Regular readers of my blog know my fascination with words—more of those to come. But today I want to branch out a little, beyond words to phrases.

Just as we English speakers are prolific in our invention and use of words, we’re no slouches when it comes to creating phrases. So let’s look at a few:

First are a whole series using the words “go” and “come”:

Go for: decide on something or choose something, as in “I wished that we had gone for plan B.” Or to attempt to gain or attain, as in “he went for a job as a delivery driver.”

Next: go after: to pursue someone or something, as in “he went after the burglars.” Or to try to get something others also want, as in “he went after the prize.”

Then, there’s go in for: like or habitually take part in an activity, as in “I don’t go in for the social whirl.” For the British, the meaning is slightly different. For them it denotes to enter a competition or take an examination, as in “he went in for the exam.”

That brings us to go over. That means to review, consider, examine, or check something, as in “I want to go over these plans with you again.” A second meaning is, in reference to an action or performance, to be received in a specified way, e.g., “his earnestness would go over well in a courtroom.”

Next: go out. It’s first meaning is simply to leave the indoors and go outside. But it also means to leave home and spend time elsewhere, especially for enjoyment or relaxation. It can also be used to describe what a tide does when moving away from the shore or what happens to a flame when it is extinguished.

More next time.

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