coming/going to (country)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by RaquelRo, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. RaquelRo Member

    Santa Fe, Argentina
    Argentina, Spanish
    Hi, can anyone explain me which is the difference in meaning between these expresions?
    I'm coming to France
    I'm going to France
  2. Aidaraq Member

    English - US
    "I´m coming to France" suggests that the person speaking is IN France at the time of the statement; For example, "I told him I would be coming to France soon".

    "I´m going to France" suggests a future intention, like "I´m going to France next summer"; the person speaking is not in France at the time of making the comment...

    Although more context would be helpful .... Hope this helps,

  3. zumac Senior Member

    Mexico City
    USA: English & Spanish
    Here's my interpretation:

    I'm coming to France. A person, not in France, could say this to a person in France on the phone/letter/email.

    I'm going to France. A person, not in France, could say this to anyone.

  4. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    It's not quite as simple as the above posters make it sound. If I am in San Francisco and talking to my friend in Paris, I can easily say "I'm coming to France next month." In fact, that sounds much more natural than "I'm going." This is because the speaker imagines himself already being at the destination, and puts himself in the hearer's position. Similarly, whereas a Spanish speaker, when called to dinner, will reply "Ya voy," in English we say "I'm coming," even though we are not yet at the destination.

    On the other hand, if I tell my friend in San Francisco about my trip to Paris, I can only say "I'm going to France," and cannot use "coming."
  5. Aidaraq Member

    English - US

    –noun1.approach; arrival; advent: His coming here was a mistake.
    –adjective2.following or impending; next; approaching: the coming year.3.promising future fame or success: a coming actor.

    I agree with gengo, when used as an adjective.

    Thanks for the observation!
  6. scrambledeggs Member

    English (North American)
    I don't like the phrase "I'm coming to France". It doesn't sound right when used in the first person. Better usage:

    He's coming over here soon, from France [He is in France right now, but he will be arriving here soon]
    He's going to France [He will be travelling to France in the future]

    Another example:
    I want to go to France; In fact, we are coming soon. (We will be arriving there in the near future)
    I like France; In fact, we are going there soon (We will be leaving and physically traveling there in the near future).

    Idiom that plays on the "going/coming" distinction: I don't know if he's coming or going. [He is unpredictable and could be anywhere; literally, 'arriving or leaving']
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  7. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Nevertheless, that is how it is used by the majority of native English speakers.

    Again, if I am in SF, and my friend is in Paris, and we are talking on the telephone, this is how it is said.

    Paris: I heard you will be coming to France.
    SF: - Yes, I'm coming next week.

    It is also possible (though less common) to use "going" in the second case, but that gives the nuance of "leaving SF." Using "coming" gives the nuance of "I will be there with you in France." It's all a matter of perspective.

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