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I met with three friends and had dinner together and went to the station together. But each of us had to take a train in a different line.

1) We split up at the station.

2) We parted from each other at the station.

3) We left each other at the station.

Which sentence is the most appropriate here? Or is there any good sentence to describe this situation?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

All of your example sentences are OK, but some are better. The biggest difference is how formal the words sound.

We split up at the station.

This is probably the most natural. The phrase "split up" is suitable for many situations, but is more likely to occur in informal speech than formal speech.

We parted from each other at the station.

This is not wrong, but the word "parted" is more likely to appear in formal speech. If you do use the word "parted", the construction "We parted ways at the station" might be a better choice.

We left each other at the station.

The verb "left" appears in formal and informal speech, but is has a connotation that isn't quite right for your situation. Usually, "A left B" means that A moved and B did not move -- for example, "I left my book at the station."


As always, context matters. All of these sentences could be used to describe the end of a romantic relationship between two people. However, if you have set the context (a group of friends after dinner), there is no ambiguity.


There are some other choices available. Here are a couple:

  • We went our separate ways at the station.
  • We parted company at the station.
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2  
Note that if you had gone to the station to see them safely on their train(s) and you had taken another method home (e.g. walk, bike, car) the phrase would be "see them off". – G. Ann - SonarSource Team Mar 30 at 14:33
    
@RJHunter You explained what I wanted to know, and further explained how formal or how informal each phrase is. I was able to understand the idea of each one clearly now . Thank you. – tennis girl Mar 30 at 22:55

I'd use the verb in number 2.

"We parted." or "We parted at the train station." or "We parted after dinner."

Per definition:

Part

/pɑːt/ verb past tense: parted; past participle: parted

1. (of two things) move away from each other. "His lips parted in a smile."

2. leave someone's company. "There was a good deal of kissing before we parted."

synonyms: leave, take one's leave, say goodbye/farewell/adieu, say one's goodbyes, say/make one's farewells, separate, break up, go one's (separate) ways, take oneself off, set off, be on one's way, go, go away, get going, depart, be off.

'We split up' is commonly used for relationships that ended.

'We left each other' is vague. If there are three people at the train station, then the two boarded and the third didn't, the third person may say that the other two 'left' and he/she was 'left behind'.

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I think some of the alternatives like "say farewell" could be heard in a funeral. How might I disambiguate not to include such a nuance? – nodakai Mar 30 at 3:53
    
There's definitely an r sound in "part," I don't know what's up with that transcription. – Azor-Ahai Mar 30 at 4:05
    
Rhotic accents will pronounce the r sound in "part", but non-rhotic accents will not. British Received Pronunciation (RP) is a non-rhotic accent, so the transcription is not wrong for RP. – RJHunter Mar 30 at 5:42

As you can see from the other answers, there is no clear winner amongst the sentences you suggested.

Your title refers to saying goodbye. If you want to enphasise this, or make it clear that you parted on good terms, you could say

We said our farewells at the station

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