depart/leave <on> their different ways


Senior Member
(1) The three men departed on their different ways.

(2) The three men left on their different ways.

Question: Do these sentences make sense to you?

I'm not sure if on is the correct preposition.
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I understand "... departed on their different ways", but it sounds odd to me. I see that it occurs in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, so it's a nineteenth-century usage. I don't believe it's idiomatic in 2020.

    If I had to use "their different ways", I would say "The three men (left and) went their different ways."


    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thanks.:) The following sentence from an English-Japanese dictionary motivated me to start this thread:

    They departed on their different ways.

    I wasn't sure if this sentence sounds natural to native English speakers (hence, this thread).
    It doesn't to me, no. Like sound shift (post #6) I'd say "They went their different ways". :)
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