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When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る?

まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at least I can leave this country.

まあ、少なくとも、この国を去ることはできるな。 Well, at least I can leave this country. (?)

店を出ると、犬を連れた二人の中年女性が通りかかりました。 When I left the shop, two middle-aged women with dogs were passing by.

店を去ると、犬を連れた二人の中年女性が通りかかりました。 When I left the shop, two middle-aged women with dogs were passing by.(?)

私は、そこを去って別の電気製品を1時間近く見たところで、また「肩モミ椅子」の辺りにやってきました。 I moved on and after looking at other things for about an hour came by the chair display again.

私は、そこを出て別の電気製品を1時間近く見たところで、また「肩モミ椅子」の辺りにやってきました。 I moved on and after looking at other things for about an hour came by the chair display again.(?)

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1 Answer 1

出る means "leaving out of a bounded/surrounded area". 去る means "leave to a remote place" and often implies "leaving for permanent". Also から sounds more natural than を with 去る.

  • For your sentence 1 and 2, I think they are equally fine.
  • I feel sentence 4 a bit unnatural compared to sentence 3. Perhaps this is because 店 is not as strongly a place as are 国 and そこ. Rather it is a building (with surrounding walls), so 出る sounds better. Also 店を去ると would not mean "when I stepped out of the store". It rather means "after I walked far enough from the store".
  • For sentence 5 and 6, using 去って means "leaving the section that has the particular electronic thing"; using 出て means "leaving the building".
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Thank you. Then how about in this instance? 後ろ髪は前よりも短くなったので、お店を去って外に出たとき、寒かったです。 My hair in the back was shorter than before, so when I left the salon to go outside I could feel the cold. –  yadokari May 27 '12 at 21:52
    
That sentence is unnatural. て implies temporal order, and 外に出る "stepping out" should precede お店を去る "being far away from the shop", so the order should be the other way as "外に出てお店を去ったとき". –  sawa May 27 '12 at 22:02
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ok. I got the sentence from a native speaker but I understand their writing may be poor. –  yadokari May 27 '12 at 22:06
    
“から sounds more natural than を with 去る”: Are you sure about this? My feeling is that both から and を can be used in most cases, but in some cases を is much preferred; for example, 祖国を去る sounds much more natural than 祖国から去る. –  Tsuyoshi Ito May 27 '12 at 22:56
    
@TsuyoshiIto It is subtle to me. Maybe you are right. –  sawa May 28 '12 at 1:34

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