What's the difference between go back and come back?

Go Back or Come Back: What’s the Difference?

When talking about travel, it’s easy to confuse the phrasal verbs go back and come backThey both mean to return. So what’s the difference?

It’s actually very simple. It all depends on where you are at the time of speaking. For example, if you are from Italy, but you are in California right now, you would say:

  • I’m going back to Italy in two weeks. (You are in California now, but you are returning to your home country.)
  • I’m coming back to California next year. (You are in California, and you are returning to California next year)
What's the difference between go back and come back?
It depends on the location of the speaker.

Let’s look at a conversation to see some examples.

A: Honey, I’m home! I went shopping, but I forgot to get the eggs.

B: Oh no! I need the eggs to make your birthday cake.

A: OK, I’ll go back to the store and get them.

B: Great. Do you know when you’re coming back home?

A: I’ll be back in 20 minutes.

B: That’s great. Don’t come back without the eggs!

The speakers use come back and go back (and even be back) depending on where they are at the time of speaking. They are both at home, so they use go back to talk about returning to the store, and come back to talk about returning home.

  • I was born in New York, but I haven’t gone back there in many years. (not there)
  • I loved visiting Italy the first time, so I went back there again last year. (not there)
  • I was still tired, so I went back to bed.
  • Our dog ran away a few days ago, but he came back last night.
  • When are you coming back from your trip? We miss you here!

If you have any questions about these phrasal verbs in use, you can always come back to this page to ask questions and practice.

Cheers!

 

 

Expressions and activities with the verb TO GO

Expressions with the Verb TO GO

Use GO with another -ING verb when you talk about activities and sports.

  • Do you want to go surfing in California?
  • There are some beautiful places to go sightseeing here, too!
  • Have you ever gone wine tasting in Italy?

Team sports (soccer, basketball) typically use the verb to play. Sports that are done individually usually use to go. For more information about the verbs go, play, and do, click here.

WATER SPORTS

  • go swimming
  • go surfing
  • go scuba diving
  • go snorkeling
  • go sailing
  • go wind surfing
  • go boogie boarding

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • go hiking
  • go biking
  • go mountain climbing
  • go ice skating
  • go skiing
  • go camping
  • go exploring

TRAVEL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • go shopping
  • go sightseeing
  • go wine-tasting
  • go dancing
  • go clubbing (go to nightclubs for dancing and music)
Expressions and activities with the verb TO GO
Activities used with the verb TO GO usually follow with an -ING verb.

GO EXPRESSIONS WITHOUT -ING VERBS

Go is also used in expressions that don’t use an -ing verb.

  • go broke (lose all your money)
  • go out of business (close a business forever)
    • Many businesses go broke after the first year and go out of business.
  • go bald (lose your hair)
  • go blind (lose your vision)
    • He went bald when he was 45, but he didn’t go blind until much later.
  • go away for the weekend
  • go out of town for business or travel
  • go abroad (overseas for travel, work, or study)
  • go home
    • After going abroad, going away for a few weeks, or even going out of town for the weekend, it’s always wonderful to go back home.

Do you know the difference between go back and come back? Click here.

Remember, the verb to go can change in tense. Let’s look at what happens when we use one expressions in different tenses.

  • I go swimming every day.
  • I went swimming yesterday.
  • I haven’t gone swimming in a long time.
  • I‘m going swimming after work today.
  • I won’t go swimming in cold water!

Do you know any more expressions with the verb to go? Add your comments below!

Ready, set, GO!

the verb to do is used in expressions for work, style, and activities

Expressions with the Verb TO DO

the verb to do is used to ask about activities in general

The verb TO DO is very useful when talking about general actions.

We use it to ask about activities, as in:

What do you want to do tonight?

(However, a different verb is used to answer the question.)

  • I want to watch the sunset. I want to spend time with my friends. I want to walk on the beach.

Do is also used in many questions. You can read about questions here.

However, some English expressions use the verb to do for specific activities. It helps to learn them by category.

Housework, Chores, and Cleaning

Use do with common housework responsibilities.

do laundry, do shopping, do housework, do the dishes, do the ironing
  • do the laundry (wash and dry)
  • do the dishes (wash and dry)
  • do the ironing
  • do the floors (sweep and mop)

Work

After you do all your housework, you can start to do your homework. Oh man!

  • do homework
    close up of woman working
  • do school work
  • do a report on something
  • do research
  • a good job (nice work!)
  • a bad job (uh-oh!)

Speaking of work, don’t forget we use do to talk about our jobs.

What do you do?  (What’s your job?) I’m a teacher. How about you, what do you do?

Exercises and Workouts

After work, you might want to workout at the gym.

We use DO with all kinds of exercises, martial arts, and workouts. Other sports use GO or PLAY. You can read more about other sports here.

  • do yoga
    woman with red top and black shorts on purple yoga mat
  • do karate
  • do jiu-jitsu
  • do pilates
  • do zumba
  • do burpees, plank, jumping jacks
  • do a flip, a handstand, do a dance
  • do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups (C’mon, 10 more times!)

Beauty Treatments

Are you tired from all that exercise? Use do when you talk about personal care for your body, skin, hair, and nails. Let’s go to the spa!

  • do your hair (cut, color, and style)
    woman s pink pedicure
  • do your nails (paint, pedicure or manicure)
  • do your makeup (put makeup on your face)
    • Don’t you love getting your hair and nails done?
    • I love doing my makeup when I go to a party.

Relationships

Finally, we often use do when working with other people in social and business settings.

  • do someone a favor
  • do business with someone or with a company
    • Could you do me a favor and drive me to the bank?
    • We don’t want to do business with companies that aren’t environmentally friendly.
group hand fist bump

Think you’ve got it? Let’s do it!!!

Expressions, collocations with the verb TO MAKE

Expressions with the Verb TO MAKE

The verb TO MAKE has several different uses. The literal meaning is to create something. Here are some expressions, or collocations that use make, organized by category.

Make = To Cook or Prepare

  • make breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • make a sandwich, pasta, or other meal

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can make a reservation at a restaurant!

Make = Schedule Events

  • make an appointment
  • make plans with someone
  • make arrangements

Make = Mental Activity

  • make a decision
    • I need to make a decision on which college I will be attending in the fall.
  • make a choice
    • It’s difficult to make a choice when there are so many options!
  • make a mistake, an error
    • I think I made several mistakes on the exam, but I’m sure I will still pass.
  • make a calculation
    • It’s important to make several calculations to see if you can afford to buy a new home.

If you can’t decide, we use the expression,

I can’t make up my mind on what to order for lunch! (can’t decide)

Make = Business Talk

  • make money
    • Our company made a lot of money last year. 
    • How much money do you make at your job?
  • make time for
    • These days, it’s difficult to make time for your family.
  • make progress
    • I’ve made a lot of progress at the gym. I can run faster than before!
  • make a request
    • The passenger made a request for a quite seat near the window.
  • make a phone call
    • Could you please be quiet? I need to make a phone call to my boss.
  • make a deal
    • Let’s make a deal: I’ll cook dinner if you wash the dishes, OK?
  • make a promise
    • If you make a promise, you should always try to keep it.

Because make is used in so many different situations, it’s a good idea to memorize these expressions and make and effort to practice using them!

Remember, the past form and participle form of make is made.

What's the difference between say and tell?

Say vs. Tell – What’s the Difference?

SAY and TELL are similar – they are used to communicate information. So what’s the difference? The major difference is TELL can include the listener. SAY typically does not include the listener, only what is being said.

(Incorrect)   She said me to call her.

(Correct)      She told me to call her.

TELL

TELL is used with direct object pronouns (me, you, it, her, him, us, them) or other nouns (the children, my dad, the staff). So if you need to include the speaker and the listener, use TELL + direct object noun or pronoun.

  • The boss told his employees not to be late for the meeting.
  • His doctor told him to get more exercise.
  • I told her I lost her camera on my trip.

SAY

SAY does not often include the person you are speaking to. It refers to what was said, not who said it.

  • She said something on the phone, but I couldn’t understand her.
  • I said hello to our new neighbors.
  • When someone takes a picture, it is common to say “Cheese!”
  • If I ask you to come visit, please say yes!

For more on reported speech, check out this post.

It’s time to say goodbye now. Please take a moment to tell me what you think of this lesson.

Cheers!

A visual chart to show expressions that use the verb take in english

Visual Vocabulary – Common English Expressions with TAKE

Take a few minutes to think about the verb TO TAKE.

To Take literally means “to bring something with you.” Take an umbrella, or take a book to read, for example. However, many other activities use this verb, even though you are not really “taking” anything.

Here are some of the more commons expressions that are formed with take.

Take a Photo

pexels-photo-786801.jpeg
Say “Cheese!

Nowadays, everyone has a camera, and people are taking more photos than ever. Use TAKE for phones, cameras, and recordings.

  • take a photo, take a picture
  • take a screenshot
  • take a selfie (but not too many)

 

Take a Shower

Use TAKE for showers and baths.
I’m going to take a shower, but stay in the bathroom.

Use TAKE for a shower or a bath, everyday.

  • After working all day, it’s good to take a nice, hot shower to relax.
  • Do most kids love taking baths?

Take a Trip

TAKE is used for trips, vacations, and tours.
Would you like to take a trip to this beach?

Use TAKE for many kinds of travel and getaways.

  • take a vacation
  • take a trip
  • take a cruise
  • take a tour of the city

 

Take a Taxi

TAKE is used for modes of transportation.
It would be fun to take a road trip in this mini bus.

For modes of transportation, use TAKE to show how you get somewhere.

  • Take a taxi, take an Uber
  • Take the train, the subway, the trolley, the bus, a flight
  • Take a walk, a hike, a swim
  • Take the elevator, take the stairs

 

Take a Nap

Cat takes a nap in a bowl.
Cats take naps wherever they want!

If you get tired from all that moving around, use TAKE for naps and rest, but not sleep.

  • Take a nap
  • Take a rest
  • Take a break
  • Take five (Take five minutes to rest)

 

Take Medicine

TAKE is used for medicine, vitamins, and drugs.
Take two tablets and call me in the morning.

Unfortunately, we can’t always be healthy. When we get sick, TAKING medicine can make us feel better.

  • Take two aspirin
  • Take pills, tablets, painkillers
  • Take antibiotics
  • Take vitamins
  • Take drugs (Please, don’t.)

Take Time

Use TAKE with time expressions to talk about the duration of an activity.
It always takes longer to cook when you’re hungry.

Use TAKE with these time expressions to show how much time you need to do something, or to give yourself more time.

  • Learning a language takes a long time.
  • It takes three hours to drive to L.A.
  • We should all take the time to enjoy life.
  • Take your time on the test so you don’t make any mistakes.

Take a Test

Take time to study before you take a test!
Take your time when you take a test.

Speaking of tests, use TAKE for all kinds of evaluations and classes.

  • Take a test
  • Take a quiz
  • Take an exam
  • Take a survey
  • Take an English class, take lessons

A visual chart to show expressions that use the verb take in english

TAKE(S) / TOOK / TAKEN

Speaking practice

Read these conversation questions using good sentence stress and rhythm. To learn more about sentence stress, click here.

  1. How many pictures do you take every day?
  2. Do you take photos with a camera or with your phone?
  3. Do you takeshower in the morning or at night?
  4. When are you going to take your next trip?
  5. Would you prefer to takevacation with your friends or your familyWhy?
  6. How many times have you taken an Uber?
  7. Do you feel better after taking nap, or do you still feel tired?
  8. Do you take vitamins every day?
  9. How long does it take you to get to work? Do you take your car or the train?
  10. If you tookmath test, do you think you would pass?

If you can remember and use a few of these expressions with TAKE, you’re well on your way to becoming more fluent.

I hope this blog was useful to you all. Take care!

 

 

 

Will vs. Be Going To

Be Going To vs. Will for the Future Tense: What’s the Difference?

Robot:                What are you going to do today?
Astronaut:        I‘m going to visit the sun.
Robot:                But it’s too hot! You’ll burn up!
Astronaut:        I’ll be fine. I’m going to go at night.

This silly conversation shows how will and be going to are often used together when speaking about the future. What’s the difference between be going to and will? It all depends on the situation.

will-vs-be-going-to-for-future-tense
Never argue about grammar with a robot!

In the conversation, the robot asks the astronaut about his plans using be going to. When the robot tells him, “You’ll burn up,” that is a fact, not a plan, so he uses will. Again, when the astronaut replies, “I’ll be fine,” he is making a promise. The astronaut has a plan: “I’m going to go there at night.” It’s not a very smart plan, but it’s a plan, so he uses be going to.

I hope he wears a lot of sunscreen.

Let’s look at some other uses of be going to and will that depend on the situation.

BE GOING TO

PLANS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Use be going to for things that you already have planned.

  • I‘m going to finish the report this evening.
  • We‘re going to rent a car for the weekend.
  • They‘re going to build a new shopping center here.
  • Ford is going to close several car dealerships next year.
  • Are you going to be late for the meeting?

It’s also good to begin a speaking presentation with, “Today, I’m going to talk about…” Here are some more tips and tricks to giving a great presentation in English.

PREDICTIONS & THE WEATHER

The weather is a prediction for the future, so both forms can be used. Notice that certain expressions are used when we talk about the weather.

  • It looks like it’s going to rain today.
  • I hope the roads won’t be foggy.
  • Do you think it’ll be sunny at the beach?

For all other predictions, be going to and will can both be used, depending on how sure you are about it. The more certain you are, the more you should use be going to.

  • The Giants are definitely going to win the game.
  • My mom is going to love the gift I bought her!
  • Scientists will find a cure for cancer one day.
  • In the next 500 years, what will happen to the climate on Earth?

WILL

INSTANT DECISIONS & CHANGING PLANS

  • The restaurant is closing soon, so I’ll order take out.
  • Your phone battery is dead? I’ll send you an email.
  • There’s a huge traffic jam? I’ll take the metro instead.

PROMISES & THREATS

  • I won’t tell anyone your secret.
  • If you come to work late again, you’ll get fired.
  • I will always be your friend.
  • Will you marry me?

OFFERS

  • The phone’s ringing : I’ll get it.
  • My car’s not working : I’ll give you a ride.
  • I need a few dollars for the bus : I’ll lend you some.
  • The employees should bring something to the meeting : I’ll bring the coffee.

NEGOTIATIONS

  • If you wash the dishes, I’ll set the table
  • If you pay half now, I’ll lower the price.
  • If you buy one, I’ll give you one for free!

Let’s look at some other situations where will and be going to can be used.

At a Restaurant

In the following video, you can see that the customers and server are both using will again and again. That’s because they are making decisions in the moment. When the server says, “I’ll be right back,” she uses will because she is making a promise, not a plan.

A Weather Forecast

Here, you can see how will and be going to are both used to talk about the weather.

Be Going To for Predictions in the Very Near Future

 

Thank you for reading my bog! Now, I’m going to stop writing and watch Grey’s Anatomy, my favorite TV show. (plan) You never know what will happen! (prediction)

See you in the future!

 

How to choose the correct verb for sports and activities

Go, Do, or Play? Verbs for Sports and Activities

GO, PLAY, and DO are all used for sports and activities, but choosing the right verb takes practice.

What are your favorite sports and activities? I love yoga, surfing, and volleyball. But if I want to talk about these activities, I need THREE different verbs! How to choose? Read on to find out.

Most water activities use GO + ING
These kids can’t wait to GO swimmING!

GO + Verb + ING

GO is typically used for individual activities (only one person is needed), and GO always comes before an ING verb.

  • go running, go jogging, go walking, go skydiving, go hiking in the mountains, go cycling, go camping, go shopping (it’s a sport, right?)

GO is also used with most water sports.

  • go swimming, go diving, go snorkeling, go fishing, go jet skiing, go sailing

Martial arts and strengthening exercises use DO
Do you DO yoga? She does!

DO

DO is used for exercises, workouts, and martial arts.

  • do Pilates, do karate, do jiu jitsu, do Zumba, do aerobics
  • do sit-ups, do push-ups, do squats, do burpees, do stretches, do planks (OUCH!!)

PLAY is used for team sports.
What sport do you think they PLAY?

PLAY

PLAY is used for team sports, major league sports, games, and musical instruments.

  • play soccer, play tennis, play basketball, play ping pong, play golf
  • play poker, play Monopoly, play chess, play guitar, play piano

So did you figure out which verbs to use with my favorite activities?

I like to _________________ yoga, __________________surfing, and _________________volleyball.

If you think you know the answers, comment below! Ready, set, GO!!!