Expressions with Go + Verb-ing

It is very common to use a gerund after the verb “go”. Remember that we form a gerund by adding “-ing” to the end of a verb (playing, eating, drinking, etc.).

We use “go + gerund” to talk about hobbies or activities.

Look at the difference between the two sentences.

  1. Mary likes to go running for exercise.
  2. Mary ran away from the dog.

In example 1, we can use “go running” because it is a hobby/activity. Mary likes to run as a hobby or exercise.

In example 2, we cannot use “go running” because Mary is not running as a hobby or activity. Mary is running because she is trying to escape the dog. It is just an action.

We can use “go” in any tense.

  • I like to go shopping with my friend.
  • I went shopping with my friend last weekend.
  • I will go shopping with my friend next weekend.
  • I have gone shopping with my friend April many times.
  • I am going shopping with my friend tonight.

Sometimes, we can also use a regular verb to express the same thing.

  • I like to camp.
    (=I like to go camping.)

In the present perfect tense and other perfect verb tenses, we can use the verb “to be” or “to go”.

    • I have been camping many times.
      (=I have gone camping many times.)


  • I have never been scuba diving.
    (=I have never gone scuba diving.)

Let’s take a look at a list of the most common activities and hobbies that are used with “go”.

go running go shopping go hiking
go surfing go bowling go sailing
go camping go sightseeing go jogging
go skiing go kayaking go dancing
go trekking go skating go fishing
go scuba diving go mountain climbing go horseback riding
  • Do you want to go camping next weekend?
  • She always goes surfing in the morning.
  • We went dancing last weekend.
  • I will go mountain climbing.
  • Would you like to go ice skating tomorrow?
  • Let’s go horseback riding.
  • I want to go dancing this weekend.
  • They went hiking. They should be back soon.

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