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Please tell me which one is the most correct usage of 迎えにいく

  1. 両親が国へ帰るので、空港へ迎えに行きます。
  2. 迎えに行きますから、駅に着いたら、電話してください。(The answer is this one but I do not understand why?)
  3. この荷物を郵便局へ迎えに行きます。
  4. 今年の夏休みは子供を海へ迎えにきます。

(2) is the correct answer according to the textbook, but I think that (1) is also correct, in terms of grammar and meaning.

1 Answer 1


I believe #1 is incorrect because of the verb 帰る.

When you describe someone else's movement with the verb 帰る, it feels as though they are moving away from you. So, in the first sentence, it sounds like, at the very least, you are not in your parents' home country at the time, and thus going to pick them up at the airport would be strange.

I believe that if the sentence used 帰ってくる, it could be correct. This would imply that they are returning home and that you are where they are returning to, so you would be able to greet them upon their arrival.

  • 2
    But then the phrase お帰りなさい has no 来る, and in that case it definitely does refer to someone returning to the place where the speaker is… Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 13:09

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