arrive/reach

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ddubug

Senior Member
Korean
Hi,

I'm a foreigner. Could you tell me the difference between 'arrive' and 'reach'?

1. We arrived at New York
2. We reached New York

As a non-native English speaker it's too confusing to understand
why 'reach' is not followed by preposition like 'at', 'to', etc.
I know 'reach' is transitive verb which doesn't require preposition.
But I'd like to there is easier way to understand its meaning as 'vt'...
'Cause it looks like 'vi' to me.

Please help me.
 
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  • KHS

    Senior Member
    Prepositions in English should usually be treated as vocabulary items. It is a good idea to memorize the prepositions that usually follow particular verbs and adjectives when you first learn the verbs/adjectives, in the same way that I memorized the gender of nouns in French at the same time that I learned those nouns. (And, of course, the more out of practice I am, the more likely I am to use the wrong gender.)

    Just to confuse you more, I would say, "I arrived in New York," (or other cities) although I would say, "I arrived at my destination."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi ddubug

    You're right that "reach" here is a transitive verb, and that's why we don't use a preposition between it and the place reached:)

    "Arrive" is intransitive, and followed by "at" if the location is thought of as a point, "in" if the location is thought of as a place you can walk around in.
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Unfortunately, ddubug, there's just no real help to be given here. It's a matter of learning idiom. Many concepts that are transitive in one language are intransitive in another. I know that when I was studying Latin, I was surprised by the number of transitive verbs in English whose Latin equivalents were intransitive. A good example is the English "persuade" vs. the Latin "persuadeo."
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    Hello, Forum teachers,

    I think there's is no difference between "reach" and "arrive", but I wonder if there is a difference in this sentence:

    "Bus is about to reach/arrive in five minutes."

    Thanks so much
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I think there's is no difference between "reach" and "arrive", but I wonder if there is a difference in this sentence:

    "Bus is about to reach/arrive in five minutes."
    "Reach" is transitive, so it cannot be used without a direct object.

    It is about to reach. :cross:
    It is about to reach the station. :tick:
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    "Reach" is transitive, so it cannot be used without a direct object.

    It is about to reach. :cross:
    It is about to reach the station. :tick:
    Here's some confusion:
    I have often seen transitive verbs used intransitively, i.e, without direct objects, e.g:

    We usually eat at about 7 o'clock.
    Irene won't be able to play in the match on Saturday.

    Mr. Packard teaches in a very effective manner.

    Why cannot "reach" be used without a direct object? Please clarify.
    Thanks,
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Those verbs you list are both transitive and intransitive, or at least their object is implied sometimes, but "reach" needs a stated object.


    And you need "the"/a determiner before "bus".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There are limited situations where reach can be used transitively intransitively: reach for the stars, the skirt reaches to her thighs, you need to reach higher.

    If it's helpful, you can think of the 'arrive' meaning as a metaphorical extension of the idea of stretching out your arm in order to grasp something. If you've successfully reached out, you've got something. So when you talk about someone reaching Colombo, say, it's as if that person has got hold of Colombo.
     
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    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    It helps to realize that almost any verb in English can be used transitively and intransitively. However, many verbs have a basic function and a more abstract function. Normally "go" is intransitive but you'll see people say things like "go a system", in other words make it work.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thanks, but can't someone reaching Colombo mean the person arriving in Colombo?:rolleyes:
    Certainly, if Colombo is a place (which it is). But from Nat's comment in post #10 "...it's as if that person has got hold of Colombo" it sounded as if Colombo was a person.

    Or maybe I've just misinterpreted it (which is more than likely). :oops:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    ???

    Didn't you mean "intransitively" and "reaching out to Colombo"?
    Thanks.
    Sorry, I did mean intransitively, and I'd edited the relevant post.

    The 'arrive' meaning of reach is transitive, and I was trying to address the question of the opening poster who was wondering why it is transitive in this construction, and I thought of it as a kind of metaphorical way of 'getting hold' of a destination. And yes, you can think Colombo as a kind of object that you got hold of. Maybe this kind of explanation isn't very helpful.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    And yes, you can think Colombo as a kind of object that you got hold of. Maybe this kind of explanation isn't very helpful.



    Sorry but yes that's at least confusing for learners, especially given that Colombo is a city and "arrive" meaning would be the usual and practical interpretation of that sentence.

    Thanks a lot for making things clear.
     

    Dear life

    Senior Member
    India- Bengali
    Please check the following:
    I reached my house:tick:. I arrived ten minutes earlier.:tick:
    Whereas,
    I arrived at my house.:tick:I reached ten minutes earlier:cross:

    Please let me know if I have grasped the difference correctly.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    are correct
    Indeed, but only if those two sentences are unrelated. The collocation "I reached my house. I arrived ten minutes earlier." doesn't make sense.
    It reads as if "arrived" means "arrived at my house". How can you arrive there 10 minutes earlier than when you reached it?
    Two possibilities for the second sentence that would make sense after the first:
    I had arrived at the bus stop ten minutes earlier.
    I arrived ten minutes earlier than planned.
     

    Dear life

    Senior Member
    India- Bengali
    Hey Edin, I didn't mean them that way. Actually, it was no 'collocation' & I just meant like I was saying it to someone in front and I reached earlier than her.:D
    By the way, thanks :)
     

    Roymalika

    Senior Member
    Punjabi
    Coronavirus started from Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and it reached/arrived at Pakistan in February 2020.

    Which verb should be used here, please?
     

    Kimaunz

    Senior Member
    Korean - South Korea
    I think you should choose other words instead of 'reached' or 'arrived' in this case. Maybe "it spread to Pakistan in February, 2020" would be correct.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    It reached Pakistan in...
    It arrived in Pakistan in...


    I wouldn't use either however. And I wouldn't say "start from Wuhan"--that makes it sound like a person.

    And you need a determiner for "coronavirus".
     
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    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    It depends on the entire sentence. By itself, no, it doesn't work for me--it makes it sound like an actual person. It could work in a longer sentence.

    However, to me, it doesn't work in the longer sentence in #22 because of the way it starts; that sentence makes it sound like a person too.
     
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