come back vs. get back

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Nov 5 01:45:17 UTC 2013

Thank you for that. I think that makes sense.

Also, having let this sit for a couple of days, "I just came back" doesn't sound so bad to me, so my reaction may just have been idiodialectical.

Best regards
Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

Learn Ainu!

On Nov 2, 2013, at 9:16 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:

> Is it possible that "come/came" is often chosen when there is some
> emphasis on the action of returning, on the journey, and "get/got"
> when the emphasis is on the arrival?
> I come back at five -- my trip always/generally starts (or perhaps,
> ends) at five.
> I came back at five -- that day my trip began (ended) at five.
> I get back at five -- I always/generally arrive at my destination at five.
> I got back at five -- that day I arrived at my destination at five.
> These would probably be my choices -- if some linguist forced me to
> think about them.  Although those who think "come/came" equates to
> "arrive" might use either "come" or "get" at random.  I suspect a
> lawyer would demand that the witness clarify by saying "leave/left"
> or "arrive/arrived".
> Joel
> At 11/1/2013 07:47 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> In the context of just returning to the locale such as after
>> traveling abroad, "I just came back" does not seem bad, though I
>> still prefer the "get" version.
>> It's when you go out on errands or something and then arrive at home
>> or work that "I just came back" seems odd. BB
>> On Nov 1, 2013, at 4:38 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM> wrote:
>>> I have a real problem with, "I just came back."
>>> I suppose "I've just come back" is fine, but it uses the perfect,
>> which sounds unnecessary. Instead, it seems, "I just got back" is
>> far preferable.
>>> In the present tense (I come/get back everyday at 3 o'clock),
>> "get" seems better though I don't have a problem with the "come" version.
>>> For "When I come/get back," I don't notice much of a difference,
>> though "get" seems preferable.
>>> It seems possible that the awkwardness of the perfect tense and
>> the irregular conjugation of "come" is causing the problem, but
>> "get" also has an irregular conjugation. Is there a real difference
>> in the meanings of "come back" and "get back"? Is something else
>> going on? (Is it all in my head?)

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list