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    #1

    Usage of the verb "come"

    Hello,

    I would like your opinions on the usage of the verb "come" in a sentence. The sentence is "The man came to them." When I think of the verb come, I imagine the direction of movement is towards the speaker or towards the listener, for example, "Come here" or "I am coming home now". However, in the sample sentence I feel like I am a third party and watching the man approach the group. Would the verb come work in the sample sentence? I am sorry for asking about such a simple sentence, but I need some other opinions because my brain is no longer working properly.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Usage of the verb "come"

    Quote Originally Posted by ichibanrfx View Post
    Hello,

    I would like your opinions on the usage of the verb "come" in a sentence. The sentence is "The man came to them." When I think of the verb come, I imagine the direction of movement is towards the speaker or towards the listener, for example, "Come here" or "I am coming home now". However, in the sample sentence I feel like I am a third party and watching the man approach the group. Would the verb come work in the sample sentence? I am sorry for asking about such a simple sentence, but I need some other opinions because my brain is no longer working properly.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    Yes, you can use either if you are an impartial narrator. "The judges were sitting in session. A man came/went to them for advice."
    "The man came to them and went away happy with their advice"; "The man went to them and came away happy with their advice."
    The context is sometimes relevant, and usually occurs when the narrator appears at some stage in the story.

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    #3

    Re: Usage of the verb "come"

    Raymott,

    Thanks for the reply! I guess another example is "The firemen came to their rescue." This sentence sounds fine to me. I guess the original sample sentence looked strange to me because I was over-thinking the situation.

    Thanks!!

    Jeff

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    #4

    Re: Usage of the verb "come"

    Sometimes the theoretically simple things can be complex. If I were saying this in the area where the man approached the people, my choice of verb might depend on my location, regardless of whether the person ended up any nearer to me or not.

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    #5

    Re: Usage of the verb "come"

    Tdol,

    Thanks for the reply. I completely agree with you. I think that is why I got caught up with the verb "come" in the first place. When I was reading the story, I imagined the narrator of the story being near the group of people, but far enough away for him to not be included in the group. I kept thinking about the usage of come vs go. Maybe that is another reason it sounded strange to me.

    Thanks!

    Jeff

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