All English learners are going to have problems with these words at some stage of their learning process. As simple as it may seem to distinguish the difference between these words, when speaking it’s very easy to make this simple confusion.
Another common problem you might have with GO is that it can be used in alternative ways and expressions, not just the general meaning. Similar to it's difficult cousin, the word GET
In this article you are going to learn:
1. The general meaning of the word so you never confuse it again
2. How to use go for activities
3. Expressions with GO
GO VS COME
These two verbs are part of what I like to call “the commonly confused opposite verbs.” No matter what level you are at I’m sure at some stage you’ll make a mistake with these opposite verbs. For example, how many times have you confused bring with take? Or how about borrow and lend?
These mistakes are common for all learners, even students at an advanced level.
GO is used to explain that something or someone is moving away from where the speaker is now, or was, if used in the past form.
-I go to work at 8.00 everyday
-She goes to school in the afternoon
- Let’s go to the cinema
- He went to that new night club last night
COME is used to explain a movement that is in the direction of the speaker.
-He comes to my office every day after lunch
-If you come to my party, can you bring some beer
-They didn’t come to my show because it was too late
-If you call the dog he will come
Another way we use “go” is to explain that we are doing an activity, rather than just the one singular action. The two different ways we do this is by using go + ing noun or go (out) + for a + noun. Here are some examples of both forms.
-I go swimming every weekend
- He loves going riding when he has some free time
- They went travelling last October
- Do you want to go for a walk?
-They went for a ride around the lake
-I’m going to go for a run, I haven’t done any exercise this week
GO WITH ADJECTIVES
Go can be used with certain adjectives to express a changing state of something. The meaning of “go” in this case would be similar to “become.” This is similar to how we used “get” with adjectives, as you probably remember from the RLE article “How To Use The Word Get.”
Go crazy – He went crazy when he heard the news (became crazy)
Go bald - He will probably go bald like his father (become bald)
Go bad- The milk went bad because you left it out (expired, became undrinkable)
Go rusty- If you leave you bike in the rain it will go rusty (accumulate rust)
GO WITH DIRECTIONS AND TRANSPORT
Many people have problems when giving directions in another language, I’m sure I’ve sent a lot of people in the wrong direction when speaking Portuguese. Most of these problems can be solved by using go.
Go can be used to ask about your destination or you path, e.g.
-“Is this bus going to Central Park?”
- “If you’re going through the city can I get a ride?”
Go can also be used when giving directions to somebody. This is always used with a preposition e.g.
-“Excuse me, how do I get to the train station?”
-“Well, first you GO DOWN this street, then GO RIGHT when you get to the park. You then GO UP that street until you arrive at the station.”
For more about directions in Enlgish click here
EXPRESSIONS WITH GO
There are many expressions with GO but today I’m going to focus on some that many of my students have asked me about.
Used to motivated or encourage someone to try something or express something that you would like to try yourself, e.g.
-“It looks so difficult to play the guitar.” – “It’s easier that you think, have a go.” (passing the person the guitar)
-“Sky diving looks really cool, I’d love to have a go one day.”
HOW IS (SOMETHING) GOING = To ask if something is good/bad or easy/difficult
Used most commonly when talking about jobs, studies, or relationships, e.g.
-“Hey, how’s your new job going?” -“It’s going really well thanks.”
_” So, how are things going with your new girlfriend?” -“Not so well”
GO ALL OUT= Use all your effort or creativity to complete something
This is generally used when someone has prepared an event or themselves for an event, e.g.
- "Woah man cool party! you really went all out with the decorations and food."
-"I'm going to go all out my costume next halloween, I'm already preparing it"
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING= This is logical and you should realize this.
This is used to show the listener that what you are saying is true and logical and everyone should know.
-"It goes without saying that when move to a new country you're going to have a lot of difficulty with the language."
-"It goes without saying that if you borrow money you have to payit back."
For more expressions with the word go click here
CALL TO ACTION
Don’t stop now! After reading this article I’m sure you will have a good idea of how this versatile word is used in English, but are you going to remember them all? Start putting all these uses into practice by writing examples using your personal experiences.
More to come soon on this topic. If you found this article helpful, we greatly appreciate your feedback, participation, likes, sharing and telling your friends about us. If you haven’t already, join the free and open Real Life English Facebook Community. And of course, we hope to see you at our next Real Life English Event!
Also download our free E-book 101 words you’ll never learn at school!
Did you like reading this article? Want to improve your writing? Want the Real Life Guys to edit/proofread your essays? Find out more.