leave Shanghai to Beijing

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Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

"I left Shanghai to Beijing yesterday."

Thoughts and context: I told my friend I left Beijing and I went to Beijing yesterday.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "I left Shangai to Beijing" is not idiomatic.

    "I left Shangai for Beijing." has a different meaning. It means you lived in Shangai before, and now live in Beijing. This is a slightly different meaning of "leave", often stated as "left behind: "I left Shangai behind. It is in my past. Beijing is where I live now".

    If you just want to talk about a trip you took recently (Shangai to Beijing) you can't use "leave". "Leave" does not mean "take a trip". It means to depart a place. So it can only describe the start of a trip.

    For example "I left Shangai, heading for Beijing." describes the start of your trip. It does not say that you actually reached Beijing.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Not to, but for.
    "I left Shangai to Beijing" is not idiomatic.

    "I left Shangai for Beijing." has a different meaning. It means you lived in Shangai before, and now live in Beijing. This is a slightly different meaning of "leave", often stated as "left behind: "I left Shangai behind. It is in my past. Beijing is where I live now".

    If you just want to talk about a trip you took recently (Shangai to Beijing) you can't use "leave". "Leave" does not mean "take a trip". It means to depart a place. So it can only describe the start of a trip.

    For example "I left Shangai, heading for Beijing." describes the start of your trip. It does not say that you actually reached Beijing.
    Got it. Thank you very much.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    We don't know whether you flew, took a bullet train or started walking from Shanghai yesterday, so we don't know whether you have even arrived in Beijing.

    I left Shanghai yesterday and went to Beijing.
    I took a bullet train to Beijing from Shanghai yesterday.
    I flew from Shanghai to Beijing yesterday.
     
    Last edited:

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "I left Shangai for Beijing." has a different meaning. It means you lived in Shangai before, and now live in Beijing.
    'I left Shanghai for Beijing' is good English.
    It can also mean just that you started your journey to that destination, without saying whether you finished it.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    We don't know whether you flew, took a bullet train or started walking from Shanghai yesterday, so we don't know whether you have even arrived in Beijing.

    I left Shanghai yesterday and went to Beijing.
    I took a bullet train to Beijing from Shanghai yesterday.
    I flew from Shanghai to Beijing yesterday.
    'I left Shanghai for Beijing' is good English.
    It can also mean just that you started your journey to that destination, without saying whether you finished it.
    Got it. Thank you very much.
     
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