A couple months ago I read a book with the statement When the sun goes down and today in a movie I saw the man said Let's wait for the sun to come down. I believe both are refering to the sunset.

But which of them is better to be used or are there any formal differences between the two sentences?

  • 2
    When the sun goes down, it disappears under the horizon. Could it be that this man was waiting for the sun to get nearer the horizon but not disappear? Like in some vampire movies the friendly vampire can handle dusk but not full sunlight? I would not personally use "come down". The movie "Rio" has a song called "when the sun comes down". And it is idiomatically correct to say "when the sun comes up"
    – mplungjan
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:07
  • Do you remember the beautiful song: Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me?
    – user66974
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:57
  • I would say "go down" has a slight negative connotation (as in, do not want) versus "come down", but not sure.
    – Nick T
    Apr 17, 2014 at 3:42
  • The sun comes up. The sun goes down. First-person point of view.
    – Robusto
    Apr 17, 2014 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


When the sun goes down is the common use and form for a setting sun (as oppose to the sun comes up for a rising one).

The image in my head is a person standing on the beach in the evening waiting to take a photograph of the setting sun.

Let's wait for the sun to come down seems to imply that you're waiting for the sun to catch up to you for some reason (as if you're ahead of the sun).

The image in my head is a person standing on the beach in the late afternoon and telling his/her friend(s) that they should stay until the sun reaches them and sets in the distance.

There seems to be no formal difference, just a directional thing. I guess if your back is to the horizon and you're not watching the sun there, it's coming to you. And if you're facing the horizon and the sun is there, then the sun is going from you.

On a side note, there are lyrics of songs with both versions.


The sun comes up and goes down. It is the language of appearance - when it comes up, it is appearing from below the horizon and when it goes down, it is disappearing below the horizon. I've never heard anyone use the expression "wait for the sun to come down" - to me it sounds like they expect it to land on their head.

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