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Confusing Words: Easily Confused Words: Come and Go

Dennis Oliver
Confusing Words:
Come and Go


The common verbs come and go are often confusing.
One reason this happens is that come and go have the
same basic meaning, but are used for different directions.

Come is used to show movement toward or in the
direction of the speaker or the person being spoken to:

My cousin is coming to see me next week.

Are you coming to my party?

May I come to your party, too?

That man's coming toward us. Who is he?

I need to make an appointment with Dr. Jones.
Can I come to see him at 11:00 tomorrow?

Dr. Jones is in a meeting at 11:00. Can you
come for your appointment at 11:30?

Go is used to show movement away from the speaker
or the person being spoken to:

I'm going to see my cousin next week.

Are you going to Bill's party?

That man's going toward your car. Who is he?

I need to go to the bank this afternoon.

Ginny wants to go to Bora Bora on her vacation.



Special Notes



The idiom come from (present tense) is
used to talk about one's home town, home
state, home country, etc.:

Irina comes from Moscow.
Joe comes from California.
Uyanga comes from Mongolia.


Go is often used with the preposition to:

go to bed / go to school /
go to the movies / go to class /
go to church / go to work
go to the grocery store /
go to sleep / go to a party /
go to a concert (etc.)

In a few fixed expressions, however,
go is used without a preposition:

go home / go downtown /
go uptown

Go is also commonly used with adverbs
of place, direction, and accompaniment:

go inside / go outside / go away
go up / go down / go over /
go under / go around /
go with (etc.)


Go is also used with many -ing verbs.
These "go verbing" expressions usually
describe leisure-time activities:

go biking / go bowling /
go camping / go dancing /
go drinking / go fishing /
go hiking / go horseback riding /
go ice skating / go jogging /
go rollerblading / go sailing /
go shopping / go skating /
go windowshopping (etc.)

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