come vs go

Status
Not open for further replies.

Winwin2011

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
If I want to go somewhere together with my friend, which of the following sentence is more natural? Is there any difference?

1. Can I come with you?
2. Can I go with you?

Thanks.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
In that context, they're both fine. I find "come" a little more natural but "go" is OK.
 

teacherdiane

New member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
In this case, they're both fine. "Come" and "go" can be very confusing. I made a video to explain the difference:

Go to Youtube and search for "TeacherDianeESL Come vs Go"


I hope this helps!
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
The video is fine, but as a starter, but it will not help with some of the problems often discussed with 'come' and 'go'.

My own (far from perfect) view is that if the speakers are referring to their movement towards the listeners (1), the listeners' movement towards them (2), or separate movements by both to a meeting (3), then they usually come. This is true wherever the speakers/listeners are at the time of the conversation. It is where they will be at the time of the meeting that counts..

1. I'm coming over to see you in your office now. # Can I come to your barbeque on Saturday?
2. Come over to my office now; I'm here till six. # Would you like to come to my barbecue next Saturday?
3. Are you coming to the office party tonight?

If, however, the speakers are referring to their movements away from the listeners (4), the listeners' movements away from them (5), or separate movements away from where they happen to be at the time of the conversation (6), then they usually go.

4. I must go to see George now. 'Bye. # I'm going to Munich tomorrow. Can you manage on your own?
5. Are you going in already? 'Bye .# Don't forget you're going to Munich tomorrow. I'll be OK on my own for one day.
6. Are you going to the office party tonight?

The only rather grey area seems to be in situations #4 and #6. If the party is being held in the place where the speaker is at the time of speaking and/or if the speaker is planning to accompany the listener to the party, then 'come' is probably the verb. . If the party is at a different location and/or the speaker is not planning to planning to accompany the listener, then the verb is probably 'go'.

If the idea is as much 'accompany' as 'move', then there does not seem to be a big difference, though my feeling is that 'come' is more likely. (7):

7. I'm going ([STRIKE]coming[/STRIKE]) to the theatre tomorrow. Would you like to come/go with me?

Note my use of 'usually' and 'probably'. This is not rocket science. Much depends on how the speaker sees the situation at the moment of speaking.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top