8

A balloon with a weight tied to it with a string

A seller sells a balloon. A string is tied to the balloon at one end and to a stone at the other end. The stone is used to keep the balloon from flying up.

I bought that balloon for my daughter. When we were at home, she put the balloon on to the bed. I said to her "the stone that goes with the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed"?

I think I might say it incorrectly.

I remember we use "come with" to talk about a feature of a product. For example, "This washing machine comes with a 2-year warranty" or "This luxury villa comes complete with its own private swimming pool."

I guess we use this structure "the main product + come with + its part/feature". So in my examples "This washing machine" is the main product and "a 2-year warranty" is its feature and "This luxury villa" is the main item and "its own private swimming pool" is its part.

Similarly, "the balloon" is the main item and "the stone" is its part.

Can we say "this balloon comes with a stone"?

However, can we say "the stone that comes with the balloon is dirty"? because "the stone" is not the main part.

The opposite of "come" is "go".

Do we have this structure "the main product's part/feature + go with + the main product"?

For example, "the private swimming pool that goes with the luxury villa is big" and "the 2-year warranty that goes with this washing machine is almost due"

Also, I am mot sure we can use "of". For example, "the stone of the balloon is dirty" but it sounds a bit off.

8
  • 7
    I think you did a nice job of explaining your thinking behind "goes with" and "comes with". Some folks might think it's a little verbose, but I found it very clear, and I think it will be helpful to other learners.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 9 at 17:31
  • 3
    I agree with Lambie, the stone "comes with" , is future tense, before you buy it, and after purchase it's "came with", because the tense is on the act of receiving the item. That said in this case, I'd say that 'the stone on the balloon is dirty', or 'the stone on the balloon string is dirty', as it eliminates tense and is clearer. Jan 9 at 21:48
  • 1
    TimR's "came with" is most usual. "comes with" and "goes with" are somewhat acceptable, would be fully understood, but less usual. Jan 10 at 3:23
  • @RussellMcMahon But as Kate Bunting and I have both said, came with/comes with is not necessary. What parents says to a child: the stone that goes with the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed"? comes with/goes with is pragmatically unnecessary.
    – Lambie
    Jan 10 at 16:27
  • Just say "The stone is dirty." Unless there are many stones on her bed, she'll know what you are referring to.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 10 at 18:37

6 Answers 6

24

Goes with = belongs with.

Comes with = is sold with.

Neither is absolutely wrong, but since it's obvious what 'stone' you are talking about (I would call it a 'weight'), all you need say is "The stone's dirty".

11
  • 7
    I don't think "comes with" is only used for things sold together. It more like "is included". A puppy comes with a lot of obligations. That part goes with the blue widget. Sony a9 III: Global shutter comes with an image quality cost
    – ColleenV
    Jan 9 at 17:38
  • 4
    @ColleenV - I didn't mean to imply that that was the only meaning of 'comes with' - it happens to be the sense that Tom had mentioned! Jan 9 at 17:55
  • 4
    @Lambie I chose to read the question as asking about 'goes with' versus 'comes with', and not "what should I say to my daughter", which would be off topic. I would say "That's dirty, don't put it on your bed." but I'm not learning English as a foreign language.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 9 at 18:15
  • 1
    @ColleenV "I bought that balloon for my daughter. When we were at home, she put the balloon on to the bed. I said to her "the stone that goes with the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed"?" The daughter and dirty stone are a basic part of the context here. How can that be off topic? I answered all three ideas. With and without the kid. comes with/goes with does not fit the context with the child and the bed.
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 18:18
  • 2
    OP specifically included alternative examples. Focusing on the parent-child relationship or the specific hardware involved is ignoring the actual question asked. It could be the Archbishop of Canterbury talking to Kylie Minogue about an anvil tied to a zeppelin with a gold chain and the underlying question would be the same. Everyone posting here already knows this, cranky debate over trivia is pointless. I know because I'm an expert in cranky debate over trivia.
    – barbecue
    Jan 10 at 17:17
20

The most idiomatic way to have referred to the stone in the vignette with your daughter:

The stone that came with the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed.

The present refers to the general situation:

The stone that comes with these balloons doesn't need to be as heavy as it is. A much smaller stone would suffice.

4
  • 4
    The stone on the balloon string is dirty. There is no need to specify at all.
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 18:35
  • 3
    Whether there is a need or not is debatable. The stone that "came with" or "is attached to the balloon" is better than "on the balloon". The balloon is on a string. Is the string on the balloon?
    – TimR
    Jan 9 at 18:45
  • 1
    I wrote: The stone on the balloon string. the string of the balloon. Allowable in English.
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 18:49
  • 1
    The most idiomatic way is even more debatable. This: "the stone that goes with the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed"? is completely off track. Idiomaticity is not the only consideration here.
    – Lambie
    Jan 10 at 16:09
7

“Come with” means “arrive together with”. You can say it about people (“Bob came with Carol to the party”) or objects (“The hamburger came with a side of fries”). Said about inanimate objects, the phrase often means that they are natural partners, especially one is given freely as an accessory or supplement to the other, which is paid for. Buy a BMW, a 10-year warranty might come with it. Buy the special, it comes with a free dessert.

“Go with” suggests that that the motion is volitional. “Bob goes with Carol” can mean literally he went somewhere with her, or idiomatically that they are romantic partners and he goes with her to parties and movies and such.

Said about an inanimate object, it means something entirely different: that one thing is aesthetically compatible with the other. Ketchup goes with fries; yellow drapes go with a purple carpet; peas go with carrots.

Unless you mean that a rock makes a balloon more appealing, even if the rock is tied to the balloon, it does not “go with it”. It comes with it.

Edit: in the comments, there is some consensus that in addition to “aesthetic compatibility” the expression go with can indicate mechanical or practical compatibility: “The ¾" nut goes with the ¾" bolt.” “That lid does not go with that much bigger pot.” “I lost the remote that goes with that TV.”

3
  • 3
    "Said about an inanimate object, it means something entirely different: that one thing is aesthetically compatible with the other" - or else that the objects in question belong together, for example "this lid goes with that jar". Jan 10 at 2:37
  • @DanParsonson — you aren’t wrong but if someone told me “this lid goes with that jar” I would first think that they meant it matched or contrasted in visually pleasing ways. Mechanical compatibility would be secondary; I would prefer to say the lid fit the jar or belongs to the jar. Jan 10 at 2:41
  • 4
    @MichaelLorton Regional differences maybe, but I definitely wouldn't think that. Jan 10 at 7:43
1

The fact that "come" and "go" are ordinarily opposites does not matter very much here, because neither one could be meant literally here. We are not talking about the literal movement of either the balloon or the stone - so we can only consider idioms that are based on metaphorical movement.

Thus:

"The stone comes with the balloon" means that the two objects are sold together.

"come with" could also mean to accompany; but this only really makes sense for people, not things.

"The stone goes with the balloon" would normally mean that they suit each other (belong together) somehow; but it's a little strange to say this about a stone and a balloon, because one would not ordinarily think that these two objects belong together.

There are other meanings for "go with", but they don't make sense for two objects (and not all of them are idiomatic in all dialects of English).


However, in your case, neither of these is idiomatic. "Go with" doesn't work: even if you thought that the stone and the balloon belonged together in some way (it does not simply mean that they are physically attached), it would be strange to use this to identify which stone you're talking about. "Come with", meanwhile, would have to be in the past tense - "came with". That's because you are referring to the event when you bought the stone and the balloon, which happened in the past.

If the point is to clarify which stone you're talking about, by mentioning that it's attached to the balloon, then just say that: "the stone attached to the balloon"; or "the stone which is attached to the balloon", or "the stone that is attached to the balloon".

In the situation you describe, though, it probably makes more sense to e.g. simply point at the stone and say "that stone".

0

Neither because neither is correct. The stone isn’t dirty by design, and even if it was, you could get a defective balloon/stone combo where it was/is clean.

The correct phrase would be “The stone attached to the balloon is dirty. Don't put it on the bed.

That is also your concern, the fact that it is currently dirty. Whether by design or happenstance, the stone is dirty and you don’t want the dirty stone put on the bed.

If it frequently gets dirty and you want to prevent bad habits, even if it may be clean now: “The stone attached to the balloon is always getting dirty. Don't put it on the bed.

-2

You can say comes with/goes with if you like. But that sounds like advertising lingo here in talking to a kid about a stone attached to a balloon string. Like for washing machines or parts. Or unless you are describing the balloons (or products) to someone.

  • This dress comes with a belt.
  • This couch goes with that side table.

For example:

  1. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor decorations, these balloons come with a stick and stand for easy placement. balloons sold on the Internet

  2. Confetti and Glitter Balloons go with any occasion! Give your event or occasion some extra “Pop” with these favourite party balloons! balloons

  • Our balloons come with a pretty stone at the end of a string.

  • The balloon comes with a stone on a string. [advertising]

  • See John? The balloon comes with a stone on a string.

Speaking to someone about the dirty stone:

  • The stone on the balloon's string or balloon string is dirty. Don't put it on the bed.

go with/come with can be used in tons of places and ways and it is impossible to give examples of all those places and ways.

7
  • 4
    goes with is hardly advertising lingo. A small barometer goes with that thermometer hanging on the wall but it broke. And comes with, though it is often used when describing an item available for purchase, is just normal everyday speech. That car comes with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
    – TimR
    Jan 9 at 18:05
  • @TimR This sofa goes with a side table, in the same style as the other pieces of furniture. //But you are not getting what I am saying: talking to a kid about a dirty something, you would not use goes with/comes. In this context it sounds like advertising lingo re the balloon and stone hanging off the string. "goes with/comes" with can be used in tons of places but not here for the meaning the OP is seeking. We cannot be expected to show every single usage of goes with/comes with. Downvoters are clueless.
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 18:09
  • 1
    "Or unless you are describing the balloons to someone who has never seen one". But not to tell a kid not to put a dirty stone on the bed. I did specify that.
    – Lambie
    Jan 9 at 18:14
  • 2
    The downvoters aren't clueless; they just disagree with you. It doesn't sound particularly like advertising lingo to my native ear, to the extent that your assertion that it does seems rather bizarre.
    – Tashus
    Jan 10 at 15:45
  • 2
    @Lambie "It is simply not something one says to one's daughter re something dirty like this" I understand your assertion. I simply don't agree, and it seems that I am not alone in that regard. Providing examples of a word used in a context does not imply that it is only or even predominantly used in that context. Advertising uses the word "the", and I could provide plenty of examples. Would that mean that using "the" would sound like advertising lingo?
    – Tashus
    Jan 10 at 16:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .