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What's up with "return" and "come back"?
Let’s first look at the different ways in which “return” can be used:
There’s also one more, as in “to strike back”:
- “Nadal returned Ferrer’s serve for a winner.”
- “She returned his weak insult with a witty remark that completely embarrassed him.”
From the above, “come back” can be used interchangeably with “return” in only #2 and #3:
- “She came back to her homeland.”
- “She came back from her trip to her homeland.”
However, there are cases when “return” cannot be used interchangeably with “come back”:
- Notice that all of the above examples involving “come back” involve idioms.
- Also, this post covers “return” and “come back” as verbs, not as nouns. (They can also be nouns. Consult a dictionary to see what they mean as nouns.)
What's up with "in a moment" and "momentarily"?
The short answer is that momentarily can mean either “lasting for a moment” or “in a moment.”
Momentarily originally meant “lasting for a moment,” as in “He paused momentarily before answering the question.” But since the 1920s, it has also been used to mean “in a moment,” e.g., “Jane told us that she will be arriving momentarily.”
Here are some more examples:
This post will end momentarily.