"Emigrate" or "Immigrate"?

Learn Grammar Girl's quick memory trick and you'll never forget the difference between "emigrate" and "immigrate" again.

Mignon Fogarty,
May 11, 2010


emigrate immigrateTo emigrate is to leave your country to reside elsewhere.

To immigrate is to enter and reside in a new country.

My great-grandparents emigrated from Russia. They immigrated to the United States.

My memory trick is to note that immigrants come in, and both "immigrant" and "in" start with the letter "i." Many readers also wrote in to note that people who emigrate exit a country, and both "emigrate" and "exit" start with "e."


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Emigrant Gap photo, Loco Steve at Flickr. CC BY 2.0

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