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TOPIC: Return back / Revert back

Return back / Revert back #323

  • guest3
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Hi

I have seen sentences like ‘he returned back’ or ‘please revert back for further details’, etc. The ‘back’ looks redundant in these sentences.

Can you explain?

Thanks

Ronnie
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Return back / Revert back #324

  • workplaceenglishexpert
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Hi Ronnie

And thanks for posting a question to the helpline.

The back in these examples is indeed redundant: he returned... and Please revert.. are clear and correct without the need for back.

Redundancy - including words or letters that add nothing to the meaning or form, sometimes by simple repetition - is an interesting thing! Some examples have become fixed expressions, such as free of charge and personal opinion. A term like close proximity is so well established that we hardly notice that in a sentence such as I live in close proximity to the school would work just as well without close.

Regards

Workplace English Expert
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Return back / Revert back #325

  • pwchk
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I've never seen 'revert' used in this way outside China/Hong Kong. Is it correct to say "I will revert to you?" It sounds to me like "I'll go back to being you".
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Return back / Revert back #642

  • Dr_English
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  • "Resident Business English Expert"
Using "Revert" in this context is rather out-of-date.
Dr English
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