Meaning of “go on” in the English Dictionary

"go on" in English

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go on

phrasal verb with go uk /ɡəʊ/ us /ɡoʊ/ verb present participle going, past tense went, past participle gone


B1 to happen:

I'm sure we never hear about a lot of what goes on in government.
This war has been going on for years.

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B1 to continue:

Please go on with what you're doing and don't let us interrupt you.
[ + -ing verb ] We really can't go on living like this - we'll have to find a bigger house.
If you go on (= continue behaving) like this, you won't have any friends left at all.

to move to the next thing or stage:

[ + to infinitive ] She admitted her company's responsibility for the disaster and went on to explain how compensation would be paid to the victims.
What proportion of people who are HIV-positive go on to develop (= later develop) AIDS?

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to start operating:

The spotlights go on automatically when an intruder is detected in the garden.
When does the heating go on?

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B2 to start talking again after a pause:

She paused to have a sip of coffee and then went on with her account of the accident.
[ + speech ] "What I want more than anything else," he went on, "is a house in the country with a large garden for the children to play in."

informal something that you say to encourage someone to say or do something:

Go on, what happened next?

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C2 to talk in an annoying way about something for a long time:

He went on and on until I finally interrupted him and told him I had to go.
I just wish he'd stop going on about how brilliant his daughter is." "Yes, he does go on (a bit), doesn't he?"
I wish you'd stop going on at me (= criticizing me repeatedly) about my haircut.

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used when encouraging someone to do something:

Go on, have another drink.
"I don't really feel like seeing a film tonight." "Oh go on. We haven't been to the cinema for ages."

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(Definition of “go on” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"go on" in American English

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go on

phrasal verb with go us /ɡoʊ/ verb present tense goes, present participle going, past tense went /went/ , past participle gone /ɡɔn, ɡɑn/

to continue:

I won’t go on working in this job forever.
Go on, tell me what happened next.
He could go on and on (= continue talking for a long time) about his adventures.

(Definition of “go on” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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