Talk:go on

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When one screams "I can't go on!" does that link with Sense 2? I'm not entirely sure. Tooironic 05:59, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

In what context? I normally hear: "I can't go on like this!".. which in this case refers to sense 2. JamesjiaoT C 06:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

"[Aw,] go on!" needs to be added[edit]

(Response to a compliment.) I'm not sure how to phrase this. Is it short for "Go on with your lies!" (or foolishness, etc.)? Meant ironically in an effort to stop the compliments. A special case of Sense 2. Outdated or at least old-fashioned. DanwWiki 14:33, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

That's the sense 'Liza uses in My fair Lady, innit?​—msh210 (talk) 22:39, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

deletion debate[edit]

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go on

sense: To travel by means of; go by. Usex: In order to get to town, I decided to go on the bus .

Clearly "on the bus" is an adjunct prepositional phrase and go on is not a phrasal verb in this case. There may be other phrasal-verb senses missing. DCDuring TALK 03:28, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I had the same thought when I recently made some edits to this entry. I think it should be deleted. It's just "go" in its usual sense plus "on" in its usual sense, not a special use of the combination "go on". 86.176.211.230 13:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Agree, delete. Ƿidsiþ 06:39, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Same. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:14, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Sense deleted.​—msh210 (talk) 16:13, 19 July 2011 (UTC)


Deletion discussion[edit]

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go on

rfd-sense: To use and adopt (information) in order to understand an issue, make a decision, etc.

We can't go on what this map says; it's twenty years out of date.
I didn't make a decision because I didn't have anything to go on.

This is go (proceed) (or other senses) with a prepositional phrase. That is exactly what a phrasal verb is not. In many cases the prepositional phrase could be headed by with or by with similar meaning.

In addition, there is nothing special about information. We can't go on one tankful of gas. We can't go on a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. DCDuring TALK 15:48, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Keep, MacMillan defines it as "to base an opinion or decision on something" [1] and IMO you can't get to "base an opinion or decision" from "go". The police had nothing to go on after a master criminal stole their toilets. Siuenti (talk) 16:19, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I think this definition of go on is unduly specific. I don't think that go on is limited to "information". To me it seems that any kind of material supply, information, or even emotional support could follow the preposition/particle on.
Consider non-information as complement of on:
He's going on just a half charge of his cell phone. He'll never make it.
Why do you think you could go on a piece of toast and a cup of coffee?
I don't think we should go on his word.
In addition we can substitute by and with into the usage examples for the sense. Does that mean we need to add one (or more) senses to each of go with and go by? DCDuring TALK 17:31, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring and would add that "go from" can also be used this way. With that in mind, this seems like it is indeed merely another sense of the word "go". bd2412 T 04:30, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Siuenti has a point, go on its own doesn't seem to mean act on information. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
How would you reconcile the non-information usage examples above with our entry for go? DCDuring TALK 10:18, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Those examples seem strange to me, without context I would interpret them as referring to actual movement. On the other hand, if a duration was added ("go the whole morning on a piece of toast") I would interpret them as meaning "endure", but that's a very different sense from "make deductions". Siuenti (talk) 20:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
What does He's going on just a half charge of his cell phone. He'll never make it. mean? Is this charge meant as charge of the battery? If so, I don't think this necessarily refers to some movement. --BiblbroX дискашн 21:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
@Siuenti: Go is a wonderfully flexible word that can be used to mean almost anything that can be viewed literally or metaphorically as a journey. But it is a light verb, so it seems to need some kind of supplementation to heavy it up, like the temporal "all morning" or a locative or a particle.
The usage examples don't seem strange to me, though all morning is a good addition.
He's going on just a half charge of his cell phone. He'll never make it. going = "proceed through his 'day'/'morning'/'journey between recharging points'".
I don't think we should go on his word. go = "proceed"
I think that the solution of adding meanings to go doesn't work because the putative prepositional phrases can't survive some transformations with meaning intact.
He went on a hunch - *On a hunch he went. - *It is on a hunch that he is going.
Similarly:
We can go on his word. - *On his word we can go. - *It is on his word that we can go.
If this is true, I wonder how many senses we might need to add to [[go on]].
The first usage example in the challenged definition does not well illustrate a phrasal verb go on as it is ambiguous. It can easily be read as go (journey, proceed, travel, depart) + PP. The negative-valenced usage examples, though natural enough, add semantic complications to transformational tests, it seems to me. DCDuring TALK 21:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. Which of the other senses of go on is supposed to cover this meaning? It seems entirely separate from all of them to me. SpinningSpark 19:08, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Kept for lack of consensus to delete. bd2412 T 20:38, 6 August 2013 (UTC)