Go on

verbs

Some aspects of learning English are quite easy, while others are much more complicated. As you probably already know, learning phrasal verbs is one of the most complicated aspects. Another thing you have to learn in English which can be far from simple is the use of a gerund or an infinitive after a verb:

Some verbs always require the infinitive – I decided to go

Some take the gerund – She hates watching that show

Others can use both with little to no difference in meaning – He prefers having/to have dinner

There are still others which use both and have very different meanings – go on

Today I’d like to discuss “go on”.

Go on talking – continue talking

He went on to become the best athlete in the world – he later became the best athlete in the world

As you see, they have different meanings. One of the tricks I like to tell students is which one you are going to use far more often than the other in normal language. In this case, I’m going to guess that go on + ing is more common for you to use.

Another way you can remember this is to keep other similar structures in mind:

Continue going

Go on working

Keep having

Keep on eating

As you see, all of these mean the same thing and they also all take the same structure.

If you have time, take a look at other verbs that can take both the gerund and the infinitive to see what the difference between them is.