I used to think that "come home" is only used when you are at home and ask someone else to come back home. ("is only" or "was only" here? It always confuses me.)But then I learned you can say "come home" to anyone who lives with you? (Again "can" or "could"?) So if you don't live with your parents, you can't say that, right?

But I wonder if "come home" is proper in this situation. A child wants to go home when he's still at school and he murmurs to himself "come home"? Or should he say" go home"?

  • 1
    “come home” focuses on the arrival aspect. “go home” focuses on the departure aspect.
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 1:43

3 Answers 3


"Come home Charlie!" (with me). The speaker is suggesting/ordering Charlie to return home. The speaker may either be with Charlie (and suggesting they go together) or else the speaker may be at home already and speaking to Charlie on the phone.

"Go home Charlie!". The speaker is with Charlie and is suggesting/ordering Charlie to leave the place and return (alone) to his home .

A child at school who would rather be at home says that they "want to go (i.e. away from 'here' (school)) home".

  • Thanks a lot for your answer. That's quite clear. Another question: Can you say " I wanna come home" to your mom when you both are outside doing something? Or can a mom say "come home with me" to her child when they are outside? I suppose the second one is OK, but I'm not sure about the first situation.
    – xinxin
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 3:34

The use of "Come" and "Go" can normally be decided based upon whether the speaker is talking about coming towards a place where they already are, or going away from the place where the speaker is.

Example situations and phrases:

If you ask someone to come meet you at a park where you already are you might say; "Come and meet me at the park."

If you ask someone to meet you at the park, but you are not yet at the park, you might say; "Go to the park, I will meet you there."


Come home gives a sense of going back somewhere, like if your brother goes to a party, you live with him, you will then say: Hey, come home, mom is worried.

Go home may be applied in the same way as the first example, but it doesn't mean going back to somewhere, you can just say: Hey, Go home! I will meet you there in five minutes.

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