The English language has many verbs that are used to describe movement and action, two of which are “come” and “go.” These two verbs are often used interchangeably, but they actually have distinct meanings and uses. “Come” is used to describe the movement towards the speaker or towards a common point, while “go” is used to describe movement away from the speaker or from a common point.
Understanding the differences between “come” and “go” can be helpful in using them correctly and effectively in your writing and speech. In this article, we will take a closer look at the definitions, uses, and examples of “come” and “go” to help you understand how to use them correctly.
Difference between Come and Go
When to Use COME
- In English, the use of “come” depends on the current positions of the speaker and the listener.
- If we talk about the direction toward the speaker or toward the listener, then we use “come”.
E.g. 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?
- When we make plans, and talk about the direction toward our future position, then we also use “come”.
Eg: I’m moving to New York in July. My parents are coming to visit me in August.
When to Use GO
- If we talk about any other direction, we have to use “go”. In other words, we usually use “go“ to talk about movement from where the speaker or listener is to another place.
E.g. 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.
When we talk about another person (someone who is neither the speaker nor the listener), we can use either come or go, depending on whether the speaker sees things from the receiver’s viewpoint (come) or the doer’s viewpoint (go).
Difference between Come and Go | Image
Come and Go: What’s the Difference?
Take some Examples
Jame has gone to Japan for work, and right now he’s at his hotel. Sarah is in Bangkok.
- Jame: It’s great here. I wish you could come visit me.
(He uses “come”, because he’s talking about the direction toward himself.)
- Sarah: I wish I could come, too. Are you going anywhere tomorrow?
(She uses “come”, because she’s talking about the direction toward the listener. And she uses “go” because she’s asking about a direction that isn’t toward either or them)
- Jame: I’m going to Mt.Fuji. I’m coming back to the hotel at 9 pm. What are you doing tomorrow?
(Because the hotel is his current position, he uses “come”. But Mt. Fuju isn’t the current position of either of them, so he uses “go”)
- Sarah: My friend from Laos is coming here. We’re going to Pataya.
(Because Sarah’s friend is coming in her direction, she uses “come”. Then they go in a different direction, so she uses “go”).
In conclusion, come and go are two important verbs in the English language that describe movement and action. Although they are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings and uses. “Come” is used to describe the movement towards the speaker or towards a common point, while “go” is used to describe movement away from the speaker or from a common point.
Understanding these differences is key to using these verbs correctly and effectively in your writing and speech. By studying the definitions, uses, and examples of “come” and “go,” you can master these verbs and improve your overall English language skills. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment with these verbs in your own writing and speech.