Get Home or Get to Home? Understanding the Correct Usage

Marcus Froland

English is a tricky language, full of nuances and little rules that can trip up even the most diligent learner. One common point of confusion revolves around how we talk about returning home. Do we “get home” or “get to home”? It seems simple, but this tiny difference can cause big headaches for those trying to master the language.

The debate has lingered among students and teachers alike, sparking discussions in classrooms and online forums. But why does such a small phrase cause so much trouble? And more importantly, what’s the right way to say it? By digging into the nuts and bolts of English, we’re about to find out—just when you thought you had all your prepositions and adverbs sorted out.

Many people wonder about the correct way to say they are going back to their house. The right phrase is “get home”. Saying “get to home” is not correct in English. This is because “home” acts like an adverb here, describing where you’re going. You don’t need the word “to” which is usually used for directions. Think of it like saying “go home” or “arrive home”. It’s simple and direct. So, next time you’re talking about returning to your house, remember it’s always correct to say “I’m going to get home”.

The Role of ‘Home’ in English Grammar

In the English language, ‘home’ plays a significant role as an adverb of place. Let’s delve deeper into the concept of ‘home’ as an adverb of place and understand when to use it without a preposition in sentences.

Defining ‘Home’ as an Adverb of Place

When used as an adverb of place, the word ‘home’ signifies “in the direction of home.” It is commonly used without a preposition in statements such as “I got home last night.” Similar to adverbs like “easterly,” “up,” and “down,” it modifies the verb to provide more specific information about the direction of the action.

‘Home’ as an adverb: I got home last night.

When to Use ‘Home’ Without a Preposition

“Home” does not require a preposition such as “to” when it serves as an adverb of place. This is based on the general rule that adverbs of place can stand alone to modify verbs without the need for additional prepositions. It streamlines the sentence structure and maintains grammatical correctness while ensuring clarity and simplicity.

To help illustrate this concept, let’s look at some examples of proper sentence structures:

  1. She went home early today.
  2. He swam home.
  3. I’m flying home next week.

In contrast, here are some examples of incorrect sentence structures that would require rephrasing:

  • Incorrect: She went to home early today.
  • Correct: She went home early today.
  • Incorrect: He swam to home.
  • Correct: He swam home.

As seen above, using ‘home’ as an adverb of place without a preposition helps maintain grammatical correctness, clarity, and simplicity in the sentence structure.

Navigating the Verbs: ‘Get’ and ‘Arrive’

Among the many English verbs you will come across, ‘get’ and ‘arrive’ are two common verbs paired with ‘home’ in both conversational and written English. Understanding the correct verb usage is essential to fluently navigate the language nuances these verbs present.

“I arrived home at 6 am.”

In this sentence, ‘arrive’ is the verb seamlessly modified by ‘home’ acting as an adverb of place. This is an effective example of the proper use of ‘arrive’ in conjunction with ‘home’. On the other hand, the phrase ‘get at home’ would be incorrect as it breaks the verb-adverb pairing typically used with ‘home’. To clarify the subtle distinctions between these verbs, it’s vital to examine their appropriate usages:

  1. When you intend to convey reaching home, use ‘get home’ or ‘arrive home’ rather than ‘get to home’.
  2. ‘Get home’ is more informal and colloquial, while ‘arrive home’ exudes a more formal tone.
  3. Avoid using ‘get at home’ or any other combinations that do not comply with the verb-adverb pairing rules.
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Let’s take a closer look at examples that demonstrate the correct usage of these verbs:

  • “When will you get home from work?”
  • “I am excited to get home and relax.”


  • “She arrived home just in time for dinner.”
  • “They arrived home after a long drive.”

By recognizing the correct verb usage and how ‘home’ functions as an adverb of place, you can effortlessly follow the necessary grammatical rules for each verb and enhance your English language skills.

Making Sense of ‘Get to Home’

While the expression “get to home” may initially seem incorrect, it does have its place in English grammar. In this section, we’ll explore the instances where “get to home” is appropriate and how it differs from the more common “get home” phrase.

Instances Where ‘Get to Home’ is Appropriate

Although uncommon, “get to home” can be used correctly in specific contexts. When “home” is employed as a noun to qualify a location or a specific place, the preposition “to” becomes necessary. The distinguishing factor between “get home” and “get to home” lies in the role of “home” within the sentence. In the case of the latter, it takes on the role of a noun.

Example: “I need to get to the home of the state senator.”

In this example, “home” represents a particular residence rather than a general adverb of place, warranting the use of “to” as the preposition. It’s essential to be mindful of situations where “get to home” could make sense, although its usage remains rare and highly specific.

Key takeaway:

  • “Get to home” is appropriate when “home” serves as a noun, qualifying a specific location.

Understanding the nuances of “get home” versus “get to home” in English grammar is crucial for using the language effectively. Recognizing the appropriate grammatical usage and applying it to real-life situations will enhance your English language skills and help you communicate more accurately.

Common Mistakes and Clarifications

As English learners continue to enhance their language skills, various common English mistakes can sometimes hinder their communication. To provide clarifications and grammar corrections, let’s explore some frequent errors and misconceptions in phrases related to “home”.

Non-native speakers often mistakenly use “go to home” when the correct form is actually “go home.” The presence of the preposition “to” is unnecessary as “home” functions as an adverb of place, thereby modifying the verb without requiring additional linking words.

“I usually go home after work.”

  1. Arrive to home vs. Arrive home or Arrive at home

Another prevalent error is using “arrive to home” instead of the acceptable forms, “arrive home” or “arrive at home.” The preposition “to” in this case is incorrect and should be either omitted or replaced with “at” when “home” functions as a noun.

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Consider this example:

“When will you arrive home?”

When “arrive” is paired with “home” as an adverb, “home” should not be preceded by a preposition. Alternatively:

“When will you arrive at the meeting?”

In this scenario, “the meeting” is functioning as a noun, thus requiring the preposition “at.” To navigate these subtle differences and enhance your English fluency, pay close attention to the grammatical function of “home” in various sentences and practice applying these rules in conversations.

‘Arrive Home’ Versus ‘Arrive to Home’

In everyday conversations and even some written English, the expressions “arrive home” and “arrive to home” might seem interchangeable. However, a closer examination of their usage reveals critical differences in the context of each phrase as well as the impact they have on the overall sentence structure.

Understanding the Subtleties of ‘Arrive’

When using the verb “arrive,” you need to pay careful attention to preposition use and the general syntax of the sentence. Typically, “arrive home” is the correct expression to use, allowing “home” to function as an adverb of place and eliminating the need for a preposition.

On the other hand, the expression “arrive to home” is incorrect in proper English. While you might come across this phrase in colloquial speech, it is not appropriate for formal communication and should be avoided.

There is, however, another variation you might encounter – “arrive at home” – which is less common but still grammatically correct. In this instance, “home” serves as the destination one is approaching, and the preposition “at” is necessary.

“I will arrive home by midnight.”

“I will arrive at home by midnight.”

As can be seen from the examples above, both expressions are correct, but they may convey slightly different nuances. While “arrive home” focuses on the idea of returning to one’s residence, “arrive at home” emphasizes arriving at one’s residence as a destination in a more subtle way.

  1. Correct: I need to arrive home before the storm starts.
  2. Correct but less common: I need to arrive at home before the storm starts.
  3. Incorrect: I need to arrive to home before the storm starts.

By understanding the subtleties of preposition use and the differing contexts in which “arrive home” and “arrive at home” are used, you can significantly improve your language skills and express your thoughts more accurately and effectively.

Practical Examples in Conversational Context

Understanding the correct usage of “get home” or “get to home” in conversational English can be challenging, especially for non-native speakers. To help you improve your language application, we’ll provide you with practical English examples in everyday situations. By practicing these examples, you’ll become more proficient at utilizing these phrases correctly.

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Let’s start by looking at a conversation between two friends planning their night out:

Anna: “What time do you think you’ll get home tonight?”

Mike: “I think I’ll be home around midnight.”

In this exchange, Anna correctly uses “get home,” and Mike responds with “be home,” which is also correct. However, it would be incorrect for Anna to say, “What time will you be at home?” as it would require the use of the auxiliary verb “be” and the preposition “at” instead of “get.”

Now let’s see another interaction between two coworkers discussing their lunch break:

Tina: “I need to go home to get my wallet during lunch. What time do you think we’ll finish the meeting?”

Adam: “I think we should be done by 1 PM.”

Here, Tina uses “go home” correctly, as she’s indicating her plans to return to her residence to retrieve her wallet. Adam gives an appropriate response using the correct verb tense for their expected completion time.

Finally, let’s look at a table showcasing correct and incorrect usage of “get home” and “get to home” in various tenses:

Tense Correct Incorrect
Present Simple I usually get home at 6 PM. I usually get to home at 6 PM.
Present Continuous I’m getting home now. I’m getting to home now.
Past Simple I got home late last night. I got to home late last night.
Future Simple I will get home early this evening. I will get to home early this evening.

By studying these examples and practicing their usage in daily conversation, you will develop a better understanding of how to properly use “get home” and avoid the common mistake of saying “get to home.” This will greatly improve your English communication skills and give you confidence in everyday interactions.

Expert Insights and Conclusion

Mastering English grammar and fluency requires attention to various linguistic subtleties, including understanding the correct usage of “get home” versus “get to home”. Expert language insights suggest that “home” primarily functions as an adverb of place, modifying the verb without needing a preposition. It is vital to remember this distinction to improve your language mastery and avoid common mistakes.

When used as a noun to denote a specific place or destination, “home” can be paired with prepositions and articles, as in the example “get to the home of the state senator.” This uncommon usage should not be confused with the more standard and widely accepted “get home” and “arrive home” phrases.

Finally, learning how to use “home” correctly as an adverb can help you get much better at English grammar. Recognize the proper verb-adverb pairings, the specific cases where prepositions are necessary, and the instances where they should be avoided. Keeping these expert insights in mind will help you communicate more effectively and strengthen your overall language mastery.

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