Other Terms for Arrive and Leave That You Might Not Know

One of the hardest things about English is learning the dozens of synonyms we have for common words. 

Leave and arrive are two common verbs that we often substitute with informal expressions. Here are are a handful of expressions you are likely to come across. 

Other terms for arrive

to get to + a place 

To arrive can sound a bit formal, and for everyday conversation we often opt to use get to instead. The formula is get to + a place. We omit the preposition to in the expressions get home, get here, and get there

“Do you think we’ll get to the bank before it closes?”

“Let’s plan on getting to the party about an hour late.”

“Cindy had a rough day at work. She didn’t get home until about 8:30 at night.” 

“Mark gets to work on time every day.”

“If you get there early, save me a seat.” 

A woman at the airport.
Life advice: always get to the airport early. (Photo by JESHOOTScom from Pixabay)

to make it

To make it means to arrive or be present at an event. We often use to make it to talk about arriving in time to do something.

“I can’t make it to work today. I think I might have the flu.”

“Let me know if you can make it to the party. We’d love to see you there.”

“Kurt and Lucy made it to the class just as the professor was handing out the midterms.” 

“There is no way we’re going to make it in time for our flight. We’ll have to find another flight tomorrow.”

A flat tire.
The owner of this car isn’t going to make it to work on time. (Photo by stux from Pixabay)

to show/to turn up

We use to show up/to turn up to mean (a) to appear somewhere or (b) to be present for an event or get together.  To show up is more common in American English, while to turn up is more common in British English.

“The band showed up an hour late, but the performance was great.”

“We were all worried when Vincent didn’t turn up for work.”

If you bring donuts, people will be less likely to get angry at you for showing up late for a meeting. (Photo by anya1 from Pixabay)

Other terms for leave

to take off, to head out, to get going

These terms are more or less interchangeable. We use all three as informal ways of saying “leave.” 

“No coffee for us, please. We have to take off soon.”

“Karla says she’s going to head out before traffic gets really bad.” 

“Can you stay for dinner, or do you have to get going?”

Note that we can say “head out to” + a location. 

“Let’s get some snacks before we head out to the beach.”

A man waving before he takes off. (Photo by Min An from Pexels)

to be out of here/to get out of here

We use to be out of here to informally communicate that we are about to leave. Note that it’s pronounced “outta here.” 

“All right, I’m out of here. I have to be at work early tomorrow.”

“We’re out of here. We have a long drive and we’d better get going.” 

It’s the weekend and she’s outta here. (Image by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay)

to get out of here

We can use to get out of here to tell someone (often forcefully) to leave.  We can also use the expressions need to get out of here, have to get out of here, let’s get out of here, and going to get out of here, to communicate that we are leaving.  

“When is this meeting going to end? I have to get out of here.”

“This movie is terrible. Let’s get out of here.”

“It’s not safe to be here. Get out of here now.”

Get outta here! (Image by Open-Clipart Vectors from Pixabay)

to hit the road

We use to hit the road to talk about leaving to start on a trip.

“We should hit the road if we want to get there by night time.”

“Would you like some coffee before you hit the road?”

This person is ready to hit the road. (Photo by i love simple beyond from Pexels)

to shove off

To shove off is a nautical term. It means to push off from the shore or another boat in order to start a journey by boat. We can use this term as an informal substitute for leave. We can also use the expression to forcefully tell someone to leave.

“Let’s plan on shoving off at 6 a.m. tomorrow.”

“Door-to-door sales is tough. So many people tell you to shove off.”

Boats need to shove off from the dock to start a voyage. (Photo by Lukas from Pexels)


The terms above are fairly common synonyms of leave that can be used in a variety of settings. Some other less common terms you may encounter include: to bail, to beat it, to bounce, to dash, to dip, to jet, to make tracks, to roll out, to scat, to scoot, to scram, to skedaddle, and to split.

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