I know people say "I'm gonna take off" often. But, can I also say "I'm taking off" as "I'm leaving now"?

Last time I used "I'm taking off", my American friend told me this sounded not natural.

I was told that I cannot use "i'm taking off" as "leaving" unless I mean "the airplane is taking off." (The question was not clear.)

  • gonna is popular speech for going to. take off is in dictionaries. Please show some research when you pose questions. Thanks. – Lambie Dec 18 '19 at 17:08
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    I don't think you understand my question. – Shuo Peng Dec 18 '19 at 17:09
  • take off, split, bounce, get going,... There are any number of colloquial alternatives to go / leave, but it's probably best to stick with those two unless you know you're talking to people who definitely use one of those "idiomatic" variants themselves, since they won't be appropriate for all contexts. – FumbleFingers Dec 18 '19 at 17:11
  • @Lambie, and for your information, yes i did. Some people say "in AE, they don't say taking off for leaving, unless you mean your plane is taking off". – Shuo Peng Dec 18 '19 at 17:13
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    I consider your question a valid one, but more context will help clarify it. Can you tell us where you heard/saw that? – Eddie Kal Dec 18 '19 at 17:15

I believe your friend was incorrect, in general. In my experience "I'm taking off" is a perfectly natural and common way for people to say that they are leaving. As this is a colloquialism, however, it is quite possible that it is more or less common in different places or amongst different groups of people, so it is possible that amongst the group of people your friend knows it is not as common, and thus sounds more unusual to them.

In my experience, "I'm gonna take off" and "I'm taking off" both have roughly the same meaning. They are often also said with "now" on the end, but whether or not they have "now" they all have an implication that you are actually leaving (i.e. just about to go out the door) right now.


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