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My problem is that I don't know whether I should use 'to' or not when I say the sentences I wrote below. Can anyone tell me which one is right and why, 'have you gotten New York safely?' or 'have you gotten to New York safely?'? I don't know what to say when it comes to those. I get confused. I often hear people say 'did you get home?' and 'did you go home?' and they don't use 'to'. But they also say '...go(get) to your office...' or '...go to school'. I want to know the reason.

  • You are on the wrong site. You need English Language Learners. – David Jul 16 at 18:16
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I think the sound of got-to run together may have left you thinking of gotten.

Only the animal catching its prey has gotten its meal.

Using simpler words the right meaning would come through more easily.

'Did or will you get to New York safely?'

'Have you got to New York safely?'

'Had I got to New York safely I would have called'

These are all about a destination of a city or place where to would be correct. From to the state of New York to the city, to my street or to my house these all use to. Going to my home would be correct as well but it would be fine to say you went home. Or did you go home or get home. The nature of this exception baffles me.

I hope this helps.

  • Then, would you please tell me if it is 'I'm on my way back 'to' where I belong.' or 'I'm on my way back where I belong? – Can Jul 15 at 23:56
  • Either of those would work and not make a bad sound as English but I'd pick the second. Leaving 'to' in or not would then be important for keeping the number of syllables right for the song lyrics. – Elliot Jul 16 at 2:59
  • “Going to my home” is very commonly heard from non-native speakers (speakers of Romance languages especially), but I’ve never heard a native speaker say it. Home is a sort of weird pseudo-preposition on its own and does not normally take any preposition to indicate movement-towards. Same with words like (t)here and back. “*I went to home/there/back” is quite ungrammatical. (Note that house is different from home: “Went to my house” is fine, but “*went to (my) home” is not.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 16 at 20:00

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