Is this phrase idiomatic?

"Let's start where we stopped"

If it isn't then what is the right phrase?

  • 1
    FumbleFinger's answer below immediately came to mind. Have you also noticed Microsoft Word suggesting "continue where you left off" when reopening a document? – M.A.R. Jan 10 '19 at 14:18

I can't really imagine many people using OP's example. The most common thing would probably be...

Let's pick up where we left off

That's definition 7 in macmillandictionary

to pick up - to start something again, from the point where you stopped (italics mine)
Example: He seems to think that we can get back together and just pick up where we left off.

...plus this definition from Cambridge Dictionary...

to leave off (sth/doing sth) - to stop, or to stop doing something
Example: This novel begins where the other one leaves off.

  • The definition itself (7 in macmillandictionary) uses start and stop. Could you please explain the difference between pick up/left off and start/stop? Do you fell that they have some subtle difference in usage? – Alexey Jan 14 '19 at 14:50
  • In a word, no! - for the contexts we're talking about here, which involve pausing / suspending / interrupting some kind of "continuous process". Except to note that to pick up (and to a lesser extent, to leave off) are slightly more "informal" than start / stop. And all these verb forms have many other senses in different contexts, where they're not at all interchangeable. – FumbleFingers Jan 14 '19 at 15:19

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