English Lesson: Come Vs. Go

Michael Uncategorized 3 Comments

Lori went to the mall today to look for a new pair of jeans. She wasn’t there very long, and when she came back home she realized she forgot to buy something. A friend of hers is coming to New York next week and she asked Lori to pick something up for her. She’ll need to go back to the mall tomorrow. Her friend will stay here for a week and then go back to her country. Lori said she has been there a few times, and someday she’ll go back…

Go and come both show movement, but these words are used differently, depending on the situation, depending on where the person speaking is and where the person they are taking to is. Do you know how to use these words? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson.

Use go to show movement from one place to another

  • I go to my office at 9:00 every morning.
  • Lori went to the mall about an hour ago.
  • I went to Brazil in 2009.

Use come to show movement from one place to the place where the speaker is.

  • came to my office early today. I am in the office now.
  • What time did you come to the mall? I am in the mall now.
  • Aki came to New York in 2009. I live in New York.

In general, we go there (there means the place we are not) and come here (here means the place we are)

  • I went to the bank and the post office. Then I came to the office. I am in the office now.
  • I went to the bank and the post office. Then I came home. I am home now.

Use go when you are not physically in the location someone is moving to:

  • Joe lives in France. He is planning a trip to visit two countries. He will go to Italy first, and then he will go to Germany. After touring Germany, he will go back to France.

Use come when you are physically in the location someone is moving to:

  • I live in New York. Joe lives in France. He is planning a trip to visit two countries. He will go to Italy first, and then he will come to New York. After touring New York, he will go back to France.

When we are talking to someone we usually use the word (come or go) that best matches the point of view of the person we are talking to. Here is an example telephone call:

Joe: Hello?
Jane: Hi Joe, it’s Jane.
Joe: Hi Jane. What’s up?
Jane: I’m having trouble with my computer. Can you come here and take a look at it?
Joe: Sure. I’ll come right now.

In the above conversation, from Jane’s point of view, Joe will come to her house. Here is another example. Kim is from Seoul and is now living in New York. She calls her mom in Seoul on the phone:

            Kim: Hi Mom.
            Mom: Hi Kim.
            Kim: I have a break from school and I want to come home and see you.
            Mom: That’s great. When are you coming?
            Kim: I think I’ll come at the beginning of October.
Then, after the phone call Kim talks to her roommate, Jane:
            Kim: I’m going to Seoul at the beginning of October.
            Jane: That’s nice. When are you coming back to New York?
            Kim: I’ll come back on the 18th.

Here is one more example: Brad is in the living room. Angelina is in the kitchen:
            Angelina: Dinner’s ready!
            Brad: Ok, I’m coming!
Well, I hope this was helpful. I know that these words are confusing, but take your time, read over the opening paragraph and lesson and I am sure you’ll get it. Thanks for studying today.

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