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Usage Glossary: A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

come/go

Come and go are both motion verbs; come refers to drawing near to a location, whereasgo refers to moving away from a location.


Albert Einstein came to the United States viaSwitzerland.

We went to the conference in Norway.


Use come if the direction of motion is toward the present location of the speakeror the reader of the document.


Come here! [towards the speaker]

I am terribly sorry, but I cannot come to your meetingtomorrow. [towards the reader]


Use come if the direction of motion is toward the residence or workplace of thespeaker or writer and the subject of the verb is not the speaker or writer.


Yesterday, a brilliant geophysicist came to our company for avisit. [Another person moves toward the workplace of the speaker.]

Otherwise, use go.


Go away! [away from the speaker]

I am terribly sorry, but I cannot go to the construction sitewith you tomorrow. [away from the present location of the reader]

Dr. Suzuki, who runs the Tokyo lab, will go to Italynext week for vacation. [away from the residence orpresent location of the speaker]


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