First scenario:

Please imagine someone's husband just left the house and he is on a mission now. The woman's sister comes to her and asks where is her husband? What should she say then? Would it sound natural to say:

  • He's just gone on a mission.


  • He's gone to a mission. [it can just serve as a translation, but it sounds unnatural to me.

Second scenario:

or let's suppose three months ago you were sent to a long-term mission (i.e. 2 months) and now when you are back home, you're talking to someone and explaining about that period of time. Does the sentence below make any sense to you:

  • Once, I went to a long-term mission from the company side...

Also, please let me know about its idiomaticity.

I wonder if you could let me know what would you usually say in such a case if my suggestions do not sound idiomatic in this sense.

1 Answer 1


"Gone on a mission" is idiomatic in the context of an assignment because the assignment itself is not a physical place, even though the details of said assignment might include travel to a physical place. You could say "he's gone on a mission to [place]".

"Mission" has other secondary meanings, for example, a building run by a charity for the benefit of homeless people is sometimes called "a mission", so "going to a mission" could be used in that context because the building is a physical place you can go to.

Regarding your second question, your example sentence "Once, I went to a long-term mission from the company side..." does not sound idiomatic to me. I'm not sure what "from the company's side" means in this context.

If you mean that it was "long-term" from the company's point of view (ie it wasn't a long time for you, but judged by the average mission-length from the company, it was a long time) then it would be more idiomatic to say something like "I went on what the company consider a long-term mission".

  • 1
    The secondary meaning comes from the use of "mission" in religion, ie an assignment to convert people to (historically most prominently) Christianity. Hence buildings to help people. And hence "The Mission", a well-known district in San Francisco, and places such as "Mission" in other countries.
    – jonathanjo
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 9:48
  • 1
    @jonathanjo Sure, that's the origin of it. Similarly, there are lots of verbs used as nouns, such as "garden". You can garden the garden, and a Christian missionary can carry out their mission in a mission.
    – Astralbee
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 10:22
  • @Astralbee, just I wonder if you could also let me know whether "from the company side" in my self-made sentence is a natural way to say it in English or there is a better reserve for it?
    – A-friend
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 11:36
  • @A-friend Sorry I missed that part. I don't actually understand what you might mean by "from company's side" - do you mean that it is long from the company's point of view?
    – Astralbee
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 13:09

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