Common Expressions with GO

The English verb TO GO (past tense – WENT, past perfect – GONE) has many uses and meanings. Let’s look at some of the common expressions with GO with examples and dialogue.

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English Expressions with GO

TO GO  means to travel, to move along, to depart.

Examples:

I was asked to go to the new office next week to help them get organised.

Will you go by train or by car?

He went home after the meal was finished as he wanted to call his friend by skype.

The English verb TO GO can be used to describe a changing state (GO + -ING). This has many uses as follows:

GOING MAD or GO MAD

1. to become mentally ill

Example: Mr Rochester’s wife went mad and decided to set fire on the house.

2. to become very angry or annoyed

Example: She went mad when she saw him talking to a female colleague.

3. to do something extremely silly or stupid

Example: I went a bit mad and bought so many useless things, trying to cheer myself up.

4. to get overly excited

Example: He sang a classic song last night and the crowd went mad.

5. to become bored, impatient, or upset

Example: I think I would go mad if I was to stay here for more than a week. The village is too small.

GO CRAZY

this has a similar meaning to GO MAD, the difference is that GO MAD is not used in American English the same way and as often as it is in British English

Example: Sarah will go crazy if she finds out that she has to share her room with someone else.

He thought he was going crazy when he first met her.

GOING GREY

when your hair colour changes from brown or black to grey, associated with ageing

Example: His hair was going grey. He blamed all the stress he was under (could also use “his hair was turning grey”).

GOING BALD [bɔːld]

when you hair’s beginning to thin out, bald patch appears on top of your head and gradually gets bigger

Example: When he went to the barbers shop the barber told him he was going bald and recommended a new shampoo that might help.

GOING BLIND

when your eyesight deteriorates (gets worse) gradually until eventually you are unable to see at all

Example: He noticed a change in his eyesight over several months. The doctor told him he was going blind.

GOING DEAF

to develop hearing loss, to become unable to hear

Example: The doctor checked me out and confirmed that I was going deaf. 

GOING WILD

to become very excited or angry

Example: The crowd was going wild over the vote.

Scroll down for more expressions with Go and dialogue.

English Collocations with GO - Infographic

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English Expressions with Go

GO DOWNHILL

to deteriorate in quality or standards

Example: It started with financial crisis and it all went downhill from there.

GO SMOOTHLY

to go as planned, to work without difficulties or interruptions

Example: It will go smoothly if you follow these instructions.

GO OUT OF FASHION

to become unfashionable

Example: Ruffles on the hem quickly went out of fashion.

GO MISSING

to disappear

Example: 60-80 people go missing each weekend.

GO DOWN WELL

to be widely accepted, to be well received 

Example: His suggestion didn’t go down well with the board.

We can use the opposite – GO DOWN BADLY

GO BALLISTIC

to become very very angry

Example: My boss went ballistic yesterday. He told me I’d have to do the work myself. 

Collocations with Go - Images to share

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GO PUBLIC

1. to tell the media about something that has been secret

Example: They confirmed the identity, and the news went public on the evening news.

2. to issue shares on the Stock Exchange for the public to buy

Example: Network security company went public 3 years ago and their shares are now valued at $11. 

GO TO PIECES

to deteriorate, to lose control of your feelings

Example: An HR manager had noticed that some people went to pieces during job interviews.

GO BEGGING

something is available because no one else wants it

Example: Why would you want to do that when these are going begging?

GO SPARE

to become extremely angry or worried

Example: He’ll go spare if he realises we haven’t told him stuff.

GO ARSEWAYS (Irish slang)

to do something the wrong way, for something to go wrong on you

Example: We tried to roast the turkey but it went arseways on us.

LET GO

1. to release grasp, to stop holding something;

2. stop thinking and feeling sad (or angry) over things that happened in the past

I am sure most of you heard the song “Let it go” from Disney’s cartoon “Frozen”:

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore

Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

GOING is also used informally as a type of greeting in some countries.

How’s it going? = How are you or how are you doing.

Figure of Speech with the verb TO GO:

When the going gets tough the tough get going. = When things are difficult the strong (tough) people come out on top.

Expressions with GO - Dialogue

In order to gain a better understanding of how to use common English expressions with GO let’s take a look at this short dialogue:

MUM: Hi John, this is Mum here.

JOHN: Hi Mum, how’s it going?

MUM: Fine thanks. I just wanted to know when are you going to call around and collect that package that arrived in the post?

JOHN: Oh. Yeah, I forgot about it. Well, I am going out tonight with that girl I met last week so it will be at the weekend before I can collect it.

MUM: Ok. I am going to visit your Granny on Saturday so just let yourself in with your key. She is not too well.

JOHN: Oh dear. What did the doctor say to Gran when she went to the hospital last week?

MUM: He told her to take some rest and the bug will go eventually.

JOHN: Ok, tell her I was asking after her. How’s Dad keeping?

MUM: Your father is very worried he thinks he is going bald. He noticed a bald patch yesterday.

JOHN: Oh, he’s probably going mad about that. Look I have to go I am due back to work soon. I will call you soon. Bye

MUM: Bye

I hope you understand a bit better now how you can use the English verb TO GO

If you really liked common expressions with GO drop me a line, tell me what you want to hear, see and read.

More Information

For more information in English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check ou the following links:

Crime and Punishment English Vocabulary

Phrasal Verbs with Around

English Verbs related to Movement

Make vs Do Interactive Quiz

Plenty of free material is available on BBC Learning English.

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