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I'm working on an essay and the first line of my introductory paragraph currently reads as:

Too many times, when sitting in an English classroom, have bitter groans departed the lips of around twenty students when Shakespeare’s name is mentioned.

This probably seems like a very facile question, but it's somewhat confusing to me; the main definition of "depart," according to the dictionary, is "to leave, typically in order to start a journey." However, when reading, the word is often formatted such so that "from" is put in front of it, right before the area of question–– i.e., "he departed from his home in Alsace." In this case, when referring to that definition, doesn't it translate to "he left from his home in Alsace"? Wouldn't "he departed his home in Alsace" ("he left his home in Alsace") be more suitable and also less wordy? Are both usages grammatically correct?

  • It's just one of the peculiarities of the language that you leave a place, but depart from it. – Kate Bunting Nov 18 '18 at 9:03
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The expression "depart the lips" is grammatical. When talking about a literal or figurative journey, "depart" meaning "leave" can be followed by "from [starting point]", or "to [destination]" or simply [starting point].

  1. verb
    When something or someone departs from a place, they leave it and start a journey to another place.

Our tour departs from Heathrow Airport on 31 March and returns 16 April. [VERB + from]
In the morning Mr McDonald departed for Sydney. [VERB + for]
The coach departs Potsdam in the morning. [VERB noun]

Depart (Collins English Dictionary)

Collins also gives as American usage to "depart a job", and "flight 10 departs Chicago at 2 P.M.", and notes generally that when we die, we "depart this life".

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