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Go and Do

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Go and do can be used as verbs that are not as important as the nouns they are used with. We call these verbs delexical verbs.

Do you want to go swimming tomorrow?
We went for a long walk in the park yesterday

I have to do the shopping this morning.
She does the cooking, she’s a better chef than me.

Go is used with –ing verbs for common activities.
He goes jogging every morning.
They went shopping together. They won’t be back very soon.

When go is used with a noun that is also a verb that indicates moving we use go+for a
He went for a jog this morning.
Let’s go for a swim.

Do+the+-ing is used with activities connected to work, especially in and around the house.
Here’s the deal, you do the cooking and I’ll do the washing up afterwards.
He’s outside doing the gardening.

Do is used with most nouns connected to work.
I need to do some work this weekend.
I’m busy; I have a lot of work to do.
Do your homework.

Do is used with nouns where the action is clear from the noun.
Have you done the dishes? – washed the dishes.
I need to do my hair. – brush my hair.

However a question like:
Have you done the window yet?
Could mean – Have you washed/repaired/locked the window? Understanding the question depends on knowing the context.

Lesson by Tristan, English teacher at EC Malta English school

Choose between go or do for these sentences:

  • 1) They’re out ___ the shopping.

  • 2) He ___ for a run along the beach.

  • 3) I’m ___ shopping later. Do you want to come?

  • 4) He ___ for a break. He’ll be back soon.

  • 5) We usually ___ walking in the evening.

  • 6) He ___ for a ride on his bike.

  • 7) I need to ___ a few jobs around the house.

  • 8) Do you _ yoga?

  • 9) They go to France every winter to ___ some skiing.

  • 10) I want to go to Hawaii to ___ surfing.