Imagine I am in Beijing, and I just returned from a trip to Shanghai. A friend in Shanghai calls me and asks "你回北京去了吗?" I can't really say 对 or 没错 or 是的 to confirm his question, because I did not 回去, I 回来ed.

Is it acceptable to respond with "我回去了" or must I say "我回来了?"

  • it depends location of you and your target. Shanghai says: 你回去北京了? (your friend is not in Beijing,so "回去"). if you are already in Beijing, you can say: 我回来了。 if you are still in plane or train, you can say: 我正回去北京 or 我正准备回去北京。(we can also 回北京, the audience can see 回去 or 回来). Jun 9, 2017 at 9:50

2 Answers 2


Please read this previously asked question : Are both 回了 and 回来了 correct responses to 你回天津了吗 (have you returned to Tianjin)?

Since you are currently in Beijing, the answer should be ' Yes I have came back to Beijing' (我回北京了 or simply 回来了 or even 回了)

  • The answer is in your own perspective


If you replied: "Yes, I have gone back to Beijing" (我回北京去了) Then you are pretending you are in Shanghai with your friend, because your voice is heard in Shanghai via the telephone.

  • The answer would be in your friend's perspective

In conclusion: both 回来了 ( your perspective) and 回去了 (your friend's perspective) are acceptable over the phone.

If you omit 来 or 去 and just say : "回了" then it can be interpreted either way.

It would be much simpler if both you and your friend were in the same location.


I am going back, or: I will go back (to the place I come from).

I am coming back, or, I have come back (from the place I had been to).

I am going back to Beijing, or: I will go back to Beijing.

I am coming back to Beijing.

I am coming back from Shanghai, or, I have just come back from Shanghai.

If you have arrived in Beijing, you may answer him:
If you are still in Shanghai, and about to go back, you may answer him:

The character in brackets can be omitted.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.