Definition of go on in English:

go on

phrasal verb

  • 1often with present participle Continue or persevere.

    ‘I can't go on protecting you’
    • ‘She will do so as she goes on with her work protecting Americans' private security.’
    • ‘Dancing went on till the early hours in the lower ground floor of the store, which had been turned into a night club-type space especially for the evening.’
    • ‘Later that night, the Anglers Rest Hotel in Headford was the venue for the gala dinner and music and dancing went on late into the night.’
    • ‘The celebrations with music and dancing went on into the late hours.’
    • ‘A great night was had by all with excellent food an good music from Double L and the dancing went on till late.’
    • ‘During his extended stay he was invited to join a magical ceremony, where the music and dancing went on all night.’
    • ‘After the prize-giving, the festivities begin again and the dancing goes on well into the next morning until hangovers, prudence and normal life kick in.’
    • ‘But the debate goes on, appeals continue and the outcome remains in doubt.’
    • ‘The tune went on and on, and the frenzied dancing continued.’
    • ‘I can't go on deceiving myself anymore.’
    1. 1.1Talk at great length, especially tediously or angrily.
      ‘the twins were always going on about him’
      • ‘I could go on at length about the other prizes on offer, but I won't.’
      • ‘They went on about benefits, making ends meet and why New Labour is so out of touch with the plight of those on the dole as I nodded surreptitiously into my pint, earwigging all the while.’
      • ‘A few years back I found myself at a press launch where the man himself went on about how he was a proper journalist, yet the others were all pretenders, and not worthy to lick his boots.’
      • ‘And George went on about losing his family member and losing this precious addition to his life.’
      • ‘She went on about all her old records and how she should sell them.’
      • ‘So, for those people who don't really know what the hell I'm going on about - my family has just moved from Cornwall to London, the city of my birth.’
      • ‘Mum started going on about retiring in 3 years.’
      • ‘Anyhow, most of you probably have no idea who or what I'm going on about.’
      • ‘Brian is still going on about how two male MPs were photographed kissing in parliament, and this was published in the newspaper.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, he started going on about the past.’
      last, continue, carry on, run on, proceed
      talk at length, ramble, rattle on, talk on and on, carry on talking, chatter, prattle, prate, gabble, maunder, blether, blather, twitter
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Continue speaking or doing something after a short pause.
      with direct speech ‘‘I don't understand,’ she went on’
      • ‘He bent to adjust the stirrups and went on speaking.’
      • ‘There was another pause, and she went on just before he would have answered.’
      • ‘She said each word deliberately and paused slightly before going on to the next word.’
      • ‘After a section with tips and techniques, which is kept nice and short, Christine goes on to share over seventy of her recipes.’
      • ‘After a pause, Marlow goes on to tell his shipmates about his experience as a freshwater sailor.’
      • ‘‘But now that you mention it,’ she went on, ‘I really feel that you should think about changing your mind.’’
      • ‘The priest went on to say none of these villagers could read or write and everything told to them had to be very simple and straighforward so they got the message.’
      • ‘‘Potential members now have a choice, so we all have to compete to stay in front,’ he went on to say.’
      • ‘But they went on to admit most of their research was carried out on people who were fit enough to work and were working at the time.’
      • ‘She then went on to outline the activities carried out over the past year.’
    3. 1.3informal Said when encouraging someone or expressing disbelief.
      ‘go on, tell him!’
      • ‘So please keep your comments coming, and if you've never said anything before, why not take the opportunity now? Go on, I dare you!’
      • ‘Go on! Tell me! What's wrong?’
      • ‘Buy it. Go on. I'm telling you, buy it.’
  • 2Happen.

    ‘we still don't know what went on there’
    • ‘A security guard eventually noticed what was going on and called the police.’
    • ‘We are not going to make any progress on this until we get some truth and transparency about what's going on.’
    • ‘There wasn't any wild dancing going on or anything.’
    • ‘Hence the Golden Jubilee Web site that will tell you what's going on where and gently encourage you to celebrate as well.’
    • ‘While the building work was going on my wife and I lived in a flat in No 10 Lower Mount Street.’
    • ‘Children's librarian Lucy Kitchener said: ‘We wanted to let the children know what is going on in their area.’’
    • ‘‘While all this was going on my workers fled,’ said Pascall.’
    • ‘You know, who cares about whatever else went on behind the scenes?’
    • ‘I just didn't care what was going on around me - I was in my own little world.’
    • ‘The majority of people here genuinely care about what goes on in their community as well as the people in it.’
    happen, take place, occur, transpire
    View synonyms
  • 3often with infinitive Proceed to do.

    ‘she went on to do postgraduate work’
    • ‘Those that persevere and succeed can go on to command six figure salaries.’
    • ‘In the program, the students spend the first four semesters at UI and go on to continue their remaining four semesters at a university abroad.’
    • ‘He encourages them to study and hopes that they will go on to higher education.’
    • ‘And to be honest what were the chances of Mary going on to be a movie star?’
    • ‘It used to be that rectors or anyone associated with a seminary would have a good chance of going on to be a bishop.’
    • ‘If you can cope with that then you've got a good chance of going on to win the game.’
    • ‘They eventually go on to have the baby, and two more children, but years later, deep in the throes of her addiction, Isa does the unthinkable.’
    • ‘If the town council takes the market over there is a good chance it will go on to be a success.’
    • ‘When I eventually did go on to have a family of my own, I realised that the sickness was, in fact, the sign of a stable pregnancy.’
    • ‘The second half saw the away team increase their supremacy and they went on to win by six points.’
  • 4informal usually with negative Have a specified amount of care or liking for (something)

    ‘I heard this album last month and didn't go much on it’
    • ‘I was approached by the Cowboys in 2002 and was keen to get out of Sydney at the time. I don't go much on the lifestyle down there.’
    • ‘Like the biblical inhabitants of Eden, he and Jim do not ‘go much on clothes.’’