confusion, and use these two verbs correctly. See you in the next useful articles!


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