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Is it okay to say, ‘He returned back home’?

(L. Revathi, Chennai)

In India, it is common to hear people say, ‘He returned back the book to the library’ and ‘She returned back from Mumbai yesterday.’ The word ‘return’ means to ‘go/come back’. Therefore, there is no need for you to say ‘return back’: the word ‘back’ is redundant in this case. It is okay to say ‘come back’, ‘turn back’, and ‘get back’, but not ‘return back’.

*Please return the book to the library by this evening.

* * *

“Society, my dear, is like salt water, good to swim in but hard to swallow.”

Arthur Stringer

S. UPENDRAN

upendrankye@gmail.com

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