Phrasal verbs are multi-word verbs. They can be made of two or three words. These words are a verb and a preposition and/or adverb, which are also referred to as ‘particles’.
We shouldn’t use phrasal verbs in formal context because they tend to be ambiguous (have more than one meaning so they can’t be accurate) but they are very common in spoken and informal language. Once you learn enough phrasal verbs in context, you may notice that you speak with more confidence and ease and your English sounds much more natural.
Many verbs make phrasal verbs. One of the most common ones is the verb “go”. Here are 46+ phrasal verbs with “go” you should try to learn in context and incorporate into your everyday speech.
If you go after something then you are trying to get something.
Ex: I am going after that job in the bakery.
It can also mean that you’re following something such as a goal or a dream.
Ex: Sean decided to go after his dream and become a football player.
However, if you are going after somebody, it may mean that you are trying to catch them.
Ex: The police went after the robbers.
If you go against something, then you oppose it.
Ex: The protest went against the government decision to cut expenses.
If things go against you it means that they are not in your favour.
Ex: Mary’s wish to study biology went against her parents’ judgement.
GO ALONG (WITH)
You can go along with an idea which means that you agree with it.
Ex: Milly has agreed and Rob will probably go along with the idea.
Things can make a progress if they go along.
Ex: Ever since our company bought that software, things are going along just fine.
If something goes around, then you goes in circles.
Ex: My dog is so funny! He’s going around chasing his tail.
It can also refer to people’s behaviour.
Ex: Our boss is really angry. He’s been going around all day calling people names.
You may have heard a saying – What goes around comes around, which means that if you do bad things, bad things will come after you in the future.
If you go at someone, then you attack them in a violent way.
Ex: The thief went at the woman and took her purse.
But you can also use this phrasal verb to say that somebody started doing something with a lot of enthusiasm.
Ex: Sally went at her new job with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
If you go away, you are going on a trip:
Ex: I’m going away for the weekend.
You can also tell someone to go away if you want them to leave you, which may sound rude.
Ex: I want you to go away and leave me alone!
OK, you already guess the meaning of “go back“. It has something to do with returning.
You can go back to something:
Milly decided to go back to her old habit of exercising regularly.
Or you can go back to someone:
After divorce, Tom didn’t want to go back and live with his parents.
Also, if two people go back some time, then they’ve known each other for that long.
Ex: Sam and I go back fifteen years, ever since we went to high school.
If something goes by, then it passes.
Ex: She was sitting and watching people go by.
It also refers to doing things by certain rules.
Ex: We have to go by the rules unless we want to be suspended.
You will often hear that the time goes by.
If something lowers or falls we can say that it goes down.
Ex: The temperature went down.
Holiday prices always go down in January.
We also say that the Sun goes down when it disappears or that the computer goes down when it crashes.
When something is remembered or recorded we say that it will go down as…
Ex: Charles Darwin will go down in the history of humankind as a great scientist.
If we go for something, then we choose it.
Ex: (in a restaurant) “I’ll go for the salad, please.”
When comparing two people or things, we can say that:
Richard is very responsible and the same goes for his sister.
Also, in spoken English, if you put a lot of effort into something, you can say:
There is a vacancy in the sales department. Why don’t you go for it?
We can use the phrasal verb “go in” to say that we enter a place.
Ex: It’s getting cold outside. Let’s go in.
When you understand the information, you say:
I learned irregular verbs but can’t say they all went in.
GO IN FOR
If you have a hobby or an interest you enjoy, you can say that you go in for it.
Ex: I go in for basketball. We practice twice a week.
Also, if you’re participating in a competition you can say:
We went in for the football tournament and won.
If the food becomes stale and no longer fresh, you say:
I’m not going to eat this sausage. It’s gone off!
When something explodes, you can say:
The balloon went off during the birthday party.
If someone continues doing something, you can say:
Phil went on talking about the wedding although no one was listening.
Also, when something goes on, it starts working:
Suddenly, the lights went on and the performance began.
You can also use the phrasal verb go on to encourage someone to do something.
Ex: Go on! Have another sip of that drink.
If you go over something, you check it carefully.
Ex: Sarah went over her essay checking for mistakes.
Also, when you move from one place to another, you say:
We went over to the other side of the street to meet our friends.
Many Europeans went over to America in the twentieth century.
If you browse something, you can say that you go through it.
Ex: Pauline went through her clothes in the wardrobe to choose something to wear.
Also, if a law, a project, a plan, etc. goes through, it means that it is approved.
Ex: The new law on the environment has gone through.
If something increases, you can say that it goes up.
Ex: The world population is going up every year.
If something is being built, you can say:
New buildings are going up every day in the city centre.
If you go with someone or something, then you agree with them.
Ex: I think we should go with Paul’s suggestion.
If something is included in something, you can say:
The house we’re selling goes with the garage.
If you have to miss something you usually do or have, you say that you go without it.
Ex: I woke up late and had to go without breakfast.
You will often hear the expression “it goes without saying that…” which means that you don’t have to mention or explain something because it is obvious.
Ex: It goes without saying that we would like to be fluent in English.
I hope that you learned something new and improved your English. 🙂
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