Is it OK to just say "I'm came back!" or 'I came back!' as alternative to "I'm back!" when you were away for a while?

  • Alice: I'll be back in a minute.
  • Bob: Ok.

Alice has just returned and says..

  • Alice: I'm back!

4 Answers 4


I would argue that "I came back!" is not an appropriate alternative to "I'm back!" They both mean that you returned, but there's more to it than that. "I came back" puts emphasis on the act of returning, whereas "I'm back" puts emphasis on where you are now. With the exclamation mark, "I came back!" suggests an aspect of surprise in the act of returning. Coming back was a choice, and you want to emphasize that you decided to do so. It's like saying, "It wasn't clear whether I would come back, but I did." Exclaiming "I'm back!", on the other hand, makes it sound like you're excited to be back, and that the act of coming back isn't the interesting part. Depending on context, it could also suggest that you expect others to be excited you're back, too.

As mentioned in other answers, "I'm came back!" is simply not correct. It's non-grammatical, because you're using two competing verbs, "am" and "came", and must choose one or the other in order for the sentence to make sense.

  • So, if you say "Excuse me, back in a minute!", when you return, it's appropriate to say "I am back!", but not "I came back!"... Is this correct?
    – Gerson
    Mar 8, 2014 at 5:50
  • 1
    Yes, if you just want to announce that you have returned, you would say, "I'm back!" If instead you said "I came back!", this would suggest that you are surprised by your choice to return. Mar 8, 2014 at 7:04

No. "I'm back" or "I came back" are both correct, but "I'm came back" is not correct.

"I'm" is a contraction for "I am." Both "am" and "came" serve as the verb in these sentences, so "I am came back" unnaturally combines the different words in the same function.

  • 3
    Agreed. It is possible to say "I am come back" but that would be a very old-fashioned construct, with "come back" functioning as a description of current status rather than the result of an action. In some other languages (e.g. French and German), the verb to be is often used in constructing the past tense - rather more than in English.
    – toandfro
    Mar 6, 2014 at 23:04

The word "I'm" is a short version of "I am" where the apostrophe ' is used to denote the missing "a" in "am". The right way to write it would be "I am back" or "I'm back" or "I came back" (for first person present tense).


Okay I am not really sure where the phrase "I am back" even originated but technically if you look at -- if you say "I am back" or "I will be back" this kind of implies at some point you were the opposite of "back" and the opposite of back is front. This of course then begs the question; can someone really be "Front"?

Now I have heard the phrase "Front and center" but I really do not think that is in the same context of "I will be back" So in short I think to say "I am back" is linguistically incorrect to begin with and the phrase should be "I have returned" since that is what you actually have done. You were there, you went some where else, and then you returned.

Just my 2 cents worth


Okay but those are states of mind or being not states of physicality. We cannot compare Apples to Oranges and expect a solid answer to come forth.

Now yes I can say I am hot and that is a state of physicality where one might never have been "cold" but it does at least imply that you are at least not in the an opposite or alternative state of physicality However returning to the concept of being "back" we see that it does not intrinsically have any opposite/alternate state of physicality that is unless one first redefines what "back" means -- where on the other hand when we look at the proper phrase: "I have returned" we see that this does have an opposite/alternate state of physicality.

Still none of this of course explains where the concept of "I am back" came from especially since there is no correlation to an opposite/alternate state of physicality where you would not be "back". The only alternates of back that I am aware of are front, side, top, bottom none of which is implied when you say "I am back" -- so again where did this phrase originate?

  • Saying "I am X" doesn't imply that you were the opposite of X at some point: "happy" has an opposite, but I could say "I am happy" without ever having been unhappy though I may have felt angry, curious, scared, contented, etc. "I am X" need not even imply that there was ever a time when you were not X, e.g., "I am Australian".
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 2, 2016 at 0:27
  • See Addendum Above
    – DeJoker
    Jul 13, 2016 at 20:16

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