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    #1

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Hello.

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Can I use "get to" or "reach" in place of come to?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #2

    Smile Re: Drive east until you come to the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Can I use "get to" or "reach" in place of come to?

    Thank you.
    I'd use "get to the river".

    "reach the river" - It's okay, but there's something about it that seems off-center for some reason. I think using "reach the river" makes it sound like the river is a far-off destination, or the river is on the way to a far-off destination. So, yes, it's okay, but for some reason, to me, it sounds like it would be reserved for certain contexts, whereas "get to the river" and "come to the river" sound general or "more regular".

    That's my take on it.



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    #3

    Re: Drive east until you come to the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Can I use "get to" or "reach" in place of come to?

    Thank you.
    You can safely use any of the three options. Individuals will have a preference for one or another, but all are fine.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Drive east until you come to the river.

    Or indeed 'Drive east until you arrive at the river' (which isn't very colloquial, but which I find pleasing because of the etymology of 'arrive' - rive in French is a river's edge - you can see it in the English word 'river'; but very few English speakers are aware of this, and with my ELT teacher's hat on I'd say that 'arrive' isn't the best choice in normal circumstances).

    b


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    #5

    Re: Drive east until you come to the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Can I use "get to" or "reach" in place of come to?

    Thank you.
    If we take a look at the definition of "reach" in the sense of "arriving", we can see how it is distinct from "get to", "come to", and "arrive". I found it difficult to find the words, but the Cambridge Dictionary says it.


    reach (ARRIVE) Show phonetics

    verb [T]
    1 to arrive at a place, especially after spending a long time or a lot of effort travelling:

    We won't reach Miami till five or six o'clock.
    They finally reached the coast after five weeks sailing.
    News of his accident had only just reached us.

    According to this definition in the Cambridge Dictionary, I'm correct in saying that "reach" makes it sound like the river is far-off.

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    In USA English, people mostly use "get to" or "come to". Arrive is more often heard at airports, train stations, or bus stations. Also, "arrive" sounds more formal in tone, though one would still easily expect to hear it in any situation. Still, I would say it is used with less frequency than "get to" or "come to". These details are practical in order to assist ELLs in producing language that is as natural as possible, especially for ELLs that live and work in the USA, or any other English-speaking country. This is very important.


    Last edited by PROESL; 19-Aug-2009 at 15:57.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Drive east until you come to the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    Drive east until you come to the river.

    Can I use "get to" or "reach" in place of come to?

    Thank you.
    I don't see the problem. You drive east until you come into proximity to the river. Then you stop (you don't drive into the river), and you follow further directions.
    There is no way anyone would be able to misinterpret your sentence if you used any of those choices. You could also say:
    Drive east until you encounter a river.
    Drive east until a river blocks your passage.
    Drive east and stop at the first river.
    ...
    If your English isn't so good: Go east. At river, stop.

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