I talked to a Canadian person yesterday. She used the word "commute" instead of "go" or "get." For example, she said "I commute to work by car." and asked me "How do you commute to work?"

It was a bit odd to me to see a person use "commute" instead of "go" or "get." So, I want to know whether is it common to use "commute" instead of "go" or "get"?

closed as general reference by Hugo, RegDwigнt Jan 9 '13 at 9:50

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Yes, it's common in American English as well. "3 : to travel back and forth regularly (as between a suburb and a city)....He commutes to work every day by train. She commutes 400 miles a week." – user21497 Jan 9 '13 at 4:06
  • @BillFranke Do you mean that saying "I commute to work by train" or "I go to work by train" are both common? – code4eight Jan 9 '13 at 4:11
  • Yes, they're both common. Generally, I'd say that using commute is more common when the distance traveled is long and the time required is more than, say, 30 minutes. I used to commute to work here in Taiwan because I had to ride my motorcycle for more than 30 minutes every day, but when I moved into the city, I merely drove or went to work because it took me just 10 minutes. – user21497 Jan 9 '13 at 4:16
  • 5
    No, commute does not mean go. – tchrist Jan 9 '13 at 4:22
  • commute  verb = travel to work: drive, go back and forth, take the bus/subway/train. You can also commute to a hospital or doctor's office for medical treatment. IOW, even though commute is not a synonym for to go when to go means to go to the store, for example, it means to go by vehicle to work or some other usually regular activity. If commuting to work (traveling by vehicle to work) is not going to work, then it must mean something rather arcane, like not going to work or staying home from work, mustn't it? – user21497 Jan 9 '13 at 5:50

It's common to use the word "commute" in the specific context of going to and from one's workplace. However, it's not a general replacement for "go"; for instance, I wouldn't say "I'm commuting to the store" instead of "I'm going to the store".

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