Two senses of both "depart" and "departure" are 1) going from one place to another, and 2) leaving one job and taking another job.

For sense 1, it seems that "depart/departure" should be followed by preposition "for", not "to":

He departed for London.
After his departure for London, .....

For sense 2, it seems to make sense that "depart/departure" should also be followed by "for" and not "to". But then, I saw this:

Nemanja Vidic's departure to Inter Milan has already been confirmed

So, should "depart/departure" be used with "for" or "to"?

  • Both are okay. However, departure to is less common.
    – Maulik V
    Jun 21, 2014 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


As you may see from this Google Ngram, depart to is relatively uncommon:

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(I use depart rather than departure, because of the limitations on Google's search terms; but I do not think this has a meaningful effect on the results.)

We tend to use to only when the destination is of primary interest, or after the subject has arrived, and for when the subject’s arrival at the destination is not of interest or lies in the future. Thus, since the departure of the football player is not a matter of physical travel but of instantaneous transfer, to is appropriate. In the other two we are presumably dealing with narratives which will discuss what the subject did on the way to London, or what someone else did after he left.

This is no more than a tendency, but it is a ‘rule of thumb’ you may follow with reasonable confidence.

  • I believe that departure for gets a lot more false positive hits. For example, it might count a sentence such as this: "The role is a departure for the serious actress who made films like Sophie's Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer." Jun 21, 2014 at 13:10
  • @DamkerngT. A very good point. I will revise the NGram. Jun 21, 2014 at 13:15

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