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Some friends will come round for dinner.

Some friends will visit for dinner.

Some friends will visit me.

These are OK, but "some friends will come round me" isn't OK.

The answer is simple, but it needs some thought.

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Why are you telling us the answer is simple? This isn't a trivia site where you ask a question and wait until someone gives the answer you think is correct. –  MrHen Mar 22 '11 at 18:38
    
Perhaps someone will prove me wrong... –  nicholas ainsworth Mar 30 '11 at 20:12
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3 Answers 3

The two have very similar meanings but there are different connotations. Someone coming "around" subtlety implies that they will be coming around again or have been here in the past. It also implies a much less formal happening as if there is little reason to make a fuss about the event.

The watchman will be coming around about 6.

The watchman will be visiting about 6.

In addition to this, "around" or "round" have other meanings that separate them from "visit." Robusto's example is good. Others are:

The watchman will be coming around 6.

The watchman will be coming around the corner.

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The expressions doesn't have the exact same meaning always, but in this case they are interchangeable.

When you use visit, that the friends are visiting you is implied:

Some friends will visit [me] for dinner.

You can replace visit me with come around:

Some friends will come around.

However, you can't use come around instead of visit me for all places:

Some friends will visit me in prison.

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Why the downvote? If you don't explain what it is that you think is wrong, it can't improve the answer. –  Guffa Mar 22 '11 at 15:24
    
only thing I can see is that "friends will come around" has a second meaning, which may not be clear. –  jbelacqua Mar 22 '11 at 21:38
    
@jgbelacqua: If you mean come around in the sense of changing ones opinion, that would be a possible interpretation of the sentence, but then the context would be different. –  Guffa Mar 23 '11 at 10:20
    
true. Just trying to fathom why someone would down-vote this. –  jbelacqua Mar 24 '11 at 5:17
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Round is a "chiefly British" [NOAD] variant of around. It can be substituted freely.

Come, gather round me, and I'll tell you. — W. S. Gilbert, "A Wandering Minstrel I" from The Mikado

You can see that this quote exactly parallels your "Some friends will come round me," so I would say from a usage standpoint that it is acceptable, at least in British English.

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I think that the simple answer is that 'come around' is used for a place and 'visit' is used for people and places. –  nicholas ainsworth Mar 22 '11 at 10:14
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I just gave you an example by one of the cleverest lyricists of his time in which round is used with a person as its object. Surely this is evidence that your assertion doesn't hold water. –  Robusto Mar 22 '11 at 10:25
    
@nicholas ainsworth: I think you've got your head stuck in one meaning, while @Robusto's example has a somewhat different meaning. "Some friends will get into close physical proximity with me" and "Some friends will come to my house" are what we're playing with here. –  user1579 Mar 22 '11 at 14:15
    
-1. Misleadning. While the expression might be usable, it would no longer have the same meaning. –  Guffa Mar 22 '11 at 15:27
    
+1 The question outright states that this expression isn't OK, when it is. –  user1579 Mar 22 '11 at 18:51
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