Setting sail

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Dr.Appalayya

Senior Member
India;Telugu
A friend of mine living in USA, a 16-hour flying from India, has come down to India to stay for a few weeks or months.

As a way of conversation, I want to ask him when he will leave India for USA, in a good, figurative English, but not in ordinary language. We are wont to use of figurative ( use of figures of speech) language. Can I ask like the following?:

When are you setting sail?
( Not 'When are flying back to US or When are you leaving or When are returning to US)
 
  • xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    No, that sounds like an antiquated expression to me, used only for someone leaving on a ship(during the "pirate days" and with sailors).

    "When are you taking off?" or "When will you be taking off?" is what we say idiomatically in the US.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Asking when a visitor is leaving can suggest that you wish to hurry this event along. I think it is more diplomatic to say, "What is your travel schedule?" or "What is your itinerary?"

    Also, note: "... a 16-hour flying from India, ..." is not idiomatic.

    Better to write: "a 16 hour flight from India."
     

    mirx

    Banned
    Español
    Asking when a visitor is leaving can suggest that you wish to hurry this event along. I think it is more diplomatic to say, "What is your travel schedule?" or "What is your itinerary?"

    Also, note: "... a 16-hour flying from India, ..." is not idiomatic.

    Better to write: "a 16 hour flight from India."
    I find those expressions much more insinuating, anyone will pick on that there's something hidden in the question.

    You can also ask, when are you heading back home?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I find those expressions much more insinuating, anyone will pick on that there's something hidden in the question.

    You can also ask, when are you heading back home?
    On re-reading I can see that any one of these could be interpreted as an suggestion that an early departure would be preferred. So some diplomacy is in order.


    In any case, phrase this with some care. Or offer a preface saying that you are not trying to get rid of him, but rather trying to make adequate plans for his stay.
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    I think it sometimes depends on your tone of voice.

    Disappointed,semi-sad tone: "Oh, really? When are you taking off?" (I didn't realize it was that soon!) And the other suggestions can easily be categorized as such too, depending on what precedes and follows it, your tone, and facial expressions that accompany it.
     
    Hi

    Why not? Setting sail is as good a figure of speech for returning by air.

    With friends a bit of colour goes a long way.

    No figure of speech, no "Rock and roll!", no "paint the town!"

    regards

    felix



    A friend of mine living in USA, a 16-hour flying from India, has come down to India to stay for a few weeks or months.

    As a way of conversation, I want to ask him when he will leave India for USA, in a good, figurative English, but not in ordinary language. We are wont to use of figurative ( use of figures of speech) language. Can I ask like the following?:

    When are you setting sail?
    ( Not 'When are flying back to US or When are you leaving or When are returning to US)
     
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