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Does I came hiking with you mean I arrived along with you by hiking, I have arrived for the purpose of hiking with you, or both?

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    I would use it to mean "I joined you on a hiking trip [in the past]". Aug 21, 2023 at 18:11
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    To make the phrase "came hiking with you" mean "arrived along with you on a hike at some destination" you'd really need to supply more context in the statement: Do you remember that time I came hiking up to that deserted cabin with you, and a bear came out the door? But even that is a bit of a stretch because hiking has too generic a meaning. It's not like He came stomping down the hall and because hiking doesn't refer to a mode of arrival but to a mode of travel by foot. There's also interference from went hiking with you, that is, went on a hike with you. Aug 21, 2023 at 20:03
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    But even with the bear example, it would be more idiomatic to say we came hiking up to that deserted cabin... Aug 21, 2023 at 20:08
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    And even more idiomatic to say "we went hiking up to that deserted cabin" Aug 21, 2023 at 20:14
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    You should be very careful with the verb "to come" because one of its meanings is one of the most common synonyms for "to achieve orgasm." Depending on your audience, it would be very easy to deliberately misinterpret "I came hiking with you" as "while on the hike with you, I orgasmed." (See an example of this.)
    – randomhead
    Aug 22, 2023 at 21:04

8 Answers 8

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Saying "I went hiking with you" would put it in the past tense such that the hiking is over, and the speaker is no longer in the location of the hike(s).

But as this is "I came hiking with you," the implication is that the speaker is still hiking on location with the person addressed. They are together, having already begun their hiking, and they are still hiking together. It would be like saying: "I came on this hike with you."

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    I was just trying to formalize a way of addressing the difference between "came" and "went". I think you nailed it! This is similar to trouble people have with "bring" and "take".
    – TecBrat
    Aug 22, 2023 at 8:25
  • @Biblasia then could same things be applicable if I say "I came walking with you"? Aug 22, 2023 at 23:10
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    Yes, the principle applies to other activities as well. In terms of location, "came" always means from some other location to "here," so "came" in this context indicates that one is still "here" doing the activity specified.
    – Biblasia
    Aug 23, 2023 at 2:33
  • The tense is still the past (I came hiking) but the meaning can be like "I'm here now hiking because I came" But that I'm-here-now-hiking sense is not entailed. You could be referring to something that took place years in the past: I came hiking with you and you said to dress light because it would be hot but we nearly froze. And in that past sense it would mean "I came along on a hike you had planned and ..." Aug 23, 2023 at 10:09
  • I think this is mostly right, but it's broader ─ e.g. if two friends went hiking somewhere one year, then one of them later visits by themselves (not hiking), and posts a photo on social media, their friend might comment "Looks fun! Remember when I came hiking with you there?", saying "came" rather than "went" because the other person is currently there. I think this works fine, even though the speaker isn't currently there and even though the person who is there hasn't been there continuously and is not still hiking.
    – kaya3
    Aug 23, 2023 at 11:38
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Does "I came hiking with you" mean "I arrived along with you by hiking" or "I have arrived for the purpose of hiking with you" or both?

Neither.

"I came hiking with you" means that "You and I spent time together on the same trip, a trip which involved the leisure activity of hiking."

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  • then could same things be applicable if I say "I came walking with you"? Aug 22, 2023 at 23:12
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    @BilalZafar Yes.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 23, 2023 at 0:17
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    Note: Not all hiking is leisurely!
    – FreeMan
    Aug 23, 2023 at 14:02
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    @ohwilleke And some people know how to spoil a good thing by thinking that taking it very seriously spoils it! ;)
    – JiK
    Aug 24, 2023 at 12:07
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    A more succinct way of wording that would be "we hiked together". Aug 24, 2023 at 14:06
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When come is linked to a participle of a verb of locomotion, the effect is to describe the manner of locomotion.

Consider the following:

He came walking up the street.

He came running up the street.

He came speeding up the street.

He came sashaying up the street.

He came crawling up the street.

He came stumbling up the street.

He came hiking up the street.

He came trekking up the street.

Of all of those verbs of locomotion, hiking and trekking stand out as unidiomatic or only marginally idiomatic because they don't refer primarily to manner of locomotion but, in the case of hiking, to the purpose of the locomotion, which is usually for fun and relaxation or exercise, or in the case of trekking, the primary meaning of the word involves the difficulties that must be endured along the way.

So, this common use of come + -ing form to describe manner of going works against your wish to have the phrase I came hiking with you mean "arrived along with you by hiking", as you put it. by-phrases refer to mode (by plane, by bus, by car, by taxi) which is not the same as manner. And hiking is primarily neither a mode of locomotion nor a manner of locomotion but locomotion with a specific purpose.

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  • thanks but considering you last paragraph could I also say "I came shopping with you"? We just arrived home by shopping) Aug 23, 2023 at 21:28
  • @BilalZafar There's nothing about "arrival" . Not sure where you're getting that. Also, shopping is not a mode of travel, so I don't know what you mean. Not all by phrases refer to travel, but they all refer to mode when the noun in the phrase is instrumental broadly conceived. We got there by horse refers to model of travel but we got there by 8AM does not refer to mode. Aug 23, 2023 at 21:41
  • How did you get that hard-to-find tool? -- I got it by shopping online. That refers to the mode of shopping. Aug 23, 2023 at 21:44
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    Those would not be idiomatic. Idiomatic would be I walked. or I hiked. You continue to associate came with arrival, which is incorrect. came is atelic. It does not imply arrived or reached. Aug 23, 2023 at 22:29
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    You could say I just came from shopping. Aug 23, 2023 at 22:39
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If we're talking about a past trip, I would normally say:

I went hiking with you

If I said:

I came hiking with you

this implies (for me), that it was really your hiking trip, and I joined it. That is, instead of the two of us planning the trip together, maybe you planned it with some friends, and I joined for a bit of it. Or it might suggest that we were hiking near where you lived, but I had to travel further to join.

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  • +1 That the speaker joined a hike planned by"you" is also the nuance in my dialect of American English (mid-atlantic). The speaker could say I came hiking with you while on the hike, the meaning being similar to "I have come along". Same in Australia? Aug 23, 2023 at 10:03
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Neither. The sentence "I came hiking with you" or any similar sentence in the form of "I came _______ with you" has no grammatical validity (other than in a sexual connotation...) unless you add context such as in "I came with you to the concert" which would imply that you were brought there rather than that you merely went together.

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    Your unconditional, blanket assertion that no sentence of the form “I came X-ing with you” is valid outside a sexual context has several problems. For one, you provide no evidence to support it. I suggest that you check out lots of answers here on ELL that have received lots of votes and see how they’re written, what they contain, etc. Oh and by the way, another of the problems with your assertion is that it’s wrong. Consider, “I came sailing with you, even though I’m afraid of the water, because I wanted to be with you today.” Aug 25, 2023 at 0:42
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In American English, you’d say, “I went hiking with you,” or “I’ve gone hiking with you.” If you mean arrival, “I’m here to hike with you,” or “I’m ready for our hike” would both work.

“I came hiking with you,” would be a sexual double entendre.

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    That’s a real stretch. You could use it as a double entendre, but normal people are able to use the words "come" and "came" in everyday sentences, without them being taken (oo-er) sexually.
    – andrewf
    Aug 24, 2023 at 10:11
  • @andrewf That’s true for idiomatic uses of the word come or came, but this one is not idiomatic in American English. It’s true that an ESL speaker isn’t going to be misunderstood in this context. But people might think it’s a funny mistake.
    – Davislor
    Aug 25, 2023 at 21:41
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The sentence, "I came hiking with you."is addressed to the second person. Its like talking to your friend. Now came is the past form of come so the activity is already over. Sentences like, I've come for a hike with you, or I've come to join you for a hike, or I had come for a hike with you(for past tense) all mean that I had/have joined my friend for the activity of hiking. Notice the preposition "for". It signifies the intent of the duo to go for a hike. Now the sentences, "I came hiking with you" and "I went hiking with you" both don't use the word, 'for'. In that, there is ambiguity. However, "I went hiking with you", feel to mean that I had gone for the activity of hiking with you whereas, "I came hiking with you" tends to convey the meaning that I have arrived at some place with you via hiking. Similar sentences like, I came running with you, I came walking with you also convey similar meanings. It's like saying, I came(here) hiking with you.

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Your question is does:

I came hiking with you

mean either:

  1. I arrived along with you by hiking

  2. I have arrived for the purpose of hiking with you

The top answer correctly asserts that it means neither.

However, if the sentence was "I came, hiking with you" then, I'd argue, it means #1.

Without the comma "came hiking" is one action. With the comma the "came" and the "hiking" are no longer the same action. Instead it becomes two clauses.

The first: "I came".

That could be a stand alone sentence.

The second: "hiking with you"

This is a participle phrase that is describing the means by which you came.

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