At this stage you may have noticed that go on is one of one of the most widely used phrasal verbs in English language. When we look into this verb closely we realize that it has more meanings than we could possibly imagine, a fact which probably explains the reason of its popularity. Today we are going to go through all these meanings, some of which you are surely familiar with.
To continue: go on can be a synonym for carry on, for instance:
- Please go on with your story, sorry I interrupted you.
- As Freddie Mercury used to say, “The show must go on”
In this context go on can be used to encourage people to speak more or give more details about something: Go on, tell us more about it.
To pass: usually related to time, for instance:
- As the week goes on, temperatures will rise considerably.
- Do you know what’s going on at the office? I have no idea
- It is always difficult to know what actually goes on in national politics.
To move on to the next stage or level. Example:
- After he graduated he decided to go on to prepare a PhD
To start operating:
- The smoke alarm goes on even if you just light a cigarette.
Please do: go on can be used to encourage someone to do something, for example:
- Go on, have a glass of wine, you don’t have to drive tonight.
To agree: In an informal way, go on can be used to agree to do something that you did not want to do before:
- Please don’t go home yet
- Oh, go on, I’ll stay for a few more minutes.
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