6

When you read the meanings of these 5 verbs they kinda seem like synonyms although they are not,here are their meanings from long man dictionary:

1)get back:to return to a place

2)go back:to return to a place that you have just come from

3)come back:to return to a particular place or person

4)arrive:to get to the place you are going to

5)return:to go or come back to a place where you were before

My question is how can I use them and what are their exact differences:forexample which of these five sentences is correct?(considering that you are talking about your daily routine)

1)I go to university at 7 O'clock in the morning then I get back home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

2)I go to university at 7 O'clock in the morning then I go back home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

3)I go to university at 7 O'clock in the morning then I come back home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

4)I go to university at 7 O'clock in the morning then I arrive home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

5)I go to university at 7 O'clock in the morning then I return home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

5

They're not quite synonymous, although in this context some of them are interchangeable.

  1. Get back refers to the arrival. If you got back home at 3AM, it means you entered your home at 3AM, even if you've left earlier.
  2. Go back refers to the departure. If you went back home at 3AM, it means you left the place you had been at previously at 3AM, but arrived later, or even not at all.
  3. Come back refers to the arrival just like get back, with a caveat - if someone tells you to come back it means they're at the place they want you to be in. So your mom could tell you to come back home if she's waiting for you, but a friend you're out with would tell you to get or go back home.
  4. Arrive is more or less the same as get back in this context. Maybe with a little more emphasis on the journey - to me, arriving somewhere seems like a more arduous process than just getting somewhere. (Also, you can arrive somewhere you haven't been yet).
  5. Return in this context is somewhat ambiguous, although I'd read it as referring to the arrival rather than the departure. It's also more formal than the first three.
  • In example 2 shouldn`t it be: you left the place you had been at previously at 3AM? something that happens before something else in the past = past perfect? – anouk Feb 13 '18 at 19:52
  • Good question :) I think your sentence would mean something different than what I wanted to say ("I had been at this place at 3AM on some day long ago, and I left it yesterday at an unspecified time" rather than "I have been at this place for a length of time and then I left it at 3AM"), but I'm actually not so sure now that I look at it. – Maciej Stachowski Feb 13 '18 at 20:23
  • Do you mean that I can't use come back to talk about my self like example 3 forexample another person like my mom your my friends should tell me that?or no I can use it but the meaning that it conveys is some thing like I have reached my house? – anonymous Feb 13 '18 at 21:37
  • @anonymous you absolutely can use it to talk about yourself. It's when you're talking to someone that it's not quite interchangeable with "get back" - you can't use it to send somebody off, only to call someone to where you are. – Maciej Stachowski Feb 13 '18 at 21:42
0

get back
come back
arrive (usually has a qualifier to not be ambiguous)

These are from the perspective of the future destination, travelling from.

go back
return

These are from the perspective of the current location, travelling to.

In general, it does not matter if you are at the destination.

My Mother told me to "Come back home".
Your Mom is at home, you are not

I go back to work tomorrow.
You are not at work.

"Go back to where you came from!"
They are telling you to go "there".

I arrive home at 6:00 PM.
You could be anywhere, but you will be home after 6:00 PM

There are exceptions

"Get back to where you once belonged" - popularized by The Beatles

has the same mening as "go back".

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