Who else is coming (vs going) (to a gathering)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by brighthope, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. brighthope Senior Member

    I am in a certain social group and one member texted to the group in an message app announcing there would be a gathering on such-and-such day. Another member(not a native speaker) texted back and said "I am going. Who else is coming?"

    I think the word "come" is used as "to move to a particular place with the person who is speaking" (Longman American Dictionary: The example sentences are "Can Billy come too?" "Why don't you come to the concert with me." and "Brittany can come along too, if she wants.") But it sounds a bit strange to me here because although we will meet up at the place we won't be going there together.

    Is it still natural to use "come" here?
    Also, could he say "who else is going?"? (either "come" is natural or not)

    Thank you.
  2. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    He could definitely say "Who else is going?". In AE, "go" is used much more than "come".

    Just like you say, "come" usually means to move toward the person speaking. In phrases like "come with me" and "come along", using "come" implies joining the group, which will then all go to the same place.

    Sometimes when talking about a party or an event, people ask if you are "coming to it". It is almost as if the speaker, once they have said they will attend the event, now talks as if they were there, saying "come to it" instead of "go to it".

    There are probably other situations where it is natural to use "come" instead of "go", but I don't know the rules.
  3. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    English - England
    Girl A — There’s a party on Saturday. I’m going. What about you lot?
    Girl B — I’ll go if you’re going.
    Girl C — I’ll come too.

    go there (from here) / come here (from there)
    Girl A can only use the word going because the party is not here, it’s “there”.
    Girl C says “I’ll come”, not in the sense of a direction from there to here, but because she means “I’ll come with you” – that is, I’ll accompany you.
  4. brighthope Senior Member

    Thank you dojibear :)

    This makes a lot of sense and now that I think of it I have heard "come" used this way when talking about an event or a party as you mentioned. Probably he put himself at the place for gathering already and used the word "come".

    Thanks again!
  5. brighthope Senior Member

    Thank you lingobingo :)
    Yes I understand your explanation.
    If the member (who wrote the text) used the word "come" in the usage of Girl C, it would mean he was asking who would accompany him - go to the gathering together. I thought it would be strange because even though we will get together at the gathering (not that we attend the gathering separately), we will be still going there alone.

    I thought it would make sense if he put himself at the place already after he announced he was going and used "come" as dojibear mentioned (I'm there at the place - who is coming?). Please let me know if my understanding is wrong.
  6. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    English - England
    Yes, that’s a valid way of looking at it. Or you could say that asking the question with the verb to come rather than to go introduces a sort of group mentality: Are you with me? – Yes, count me in. It doesn’t necessarily suggest that people will travel together, but it can be seen as an implicit invitation to “join the club” by becoming one of a particular group of people who’ll be attending the event.

    I’m going. Who else is coming?
    Framing the question this way invites a reply of: I’ll come (= I’ll join your club)

    I’m going. Who else is?
    If “coming” is not added, “going” is implied. This introduces a sense of distance/impartiality and invites the reply: I’ll go
  7. brighthope Senior Member

    Thank you lingobingo for clearing it up.
    I understand it much better now :)

Share This Page