Leaderboard Banner

Verbs & Other Verbs: Verbs + Other Verbs (#8)

Dennis Oliver
Verbs + Other Verbs (#8):
Go + Gerund

Gerunds are often used in combinations after the verb go.
These combinations generally show leisure-time activities.
They are not used for sports, games, or work.

Here are some common go + gerund combinations:

go biking*
go boating
go bowling
go bungee jumping
go camping
go canoeing
go caroling*
go climbing
go cycling*
go dancing
go drinking
go driving*
go fishing
go golfing
go hiking
go hunting
go jogging
go riding*
go running
go sailing
go scuba diving
go shopping
go sightseeing
go skateboarding
go skating
go skiing
go sky diving
go sledding
go surfing
go swimming
go trick-or-treating*


Special Notes:


Combinations of go and a gerund aren't
normally used for competitive sports:

not used:

go basketballing / go baseballing /
go playing tennis / go wrestling / etc.

Instead, the combination go play (noun)
is normal:

go play basketball / baseball / tennis /
badminton / pool / soccer / handball / etc.


Some combinations of go and a gerund
have special meanings:

go biking = (usually) go mountain-bike
riding or go motorcycle riding

go cycling = go bicycle riding (formal!)

go driving = drive for enjoyment--not
 you want to travel to a particular place

go riding = go horseback riding


Some combinations of go and a gerund
are used
 only at particular times of the year:

go caroling = travel from house to house
singing Christmas songs (at Christmas only)

go trick-or-treating = travel from house
to house wearing masks and costumes and
asking for treats (a traditional children's
activity at Hallowe'en)


Combinations of go and a gerund can often
be made specific:

go hunting ---> go deer hunting /
dove hunting / duck hunting /
rabbit hunting / squirrel hunting, etc.

go fishing ---> go bass fishing / 
deep-sea fishing / trout fishing etc.

go climbing ---> go mountain climbing /
rock climbing


Two variations on the expression go shopping
are particularly common: go grocery shopping
and go window shopping. When you are
shopping for particular items, the usual form is
go shopping for _____ :

go shopping for a new car
go shopping for shoes
go shopping for a new dress
go shopping for a sports jacket

6. Remember: Combinations of go and
a gerund are generally used for leisure-time
. (We do not say *go working or
*go studying, for example.)
Leaderboard Banner