[thing +] arrive at

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Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hello, everyone.

In the context of a parcel being delivered to your house, can you notice any difference in meaning between the following?:

1) The parcel arrived at my home yesterday morning.
2) The parcel reached my home yesterday morning.

My (wild) guess is that reach in this context would involve some sort of difficulty, whereas arrive would be the standard way of saying it. Does that make any sense to you?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no real difference. Yes, there is a suggestion with (2) that there had previously been a delay, but you could never assume that was the case just from the use of "reach". Both sentences sound a little forced, as if there had been some problem. "I got the parcel yesterday" is the usual everyday sentence.
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Both sentences sound a little forced, as if there had been some problem.
    Thank you, Uncle Jack. When you say "forced", do you mean that the sentences sound somewhat unidiomatic/stilted?

    Is there a better way to convey the idea starting the sentence with "The parcel ..."?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Is there a better way to convey the idea starting the sentence with "The parcel ..."?
    With parcels, we usually speak from the point of view of the recipient (I received the parcel) rather than that of the parcel (The parcel came to me). The reason the sentences sound a little forced is because the parcel is the subject.

    "The parcel was delivered yesterday morning" is another option, but if you want to start the sentence with "The parcel", all those sentences are as good as each other.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In AE we might say:
    The package got here yesterday morning.

    If it was late:
    The package finally got here yesterday morning.

    We say package instead of parcel.

    If I was using your original sentence I would change to say this:
    The parcel got to my house yesterday morning.
    The parcel was delivered to my house yesterday morning.

    It can be tricky to know when to use house and when to use home but think of house as a building or location. That's where you deliver packages. Home is used in a more emotional way, when you are considering it in relation to family, for instance. My family home was a very happy place to grow up.
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    If I was using your original sentence I would change to say this:
    The parcel got to my house yesterday morning.
    The parcel was delivered to my house yesterday morning.
    Thank you, kentix.

    I would like to know how you would react to a sentence like The package arrived at my house / reached my house yesterday morning. I can see your preference is to change the verb to "got to" or to the passive voice "was delivered". Are the verbs "arrive" and "reach" here simply non-idiomatic/uncommon?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think for the reason Barque said. The parcel is not traveling, it's being delivered. The parcel generally doesn't have a life of its own. People arrive after traveling, parcels are delivered by a delivery system.

    I'm not saying arrived is never used or can't be used, just that it wouldn't be my first choice. (I wouldn't use reached at all. It just doesn't fit with "package".)

    Arrived is also a little formal compared to "came" or "got here".

    The parcel arrived at my home yesterday morning.
    This sounds quite formal. Both "arrived" and "my home" add formality. It sounds like the package is to be a guest in your home.

    The package I was expecting came yesterday morning.

    This is normal, casual speech for me. It doesn't usually matter to mention your house. The delivery is the important point.

    Remember, this is written from my American English perspective.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd be very likely to say "The parcel arrived yesterday"; what I wouldn't do is add "at my house".:)
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I'd be very likely to say "The parcel arrived yesterday"; what I wouldn't do is add "at my house".:)
    Thank you, Loob. It seems that the problem with the sentences I'm asking about is to do with "at my house/home". How would you express the idea if you were to emphasise that the parcel was delivered to your house instead of your office?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    If I really needed to specify where the parcel was delivered - I'm finding it a bit hard to think of a scenario where I would need to;) - then I'd use the wording you used in post 9: The parcel was delivered to my house/The parcel was delivered to the office.

    But in most cases, I wouldn't need to specify the destination:
    Q. Has the dress you bought on eBay arrived yet?
    A. Yes, it arrived yesterday.
     
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