In a video game I'm playing I've heard the phrase "come on back to the base" What is the difference between "come back" vs "come on back"

"come on" 3. verb To hurry up or move faster. To convey this meaning, the phrase is often used in the imperative. Come on, we're going to be late! (source farlex dictionary of idioms)

Does it mean to hurry back into the base?

2 Answers 2


With most phrasal verbs, "on" can be inserted before the particle without changing the meaning. It adds a feeling a friendliness or "folksiness". It's associated with rural life, and is most common in the southern United States.

come on down
go on up
step on through
hand it on over

With some phrasal verbs, inserting "on" doesn't work as well, including those that end with "on" or "off". Most people would find these unnatural:

take it on off
turn it on on

  • Exactly, it's a little Southern.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 0:15

They both essentially mean the same thing, but "come on back" sounds a bit more like a friendly invitation, and "come back" sounds more like a regular imperative sentence (which would probably be more appropriate for an order, for example).

It's hard to judge without context, but if in your video game, a commander is ordering someone back to base, "come on back" sounds a bit too relaxed for that and "come back" might have been a better choice.

The impatient "come on" definition that you found is irrelevant to this.

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