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The verb GO

We all know the meaning of the verb ‘go’ and its different forms like going, went, gone. However, when this verb is used with a preposition or adverb or both, the meaning can change and the combination is called as a phrasal verb, which can be said as an idiomatic phrase. This is applicable for many verbs like break, take and so on. In this Grammar article, let us focus on few phrasal verbs that can be formed using GO.

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  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Go -ing (not a phrasal verb)

This is not a phrasal verb but I am discussing it to clear doubts in forming sentences using ‘going’

When you use going, you need not use any prepositions afterwards. For example – “I am going for skating” is not correct. Use “I am going skating”.

“Are you going for shopping?” X

“Are you going shopping?” – correct

We are going swimming this weekend. You can also say “We are going for a swim”

For past tense, the same rule applies

1. We went running yesterday morning.

2. They went fishing over the weekend.

Now, let us go back to phrasal verbs…

1. Go on

You can go on a holiday, or a trip and you can also go on talking!

·        The workers will go on a strike if their demands are not met.

·        She will go on talking if we don’t leave now.

·        They are going on a holiday. Are we going anywhere?

2. Go to

You can go to work, office, a specific place like India – but not go to home! Always “go home” and not “go to home”

·        She goes to office at 9am.

·        We can go to Maldives for vacation. (Compare this with We are going on a vacation to Maldives.)

·        Don’t go to the shop now.

3. Go for

In some situation, instead of using ‘going’ you can use ‘go for’.

We are going swimming.

Let us go for a swim.

More examples

·        She goes for a walk every evening.

·        I will go for the black dress.  (This means I am going to choose black dress.)

·        She generally goes for sober designs.

·        You should work hard and go for the medal. (aim for)

·        The toy rider also goes for a car when you take out the bottom wheels. (serves as)

4. Go through

I am going through a rough phase in my personal life. (experience)

She wants to go through the book before giving the exam. (revise)

It is better you go through the legal channel to get this sorted so that you don’t land into trouble later. (Pass)

She went through the entire book but couldn’t find the word she was searching. (searched)

The document has to go through for the project to start. (approval)

You need to go through this small road to reach her house. (pass (literally))

5. Go about

How should I go about doing this work? (work on)

A news is going about the affair of the actor with a lady twice his age. (rumour)

6. Go back

Don’t go back on your promise now!

Go back in and change your dress.

We went back to our old memories and dint realise how the day passed so soon.

7. Go by

·        Don’t go by her naïve looks. She is very cunning.  (trust)

·        2 years have gone by, but you still haven’t settled down. (time)

·        I went by the same market yesterday, from where I had bought my new shoes. (pass by)

The above are the most common phrasal verbs, but there are many more. Do let us know in the comments if you encounter more and have doubts on how to use them.


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