Could someone please explain me the difference between the following?

  1. A: What time do you go to class every day? B: At 8:00
  2. A: What time do you come to class every day? B: At 8:00

I understand them as

In 1, B leaves home at 8:00 to go to class every day.
In 2, B arrives at class at 8:00 every day.

Do I understand them correctly?

  • 1
    It also may depend on where the person asking is standing. – Hot Licks Aug 19 '15 at 12:22

No. It is nothing to do with the difference between leaving and arriving.

"Go" and "come" are used consistently in English, though the difference is sometimes difficult to explain.

"Come" is used when the speaker associates themselves with the destination: usually because that is where they are when they speak ("Please come to my office now."); sometimes because that is where they will be when the person arrives ("Will you come to the party tonight? We're going to be in the Starlight Ballroom."); sometimes because it is a place associated with the speaker even though they are not themselves going to be there at the relevant time ("I'm away this week, but you can come to our offices any time").

So "come to class" has the implication that the speaker will be at the class, or that it is a class that the speaker has an involvement in. "Go to class" does not have that implication. That is all.

  • thank you for your thorough explanation. Could you please explain me one more thing? If "At 8:00" is the answer, does it mean that B leaves home at 8:00 or B arrives at class at 8:00? – vidang Aug 19 '15 at 10:31
  • It is somewhat ambiguous. it probably means the time they leave home, but in some contexts it might mean the time they arrive, especially if go to is being used in the different sense of attend, and the conversation is not focusing on travelling at all. – Colin Fine Aug 20 '15 at 0:38
  • Thank you a lot for your thorough explanation, you're really a big help. – vidang Aug 20 '15 at 0:46

"come to class" wouldn't be used in this way. "Come to class" would be used if you (the asker) were at class yourself and were asking when they would join you: "What time will you come to class (with me)?". Where as "go" indicates nothing about where you are only that they will be transporting them selves away from where ever this question is being asked.

  • Thank you for your answer. I'm studying about the simple present tense. The questions are used to ask about habits. I have edited the questions to make them clearer. – vidang Aug 19 '15 at 10:01

From inside the classroom:

A: What time do you come to class? B: 8:00.

The same question from anywhere else:

A: What time do you go to class? B: 8:00.

A different question altogether:

A What time do you leave for class? B: 7:55.

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