Using Go

The structure go/come for a — is often used in some common fixed expressions referring to leisure activities.

  • Let us go for a walk/run/swim/ride/drive/sail/drink.

Go/come + -ing

We can use go with an -ing form in a number of common expressions.

  • Let us go climbing next weekend.

Common expressions are:

go: climbing/dancing/fishing/hunting/riding/sailing/shooting/shopping
go: skating/skiing/swimming/walking

Note that prepositions of place, not direction, are used after go + -ing.

  • Let us go swimming in the river. (NOT — go swimming to the river.)
  • We went shopping at Harrods. (NOT — to Harrods.)
Go (and not get) is used to talk about changes of colour. This is common in British English.

  • Leaves go brown in autumn. (NOT Leaves get brown —)
  • She went green with envy. (NOT She got green —)

Other examples are: go white with anger/ blue with cold/ red with embarrassment

Turn and grow can also be used in these cases. Note that go is more informal than turn and grow.

Go (and not usually get) is also used with adjectives in a number of common expressions that refer to changes for the worse.

Examples are:

People can go mad / crazy / deaf / blind / grey / bald etc.
Horses can go lame
Machines can go wrong
Meat, fish or vegetables can go bad
Beer, lemonade, musical instruments and car tyres can go flat

Cases where get is used

Get is also used with adjectives to talk about changes. For example we use get (and not go) with the adjectives old, tired and ill.

  • I am getting old. (NOT I am going old.)

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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