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go on - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theygo on
he/she/itgoes on
present participlegoing on
past tensewent on
past participlegone on
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to continue happening or doing something as before

    The meeting went on a lot longer than I expected.

    We can’t go on like this any more. Things have got to change.

    go on with:

    Burton smiled and went on with his work.

    go on doing something:

    She can’t go on pretending that everything is fine when it clearly isn’t.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to happen

    I wonder what’s going on next door – they’re making a lot of noise.

  3. 3
    [transitive]go on something to start doing a particular activity or being in a particular state
    go on vacation/a cruise/trip/tour etc.:

    We’re going on vacation next week.

    go on strike (=stop working as a protest):

    Workers voted by a large majority to go on strike.

    go on sale/display:

    It will go on sale this summer.

    go on a diet:

    I really must go on a diet!

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if something such as a light or an electricity supply goes on, it starts working or becomes available

    I heard the TV go on in the next room.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to talk so much that people become bored or annoyed

    You do go on, don’t you?

    go on about:

    She tends to go on about how clever her children are.

    go on and on (about something):

    He went on and on about (=talked for a long time) me being late for work again.

    1. a.
      to start talking again after a pause or interruption

      Please go on – I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

      go on with:

      He encouraged her to go on with her story.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to do something after doing something else
    go on to:

    When you finish the first section of the test, go on to the next.

    go on to do something:

    They eventually went on to win the championship.

    1. a.
      to go to another place after going somewhere
      go on to:

      After Moscow, we went on to St. Petersburg for a couple of days.

  7. 7
    [transitive]go on something to base an opinion or decision on something

    Since there were no witnesses, the police had little to go on.

  8. 8
    [intransitive] if time goes on, it passes
  9. 9
    [intransitive] to go to a place before someone else who you are with

    Why don’t you go on without me?

  10. 10
    [intransitive/transitive] to walk onto a stage to begin your part in a performance

    I don’t go on until the final act.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to walk onto a sports field in order to replace a member of your team

      Owen went on in the 75th minute.

  11. 11
    go on spoken
    1. a.
      used for encouraging someone to do something

      Go on, try it – it’s really good.

    2. b.
      British used for saying that you do not believe what someone is telling you

      Go on! She didn’t really say that.

      go on with you! old-fashioned:

      “Don’t you look nice!” “Oh, go on with you!”

  12. 12
    go on (the) TV/radio to decide to appear on television/radio in order to say something

    The President went on television to appeal for calm.

  13. 13
    going on (for) something almost a particular age, time, or amount

    Tina is six, going on seven.

See also main entry: go

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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