Thursday, March 21

Arrival and Departure

When you travel, do you pay attention to the signs at the airport and Immigration?

Two words that you will see at the airport are “arrival” and “departure.”

all images courtesy of stock.xchng 

Arrival” means the act of coming to your destination. On the other hand, “departure” is the act of going away from your origin.


Arrival = coming

Departure = going away

If you’re not familiar with our Vocabulary, “destination” and “origin,” just remember:

Destination = target place (the place that you want to visit)

Origin = starting-point (the place where you come from)


Arrival = you come to your destination

Departure = you go away from your origin

Today we’re going to study some very practical words used to talk about arrival and departure. As you will see in our lesson, these words connected with travel have Prepositions with them. And knowing the right Preposition is important when we want to use them in sentences.

Our target words for today are:

# 1. Arrive

# 2. Get

# 3. Reach

# 4. Leave

# 5. Depart

Part One: Arrival

# 1. Arrive

Arrive” is a very common word. It means the act of coming to your target place. So you can say:

I finally arrived.

And if you want to mention the name of the place, you need to use the right Preposition.

Take a look:

Arrive in + country / city / town

Arrive at + building / event / other places

So we can say:

I arrived in London yesterday. = Ok

I arrived at the party 30 minutes late. = Ok

Perhaps we can say that about 85% of the time, “arrive” should be followed by “at.” While in the remaining 15%, it should be followed by “in.”

But “arrive” cannot be followed by the Prepositionto.”

We finally arrived to our house. = X

Arrive to” is a wrong idea that learners have. Perhaps because the most common Verb of movement “go” is followed by “to,” learners try to do the same with “arrive.”

# 2. Get

Get to” is the complete version of the word “get.” But learners can sometimes see “get” like this:

We got there in time. = Ok

She got home at 8 p.m. = Ok

This is why some learners misunderstand that the word “get” is alone.

In fact, the complete expression is:

We got to the movie theater in time. = Ok

She got to her house at 8 p.m. = Ok

Why? Because the words “there” and “home” in our first 2 sentences are Adverbs, not Nouns. They don’t need any Prepositions:

We got there in time. = Ok

She got home at 8 p.m. = Ok

On the other hand, in our second pair of examples, the words “movie theater” and “house” are Nouns. So we need to put Prepositions before them.

Like so:

We got to the movie theater in time. = Ok

She got to her house at 8 p.m. = Ok

Other Adverbs in English that don’t need any Prepositions are:

Abroad, overseas, downstairs, upstairs, here, outside, inside, downtown, etc.



She got here early.

She got to the office early.
He smokes outside.

He smokes at the porch.
She is cooking downstairs.
She is cooking in the kitchen.

They live abroad.

They live in Spain.
You should go there.

You should go to the party.
It’s hot inside.

It’s hot in this room.
I want to go downtown.

I want to go to the grocery.

Next time you use “get” to talk about arrival, think whether you are using an Adverb or a Noun.

If you have an Adverb, just use “get” alone. If you have a Noun, please use “get to.”

# 3. Reach

Like other words, the word “reach” has more than 1 meaning. One of its meanings is the same as “arrive.”

In fact, our 3 words – “arrive,” “get,” and “reach” – have the same meaning.

But the Verbs arrive” and “get” are Intransitive. This means that they need a Preposition after them (except with Adverbs).

Consider our examples: 

We arrived in Tokyo in the afternoon. = Ok

We got to Tokyo in the afternoon. = Ok


We reached Tokyo in the afternoon. = Ok

Why? This is because the Verbreach” is actually a Transitive Verb. Transitive Verbs don’t need a Preposition after them.

Here are more examples:

She reached school just in time.

What time do you think we’ll reach the airport?

They have reached the top of the mountain.

Part Two: Departure

# 4. Leave

The Verbleave” mainly means “departure,” but it is still tricky to use.

Here are 2 useful formulas you can follow:

Leave + origin

Leave for + destination

With the 2 formulas above, you should be able to make sentences like:

My father usually leaves our house at 7 a.m. = Ok

My father usually leaves for the office at 7 a.m. = Ok

As a matter of fact, the two sentences above have very similar meanings. However, because we are using the “starting-point (origin)” in our first example, we should use “leave” alone.  

And because we are using the “target place (destination)” in our second example, we should use “leave for.”

Here are more pairs:

We are leaving the house at 8:00 a.m. = We are leaving for the beach at 8:00 a.m.

She left her apartment in the morning. = She left for work in the morning.

He left his hotel just a while ago. = He left for the conference just a while ago.

# 5. Depart

Our last word is “depart.” As you can easily guess, it means “departure” – going away or leaving.

The meaning of “depart” is to leave and start a trip.

I have to tell you though, compared to our other words above, “depart” tends to be formal.

Its usage is very similar to that of the Verb leave,” with one slight difference. See for yourself:


Leave + origin

Depart from + origin
Leave for + destination

Depart for + destination


We shall depart from Seoul in one hour. = We shall depart for Manila in one hour.

Our flight departs from Narita Airport at 3 o’clock. = Our flight departs for Bangkok Airport at 3 o’clock.

Hope You Learned Something! 

Keep on learning !

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