accompany [=go with / to come with?]

topoftherock

Senior Member
English-Britain
Hi guys,
Can someone please confirm the above? I always assumed that "to accompany" only means "to go with" , but whilst looking at some English-Spanish translations, I came across a translation where "to come with" was said to be synonymous with "to accompany". Any help will be greatly appreciated.

P.S This reminds me of the verb/infinitive "to return" which can mean "to go back" and "to come back"

Many thanks!
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    To accompany is not a verb of motion. It is only the context that implies movement. For example:
    1. John accompanied his sister in the singing of a song.
    2. John, who was accompanied by his sister, watched the television.
    3. John accompanied his sister from the station to my house.
    4. John accompanied his sister to the station from my house.
    In 1. and 2. there is no movement. In 3 and 4, the movement (3 towards the speaker. and 4 away from the speaker) is implied by the prepositions to and from - it is not implied by the verb.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you accompany someone you may go/travel with them, or be their companion. It’s not restricted to coming or going from somewhere but can also be coming or going to somewhere. In fact the word is really quite versatile.

    Think of a restaurant menu, which might tell you that a dish ‘comes with’ a green salad (for example) – that salad accompanies the dish, or is an accompaniment to it. Or in music, where a pianist might accompany a singer.


    cross-posted
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    To accompany is not a verb of motion. It is only the context that implies movement. For example:
    1. John accompanied his sister in the singing of a song.
    2. John, who was accompanied by his sister, watched the television.
    3. John accompanied his sister from the station to my house.
    4. John accompanied his sister to the station from my house.
    In 1. and 2. there is no movement. In 3 and 4, the movement (3 towards the speaker. and 4 away from the speaker) is implied by the prepositions to and from - it is not implied by the verb.
    Many thanks for this.

    In regards to number 3 and 4, would it be correct to also say "John came with his sister from the station to my house" (number 3) and "John went with his sister to the station from my house"?

    Thank you.
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    If you accompany someone you may go/travel with them, or be their companion. It’s not restricted to coming or going from somewhere but can also be coming or going to somewhere. In fact the word is really quite versatile.

    Think of a restaurant menu, which might tell you that a dish ‘comes with’ a green salad (for example) – that salad accompanies the dish, or is an accompaniment to it. Or in music, where a pianist might accompany a singer.


    cross-posted
    Many thanks for your explanation!
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    Moreover, please could someone confirm which is grammatically correct? (as a native speaker, I suppose I would use both interchangeably)-
    e.g My father and I are at home and my father is going to the shop-

    I say "Can I come with you to the shop?" or "Can I go with you to the shop?"

    I'm trying to work out which one is correct. I would favour the first one, but then thinking about it more deeply, I'm thinking that "to go with" is correct because the speaker and/or listener are not at the location i.e the shop.

    But on the other hand, I'm thinking that "to come with" is correct, because I (the speaker) am referring to the place where the listener (my father) is e.g I am upstairs and he is downstairs. And then , we will go to the shop, from that location (downstairs).

    I hope this makes sense!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You could say either, but probably most people would say “can I come with you” in a situation where you’re physically with that person.
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    You could say either, but probably most people would say “can I come with you” in a situation where you’re physically with that person.
    Ahhh thank you! I'm glad to hear that we can use both. English grammar can be very tricky sometimes, even for a native speaker. I mean, if we use the verbs/infinitives "to come" and "to go" (without the preposition "with") it is clearer which one is use. For example, in the aforementioned example, I could say "let's go dad!" (because the speaker and/or listener are not in the location i.e the shop). but I couldn't say "let's come dad!" (because the speaker and/or listener are not in the location i.e the shop )

    Can you see what I mean?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, I do indeed see what you mean. But of course native English-speakers don’t normally give any thought to such things. They just say whatever comes naturally (leaving people like us to try and analyse it!). :)
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    Yes, I do indeed see what you mean. But of course native English-speakers don’t normally give any thought to such things. They just say whatever comes naturally (leaving people like us to try and analyse it!). :)
    Yes that is true. Since I've learnt Spanish, I question English grammar more and realise that most of us (natives) don't speak the "perfect English" all the time (which is the same in every language I guess!)

    But as a teacher, I like to know these things.

    Thanks for your help!
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I say "Can I come with you to the shop?" or "Can I go with you to the shop?"
    In that case, both go with and come with mean "accompany" and the "to" gives the direction and the respective verbs give the motion.

    To come tends to express the idea of "arriving at a goal, often, but not always, a goal that is the speaker's present or intended position."

    John is having a party - you must come! -> the implication is that the speaker will be there when you arrive.
    When you are in Birmingham, you must come to my house. -> the implication is that the speaker will be there when you arrive.
    When you come to the crossroads, turn left -> the implication is when you arrive at the crossroads...
    but I couldn't say "let's come dad!"
    This would then mean "let's arrive at the shops." which is not idiomatic.
     

    topoftherock

    Senior Member
    English-Britain
    In that case, both go with and come with mean "accompany" and the "to" gives the direction and the respective verbs give the motion.

    To come tends to express the idea of "arriving at a goal, often, but not always, a goal that is the speaker's present or intended position."

    John is having a party - you must come! -> the implication is that the speaker will be there when you arrive.
    When you are in Birmingham, you must come to my house. -> the implication is that the speaker will be there when you arrive.
    When you come to the crossroads, turn left -> the implication is when you arrive at the crossroads...
    This would then mean "let's arrive at the shops." which is not idiomatic.
    many thanks!
     
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