In dictionary

leave: [intransitive, transitive] to go away from a place or a person My baby gets upset when I leave the room. Before leaving the train, make sure you have all your belongings with you. Leave the motorway at Junction 7.

-leave at The plane leaves at 12.30.

-leave for I tried calling him, but he’d already left for work.

-leave (something/somebody) soon/now/later etc If he left immediately, he’d catch the 7.30 train.

-leave (something/somebody) to do something Frances left work early to meet her mother.

-leave somebody doing something Never leave children playing near water unattended.

-leave somebody to something I’ll leave you to it (=go away and let you continue with what you are doing). My youngest boy has not left my side (=has stayed near me) since his daddy was killed.

-leave somebody in peace (=go away from someone so that they can think, work etc alone) Just a few more questions, then we’ll leave you in peace.


leave: [intransitive, transitive] if you leave your job, home, school etc, you permanently stop doing that job, living at home etc Over the past two years, 20 staffers have left.

-leave home/school/college etc How old were you when you left home (=your parents’ home)? My daughter got a job after she left school. The lawsuit will be postponed until the president leaves office.

-leave a job/country/Spain etc Many missionaries were forced to leave the country. It seems that Tony has left the band for good (=permanently).

-leave (somebody/something) to do something Laura left her native England to live in France.

So, "to leave work" means to "to stop working there (the company that you are working for) permanently" or "just to leave there temporarily & come back to work tomorrow morning"?

"to leave school" means "to stop attending at a school because you graduated" or "to leave school temporarily & come back to school tomorrow morning"?

So, is it wrong to say "I go to work at 7am and leave work at 7pm"?

What about "I go to work at 7am and leave for work at 7pm"?

1 Answer 1


It can mean both "to leave (permanently)" or "to leave (temporarily)".

"I left school three years ago- I'm a carpenter now." and "I left school at three thirty so I should be home soon" are both correct.

Similarily, "I'm thinking of leaving my work" (permanent) and "I'm leaving my work now, I'll be home at eight" (temporary) are both correct. However, most people would more commonly say "I'm thinking of leaving my job", rather than "my work".

What you need to tell the difference in usage are context clues. If you are asked in a new workplace, you might be asked: "So how long ago did you leave school?", the reply could be "Two years ago". Or you might be asked "When are you leaving?", which would usually mean, "when are you finishing for the day?".

So, is it wrong to say "I go to work at 7am and leave work at 7pm"?

It isn't wrong, however most people would say "I go to work at 7am and leave at 7pm." The second "work" is implied.

What about "I go to work at 7am and leave for work at 7pm"?

You would say "leave work" or "leave from work" rather than "leave for work". The grammatical rule is that if the word following "leave" is the place you are leaving from, you leave "from" there, and if the word after "leave" is the place where you are going to, you leave for there.

For example: "We leave from the back entrance" - you are leaving from the back enteranece, so you use "from".

"I am leaving for Germany in the morning"- you are going to Germany, so you leave "for".

Hope that helped.

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