get back/turn back

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Please tell me the difference between “get back” and “turn back” in the two sentences below? Are they interchangeable?
  • What time will you get back home tonight?
  • When would you turn back on a journey?
Thank you very much.
 
  • winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Hi mimi.

    What time will you get back home tonight? To get back here means to return.

    When would you turn back on a journey? To turn back here means to turn around and retrace one's steps - normally without reaching the objective.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you.
    I understand the meaning of "turn back".
    Please tell me if "turn back" in the second sentence means "come back".
    "When would you come back after the journey?"
    I'm confused. Please explain. Thanks.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Both of the sentences are correct and can not be interchanged.
    "When would you turn back on a journey" is questionable, at best, because it really doesn't make much sense. Notwithstanding this, it likely doesn't express what Mimi would like it to. As Winklepicker stated, to "turn back" usually means to set out for a destination, get part of the way there, change your mind and return to your point of departure. Example:

    "I set out for my girlfriend's house for our picnic but I got halfway there and realized that I had forgotten the picnic lunch. I had to turn back to get the lunch"

    This does not have the same meaning as "When would you come back after the journey?" To express that, you could say:

    "When are you returning?"
    "When are you coming back?"
    "When will you be back?"
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you, Dimcl, very much. Now I understand "turn back" very clearly.
    It is the sentence "When would you return on the journey" that made me confused. However, your example helped me a lot.
    Many thanks to Dimcl.
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    We will go on a bike ride, starting at noon.
    --What time do you want to get back?
    Well, I'd like to get back by 3:00 so that I can start dinner.
    --Okay, then however far we've ridden, we'd better turn back around 1:30 in order to get back by 3:00.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    We will go on a bike ride, starting at noon.
    --What time do you want to get back?
    Well, I'd like to get back by 3:00 so that I can start dinner.
    --Okay, then however far we've ridden, we'd better turn back around 1:30 in order to get back by 3:00.
    It's great for your example.
    Thank you very much.
     
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