The phrasal verb, "go on", is incredibly useful and has at least 9 different meanings! A particularly useful meaning of the verb is "to continue happening or continue doing something as before".
Read the conversations below to see how to use "go on" with this meaning.
Verbs of similar meaning:
1. go on (present tense)
i) Yasmine is chairing a meeting at work. John is giving a presentation. During John's presentation, Yasmine's phone rings and she has to answer it.
Yasmine: Ok, everybody. I'd like to move on to the last item on the agenda please. John, over to you.
John: Ok. I'm going to go through this month's sales figures.
Yasmine: I’m sorry everyone. I need to take this. It's the CEO.
John: No problem.
Yasmine: Hello Emma. I see. Could I possibly call you back in 30 minutes? I'm in the middle of the Fasttrack meeting. Ok. I'll call you back.
Phone conversation ends.
Yasmine: Sorry about that. Please go on, John.
ii) Rodrigo is discussing his work with his teacher, Jane. Rodrigo moved to the United States with his family last year and he is still learning English. He sometimes finds his school lessons difficult to understand because of his English.
Jane: You're making good progress, Rodrigo.
Rodrigo: Really? I still find it difficult to understand my history class. They use really difficult English.
Jane: I think you should just go on as you are now. You’re doing fine. Rome wasn't built in a day!
Jane: It's a saying. It means that it takes time to build something good. Don't worry. Go on trying hard every day and you will gradually improve.
2. went on (past tense)
i) Ali is talking to Catherine about his new medicine.
Catherine: Why were you sick last week?
Ali: I was taking a new medicine and it made me feel really unwell.
Catherine: That’s awful. Why didn’t you stop taking the medicine?
Ali: Well, my doctor told me to take it for seven days, so I went on taking it even though I felt sick.
Catherine: You should stop taking a medicine if it’s making you feel worse!
Ali: I’ll know better next time.
ii) Greg and Tash are talking about changing their internet providers.
Greg: I’m so sick of my internet company. Their customer service is really bad and my download speeds are so slow. Especially at weekends.
Tash: Me, too. I went on using my last internet company for too long and wasted a lot of money. I’m going to swap to Intercorp Fiber Optic this time, I think. They offer some good deals.
Greg: Maybe I will too. Let’s give them a call and ask some questions.
3. be going to go on (future plan)
Rita wants to be an artist and spends a lot of time painting at home. She doesn't have a job and is living with her parents. Her mother is pushing her to get a part-time job.
Mother: Have you thought about what I said yesterday?
Rita: Yes, but I need to finish this painting first.
Mother: So, you’re not going to get a job? You’re going to go on using your savings?
Rita: Yes. I could sell this painting for a lot of money. You never know.
Mother: What if you don't? Then you’ll have no savings!
Rita: Ok, ok. I’ll think about it.
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