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  1. #1
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
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    Talking go + gerund

    In ESL grammar books, go is usually taught to be used with gerund of recreation-related verbs such as go camping/swimming/surfing etc. But in reality, I come across go + gerund structure with verbs that have nothing to with recreation-related verbs. Here's one I found today: I hit her and we both went sailing off the rock into the river.

    I'm pretty sure I came across go investigating somewhere as well. But then some -ing forms after the verb go seem more like present participles than gerunds in that they imply some kind of action is going down. What's going on here?

  2. #2
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: go + gerund

    In ESL grammar books, go is usually taught to be used with gerund of recreation-related verbs such as go camping/swimming/surfing etc.


    He is going swimming. Where is he going? Swimming.
    He is going [to swim]. Why is he going? To swim.
    He [is going to] swim. What is he planning? He is planning to go swimming.

    I hit her and we both went sailing off the rock into the river.
    went sailing off the rock ≠ went where?

    went sailing off the rock = sailed off the rock

    This 'sailing' is not the same as 'swimming' in 'go swimming'. 'go' in 'go sailing off something' does something else. I can't explain what. Others will help.

    EDIT: in 'go swimming' go retains its meaning: to propagate
    in 'go sailing off the rock', go does not mean to propagate in a certain direction.

  3. #3
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: go + gerund

    What is your say in the matter, native English speakers?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: go + gerund

    go is usually taught to be used with gerund of recreation-related verbs such as go camping/swimming/surfing etc. But in reality, I come across go + gerund structure with verbs that have nothing to with recreation-related verbs.
    That's just one use of it, and often used to contrast with play. It is not taught as the exclusive use of the verb, which is one of the most common human activities of all and not confined to a leisure activities outside the house. That is not what the grammar books are saying at all. If I say 'I go dancing at the weekend', it is different from 'When I heard that I had won the lottery I went dancing down the street', where the action is not a recreational activity but the exuberance following some wonderful news.

  5. #5
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: go + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    This 'sailing' is not the same as 'swimming' in 'go swimming'. 'go' in 'go sailing off something' does something else. I can't explain what. Others will help.
    It is here:

    "We went sailing off the Rock." (The Rock being Alcatraz Island)

  6. #6
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: go + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    It is here:

    "We went sailing off the Rock." (The Rock being Alcatraz Island)



    Nice place. Holiday resort?

    sailing off the rock (not Rock) into the river
    No river here. Okay, I got you.
    You like
    Last edited by corum; 01-Jun-2010 at 08:45.

  7. #7
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: go + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post


    Nice place. Holiday resort?

    You like
    Yeah, it rocks!

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