Come back VS get back [to London]

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Gabriele8512

Senior Member
Italian - Italy
Hi everyone,



I'm Gabriele from Italy and I hope you can help me.

I've got a question for all of you native English speakers: yesterday I was speaking to an English friend who was in London whilst I was in Italy. My friend is coming to Italy for a couple of days. I asked him: "What day are you GETTING BACK to London"? Maybe I should have said so: "What day are you COMING BACK to London?"

I already know the difference but my main doubt is whether we always have to refer to the SPEAKER necessarily or to the SUBJECT of the phrase (in this case my friend) where the speaker and the subject are NOT the same like in my example above.



Thanks for all your help.




Bye




G.
 
  • If you are not sure whether 'a couple of days' means 'two days' or 'a few days', and you want to know exactly how long your friend will be staying with you in Italy, ask 'What day will you be going back to London?' or When will you be going back to London?' or 'How long will you be staying here in Italy?'

    As the speaker, ask the question from your point of view.
     
    Last edited:

    Gabriele8512

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Thanks for your prompt reply.


    I just meant whether I should have used "When are you going back to London" (I was the speaker, I was in Italy BUT he was the subject and he was in London) or "When are you coming back to London"...
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    "When are you going back to London?" is the one you use when the person will be leaving the place where you are. The speaker's point of view determines the verb.
    Similarly, you would ask "When are you coming to Italy again?" since they will be approaching you that time.

    Another discussion of the same subject:
    come back / go back
     

    Gabriele8512

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Now, everything's clear to me! Thanks everybody! :)


    So, at the end of the day, the choice between "go back" and "come back" depends from the speaker's perspective and NOT from the subject's perspective where the speaker and the subject of the sentence are NOT the same like in my example above.


    Thanks again!


    :)
     
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