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General Writing and Grammar Help/Get home, come home, come back home

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Question
Dear Ted:

With the use of some examples, would you please explain the differences among "to GET home," "to COME home," and "to COME BACK home"?

Also, are there any cases in which all or some of the above phrases may be used interchangeably?

If so, when?

Would you please give me a few examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:


With the use of some examples, would you please explain the differences among "to GET home," "to COME home," and "to COME BACK home"?

*** The first two are often interchanged.  

EXAMPLES:

When will you GET/COME home?  Every night, I GET/COME home at 6:00.

There are some difference between the two, however.

My goal is to GET HOME before the storm arrives.  [There are times when the word "get" indicates some urgency.  "Come" does NOT suggests that urgency.]

Please COME home; your family misses you.  ["Come" is part of a plea.  You cannot use "get" in this situation.  If you say "Please GET home," it sounds like a command and not a plea.]

TO COME BACK HOME is different from the other two, and it cannot be interchanged with them.  Using this phrase suggests that a person ONCE was at a place and intends to return to it.  The idea of "returning" is emphasized by using the word "back."

After I finish medical school, I want to COME BACK HOME to help the sick people in my little town.

Why did you leave us?  We are begging you TO COME BACK HOME, Jack.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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