Reaching a destination

<<Previous By: Richard Blazek, last updated: Friday, May 27, 2005 Next>>

When talking about the journeys that they have made, some of my Spanish friends say things like, "When I arrived to Madrid", or "When I arrived to my house". I imagine that this construction comes from the Spanish - Cuando llegué a mi casa. It is completely correct to use the verb, "arrive", but normally with the prepositions "at" for a building or "in" for a town or country and never "to". "When I arived at our offices", or "The train arrived in Madrid". However it is more colloquial to say, "When I got to our offices" or "When the train got to Madrid". The return from a trip is better expressed as, "When I returned home", or "When I came home".