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My mom was showing me around the city, so that I don't get lost and I know my way around when I'm alone. She kept asking me where we were. We were driving down a narrow street with huge buildings all around. When that street ended, a "T-junction":

Can you tell me where we came out at?

Can you tell me where we ended up at?

What sounds natural "come out" or "end up"?

And can these be used when we are driving down a narrow street with no huge buildings around but a field?

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  • In other words the street we were driving on was too narrow and was flanked by large buildings, and that road led to a wider and larger road.(the narrow street ended)@Michael Harvey Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 11:55

2 Answers 2

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Please note: in AmE, there is a lot of appending "at" at the end of sentences, like so:

  • Tell me where we're at. [very commonly heard, "at" appended at the end]

That at is not necessary because we have:

  • Tell me where we are. [location, literal or figurative]
  • We are at a difficult moment in our lives.
  • We are at the school.

Now, for a T-junction:

  • Tell me where we came out.
  • Did you come out at the right place?

  • Tell me where you ended up.

  • Did you end up at the right place?

The T-junction examples with come out and end up do not require at at the end.

So, depending on how you want your speech to sound (more standard or less standard), watch your "ats". To sound more standard (which for some people means to sound better), only use at for location in statements and do not append it at the end of questions.

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  • So does "come out" sounds natural? Is it common? Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 17:05
  • And will you use it for "closed places" only or for open roads as well? Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 17:28
  • I have already answered your questions. If something hadn't sounded right, I would have told you. at is used for locations of any kind. [Do you use it, not will you use it]
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 17:34
  • So it specifically means "where have we come", right? Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 17:58
  • No, come out does not mean come. I suggest you look up the phrasal verbs: to come out and end up.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 18:29
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In the context you described, came out and ended up are essentially interchangeable. Both describe a place where you paused and took note of your location. There's no requirement to have tall buildings -- it can refer to any location.

When you come out, it often implies that you took some circuitous route to reach your destination, such as winding your way through a maze or a series of one-way streets.

Despite the word end, where you ended up doesn't have to be the end of your journey. It might mark the end of a subset of your journey, such as reaching a particular landmark.

Another answer goes into detail about not using at.

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  • We walked for hours through the woods and came out on the road. It is not circuitous necessarily at all. We walked for hours through the woods and ended up on the road. It might very well be the end of their walking.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 4 at 15:25
  • I said often, not always. "After walking around for hours, we finally came out at the right spot." Commented Mar 11 at 7:56

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