I have a question about the usage of the preposition "to" here:

The European migrant crisis refers to the rising number of illegal immigrant arrivals to the European Union across the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkans from Africa and Southwest Asia.

Would "arrivals at the European Union" be better, since people normally write "they arrived at some place", not "they arrived to some place"?

  • Where did you get your "people normally write"? – Victor Bazarov Aug 18 '15 at 18:58
  • As far as I know, when you use at, you need to provide exact information. like, I am in Monaco at the X hole .. – Cardinal Aug 18 '15 at 19:07
  • @VictorBazarov So, I could write "they arrived to San Francisco" in "they arrived at San Francisco"? – meatie Aug 18 '15 at 19:10
  • X hotel , was my intend :) – Cardinal Aug 18 '15 at 19:14
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    The 'at' or 'in' choices are governed by your final position relative to the object. I can arrive at the office (meaning I am still outside, have not yet come in). I can also arrive at SF if I am still standing on the border of the city and have not yet crossed it. You cannot arrive in the airport, since 'port' (a door originally) is not a place that can contain you, so you always arrive to the airport. – Victor Bazarov Aug 18 '15 at 19:23

It seems that phrase was formed by a non-native person (like me (: ).

I were told the next:

  • "Arrive to": should never used (except for uses like "arrive to a conclusion").
  • Plain arrive (without preposition): "Arrive home", "Arrive late", "Arrive there".
  • "Arrive in": city or country
  • "Arrive at": arrival to a concrete place, like train station.
  • "Arrive on": "on time", "on an island", "on a territory", "on the scene","on a date", "on your own".

If you are a spanish-speaker, you can check a nice explanation on the subject here: http://menuaingles.blogspot.com.es/2013/06/como-se-usa-arrive-arrive-in-arrive-at.html.


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    Can the downvoter elaborate why he/she did it? Otherwise it is difficult to improve, thank you. – st4ck4nd Aug 18 '15 at 20:28
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    (+1) Who has clicked the down-vote button ? Arrive home is completely true . I am curious to here explanation of down-voter – Cardinal Aug 18 '15 at 20:50
  • Even "arrive to a conclusion" sounds wrong to me (I'm a native English speaker). I would say "arrive at a conclusion". – RJHunter Aug 23 '15 at 3:37
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    @Cardinal: I downvoted mostly because, while related, "arrive" and "arrival" are used slightly differently with different valid prepositions, so trying to use one to explain the other is dangerous. The rest was because, as a native speaker, "arrivals to the EU" sounds reasonable and natural and this answer does not convince me that that is in fact not the case. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 8 '15 at 7:34

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