For changing one's home from one place to another, I've heard people in western part of the world using the sentence:

I'll be moving next month.

In India, even in the English news channels, I've heard many people using the phrase:

I'll be shifting next month.

Which one is the correct usage? Or are both of them correct and the difference in usage is regional?

  • I think you have answered your own question; whatever is regionally defined is acceptable. Is it in an English - Hindi dictionary? Jan 4, 2014 at 8:51
  • I haven't checked the dictionary actually. I've head it many a times and other always correct me and say that moving... is correct usage. Jan 4, 2014 at 9:14
  • 4
    'shifting' would not be understood in American English. But in India it might be just fine.
    – Mitch
    Jan 4, 2014 at 14:22
  • I live in Australia and the first time I've ever heard the phrase "I'm shifting house next week" is from a friend who just came from India. I've never heard it otherwise. And that's why I'm here. I was looking it up to see if that's the correct phrase to use or not.
    – user143666
    Oct 21, 2015 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


In American and British English, "to move" is the standard verb to express the idea of relocating one's belongings from one dwelling to another (among other connotations):

I moved from Baker Street to High Street.

"To shift," when referring to objects, generally has more of a temporal sense associated with it:

I shifted my class from Monday to Wednesday.

or an internal reorganization:

I shifted the remaining funds from renovations to education.

  • 1
    "Shift" for changing house is commonly used in Australia and New Zealand. Is this not the case in Britain?
    – nxx
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:11
  • I've never seen or heard that usage, so I can't say it's "common" usage. Of course, Australian and New Zealander English has evolved away from British English significantly in the last few centuries.
    – aeismail
    Jan 10, 2014 at 6:15
  • Interestingly, I looked up "shift" in New Zealand dictionaries and that particular meaning was not there. Yet it is certainly used that way, at least as much so as "move". It is also, of course, not in the Oxford dictionary with that meaning: strange that it is seemingly common in both NZ and in India, yet is not recorded as having come from Britain.
    – nxx
    Jan 10, 2014 at 11:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.