In my mother tongue, there is a word that describes the entire event of...

your going to one place and coming back.

The beauty of this word is it is very useful as in one word, you describe the entire thing and with a bit of negation!

Let's build an example:

I want to have a driving license (InE) ~ Oh, that's not an easy task with local RTO (Regional Transport Office). You'll have minimum [the word in my mother tongue].

If I say, you'll have to visit the RTO thrice, it works but then the word 'visit' has no negation in it.

Few more examples:

Did you go to her place? ~ Yes, I did/had three [the word in my mother tongue] (i.e. comings and goings), but she did not seem to be interested in the project.

The closest word that comes to my mind is the word 'visit'.

I'm asking natives; do you use 'visits' for the following example?

My 'visit' to the place was a waste
You'll have to have several 'visits' to get the work done
I wasted my time for the 'failed visits' I made.

Or there is another word/phrase/idiom to pass a clear message? Please mind the negation.

Note: I know the use of 'have been' for the places but that's not I'm looking for. Typically, the word I'm searching for is a 'noun' as in my second-last example.

  • Your use of visit is perfectly fine. I will have to visit the dentist three times to get my dental work done. The fact that you're not there now implies that it is no longer the case, which is the negation I think you're looking for..
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 6:47
  • @Catija no, three visits are required to do the work. They are genuine visits. Here, I'm talking about the apathy government officers show or for that sake, for silly reasons/ignorance or whatever, you will have to make several visits. Check the last three examples of mine.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 6:53
  • There's no difference between them... at least not in English. You could always just use go... I had to go to the grocery store three times before I finally remembered to buy the toilet paper.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 7:04
  • 1
    I don't completely understand what you mean by "negation". Is it just to indicate that the visits are required and there is no way to avoid them? Or are you specifically trying to imply that the visits are unpleasant? Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 16:41
  • 1
    If there's a word in your native tongue that means "visit where you get nothing accomplished", it probably isn't translatable into one word in English (although I can see how it would be useful). Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 23:38

3 Answers 3


The term that comes closest to what you're looking for is either trips or round trips.

A trip is a journey. A round trip is a journey that starts and ends in the same place. So if you start at home, travel to Paris, and then come back home, you have made a round trip to Paris.

In many cases, the "round" nature of a trip is implied. So the most common way of expressing what you're talking about would be:

You want to get a driving license? Oh, that's a pain. You'll have to make at least three trips.

The idea of multiple trips already, depending on context, carries some mild sense that the trips are a burden. If you use "round trips" instead, it emphasizes this:

You want to get a driving license? Oh, that's a pain. You'll have to make at least three round trips.

As best I can tell, this is the most idiomatic way to express what you're looking to express.


A good word that means "involved event that will take a long time that you would prefer not to do" would be ordeal.

I think what you'd be trying to say with minimum in that sentence would be expressed with "at least a little bit of."

I want to have a driving license (InE) ~ Oh, that's not an easy task with local RTO (Regional Transport Office). It'll be at least a little bit of an ordeal.

English doesn't have a common single word that I know of for something like "bad" or "unsuccessful" visit, or "visit where you tried." -

Well now that I think about it - try or attempt might work - if the visit was meant to accomplish something.

I wasted my time for the failed tries I made.

That's the thing - visit just means you are going to a place, not necessarily that you are doing something there.

If you mean something like "visit where the work is not complete," use the word session, or appointment if it's something like a doctor or other professional.

You'll have to have several sessions to get the work done

You'll have to have several appointments to get the work done

Both of these would be inappropriate in family or settings where you aren't seeing a professional for some reason.


If a single trip (or a continuing series of trips) includes obtaining something, or retrieving something, you can use the word fetching. For example:

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
to fetch a pail of water.


Jack fetched a pail of water.

In a context where water is at the top of the hill, the second example implies that Jack went up the hill, either half-filled a pail with water or obtained an already half-full pail, and brought the half-full pail back down the hill.

"Fetch" is an old-fashioned word, but is known by almost all native speakers of English. (Mostly because of the nursery rhyme, but also because it is a standard command in dog-training.)

Because "fetch" is a standard command in dog-training, it does have a "familiar" or "condescending" connotation when used to discuss something a person does. Here are some examples:

Red played fetch with Rover.
Let me fetch that for you.
Farmboy, fetch me that pitcher.

Also, the word "fetching" is a quaint adjective used to describe something that attracts men to women. For example:

That is a very fetching dress.

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