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Our plane had left/started/gone/taken off

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers, I have a question again. Would you help me?

1 Which would be used?
(a) Our plane had already left when we arrived at the airport.
(b) Our plane had already gone when we arrived at the airport.
(c) Our plane had already taken off when we arrived at the airport.
(d) Our plane had already started when we arrived at the airport.

2 Which would be used?
(a) Our train had already left when we arrived at the station.
(b) Our train had already gone when we arrived at the station.
(c) Our train had already started when we arrived at the station.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

nahadef

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Left and taken off are best, gone is okay, but a little more colloquial. Started is incorrect, it has a meaning of ignition, particularly in cars. Started moving might be okay, but it has a different nuance than 出発.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, nahadef. So you mean all the sentences of Q2 (the train version) would be all right?
 

mdchachi

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1d and 2c are NG. "Started leaving" would be ok.

Another possibility you didn't list is "departed."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, mdchachi.
So, it would be all right to say that"Our plane had already started leaving when we arrived at the airport." or "Our train had already started leaving when we arrived at the station", wouldn't it?
If so, would there be any difference in meaning between "left" and "started leaving"?

Is it that you can replace "started" with "departed" in 1d and 2c?
Would (1e) and (2d) sound right?
(1e) Our plane had already departed when we arrived at the airport.
(2d) Our train had already departed when we arrived at the station.
 
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If so, would there be any difference in meaning between "left" and "started leaving"?
I would say the main difference is how far into "leaving" the train/plane are is the only difference. Started leaving would be more likely that as you were doing a certain thing it was leaving at the same time. While left means to have completed leaving. For example, "When I arrived to the platform for my train it had already started leaving" is likely to mean that the doors are closed and the train is started to move and you were able to see it leave upon arriving to the platform. While, "When I arrived to the platform for my train it had already left." is more likely to mean that when you arrived at the platform the train was no longer at the station. Either it has left completely (out of sight) or left the station. Hope that helps.
 

mdchachi

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Thanks for the help, mdchachi.
So, it would be all right to say that"Our plane had already started leaving when we arrived at the airport." or "Our train had already started leaving when we arrived at the station", wouldn't it?
If so, would there be any difference in meaning between "left" and "started leaving"?
Not much difference. I agree with Ootmaster's post.

Is it that you can replace "started" with "departed" in 1d and 2c?
Would (1e) and (2d) sound right?
(1e) Our plane had already departed when we arrived at the airport.
(2d) Our train had already departed when we arrived at the station.
Yes. These sound fine.
 

hirashin

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OoTmaster and mdchachi, thanks for the help.
For example, "When I arrived to the platform for my train it had already started leaving" is likely to mean that the doors are closed and the train is started to move and you were able to see it leave upon arriving to the platform. While, "When I arrived to the platform for my train it had already left." is more likely to mean that when you arrived at the platform the train was no longer at the station. .
Honestly, I'm surprised to see your sentences including "arrive to the station". You used both "arrive to" and "arrive at". According to my grammar books, "arrive to" can't be used. Is it all right to say "arrive to the platform" instead of "arrive at the platform"?
 
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OoTmaster and mdchachi, thanks for the help.


Honestly, I'm surprised to see your sentences including "arrive to the station". You used both "arrive to" and "arrive at". According to my grammar books, "arrive to" can't be used. Is it all right to say "arrive to the platform" instead of "arrive at the platform"?
You're correct it shouldn't be "arrived to the station". I think originally I had use "got to the station" then saw that you were using arrived in your sentences updated "got" to "arrived" but not "to" to "at". Sorry for any confusion.
 

mdchachi

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Is it all right to say "arrive to the platform" instead of "arrive at the platform"?
Sure it's all right. It's just not correct, that's all. :) But that fact hasn't stopped even native speakers from speaking English "incorrectly." If enough people do this, it will eventually become correct.
 

hirashin

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Thanks, mdchachi and OoTmaster. As an English teacher, I should know how to use English correctly. That's why I ask if my sentences would be used. If native speakers say a sentence would be used, I assume that we can use it.
 
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Well there's always a difference in what you can use and be understood by a native speaker and what is correct English grammar. Being a programmer I would say you would hope it's a one to one relation to what's said/used and what's correct but that's not always the case.
 
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