I got into an argument with a friend over the correct usage of the language in a forwarded joke which has a few statements that just didn't feel right to me.

Son - Dad, you got called to school.
Son - Did you come to school ?
Son - ok good because the gym teacher wants you to come too.

Assuming that this conversation was happening between the father and his son at home, shouldn't it be "Did you went to the school" or "Did you go to the school"?
My friend thinks this is perfectly correct usage but it does not feel natural to me. Can we really use 'come' even when we are not present at the place we are talking about? Like, I have never heard anyone say, 'How do you come to school'.

1 Answer 1


"come" usually carries the implication of moving oneself towards the speaker.; in this case, "Did you come to school?" is the son, at the school, asking his Dad if he had come to the school.

If the son, however, was not at the school (which given the provided context does not seem to be the case), then it would be appropriate to say "Did you go to [the] school?" because "go" usually carries the implication of moving oneself away from the speaker. ("Did you went to the school?" is wholly inappropriate; someone more knowledgeable than I would be able to better explain why).

"How do you come to school?" is also a perfectly legitimate question; it implies that the questioner, while at school, is asking someone else also at school about the means by which said someone else makes his/her way to school.

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