Let's suppose that a dispute started from disagreement about some statement(s). It has been developing to further statements and finally returned to the origial one(s).

May we say:

So we've gotten to the starting point!

So we've gotten to where we've started!

What would be an idiomatic way to say this?


We've come back to where we started.

We've gone back to where we started.

It would also be possible to say ironically or sarcastically:

We've arrived at where we started.

We've gotten to where we started.

Note that the start occurred entirely in the past, so we wouldn't use the present perfect, "have started".

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  • Thank you! Could you please also explain why the later two are ironic or sarcastic, while the former two aren't (If I've got it right)? And could you please explain why the start occurred entirely in the past? What is wrong with the present perfect here? – Alexey Jan 17 '19 at 15:15
  • The origin-time of a journey is in the past once that journey has commenced and progressed. We can say We have begun our journey but we cannot say that when the journey's end has been reached. arrive refers to the destination. To call the origin the destination can only be ironic, since it is counterfactual. You've gotten nowhere if you've gotten to your starting point. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 17 '19 at 15:38

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