Should I remove "to" in this sentence



They went to jogging this morning.

They went jogging this morning.

Should I remove "to" in this sentence,If yes than why.

Amish Aa

Posted 2013-06-05T17:43:27.117

Reputation: 1 333

1Yes, remove it. You can say they went jogging this morning or you can say they went to jog this morning, but you wouldn't say they went to jogging this morning. – J.R. – 2013-06-05T17:49:25.860


What @J.R. said. The only valid verb I can think of offhand that works with to [gerund] is (he) set to (complaining). I can't think of any way the -ing verb form can be a present participle preceded by to. Unless you look on jogging, boxing, weight-lifting, etc. as nouns naming alternative activities you might go to on different days, perhaps.

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-05T18:03:36.577

You seem to be asking a lot of questions about the word "to". Is there something particular about it that confuses you, so we can help? – WendiKidd – 2013-06-05T21:37:17.473

3@FumbleFingers there's also: I look forward to seeing/meeting/hearing you. Maybe Amish Aa is confused when "to" is a preposition and the verb that follows is in the gerund, and when "to" is part of the infinite verb as in "to jog"? – Mari-Lou A – 2013-06-05T23:12:56.723

But! If I were taking a class on jogging, then it would be possible to say, "I went to Jogging this morning." – Jim – 2013-06-06T02:54:15.480

@Jim: I don't know the terminology for the distinction, but the "archetypal" gerund seems to me to be as in "I like jogging". Which can accommodate an adverb, as in *"I like jogging slowly"*. But I don't think you could ever say *"I went to Jogging slowly this morning."* So it must somehow be a different kind of gerund - or maybe it's not a gerund after all, I don't know. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-06T03:49:33.053

@FumbleFingers- In this case it would be the name of a continuing education class- Jogging, Welding, Public Speaking, Swimming... And, if I were sad about last night's events, I might say, "I went to Jogging slowly this morning, knowing she wouldn't be there anymore." – Jim – 2013-06-06T14:59:22.727



I think I understand where your confusion stems from, but please correct me if I am wrong!

You are confusing verbs that take the gerund or the infinitive. Some verbs usually take the gerund for example; enjoy, hate, finish, mind, practise, spend, suggest, stop and phrasal verbs, e.g. give up, go on, take up etc.

  1. He enjoyed swimming a lot.
  2. They hate writing stories for homework.
  3. May I suggest visiting the local museum?
  4. She can't give up smoking.

Then there are verbs which normally take the infinitive. These include; agree, decide, help, learn, promise, want, would like etc.

  1. He decided to swim in the lake.
  2. They didn't want to write a story for homework.
  3. Would you like to visit the local museum?
  4. She promised to look after herself more.

However, there are verbs which take both the gerund and the infinite for example: remember, start, try, forget etc.

The verb: GO often takes the gerund especially when we talk about hobbies and sports.

  1. I go fishing every Sunday.
  2. He goes jogging in the park.
  3. We went skiing in France.

But go is also used in conjunction with to, the preposition, when we are talking about getting or arriving at places, and to, the particle, when we make verbs in the infinitive i.e. to + verb (see brackets) to indicate purpose.

  1. I go to the lake (to fish) = A:"Why do you go to the lake?" B:"To fish."
  2. He goes to the park (to jog). = A: "Why does he go to the park?" B: "To jog." etc.
  3. We went to France (to ski).
  4. She didn't want to go to bed (to sleep).

So, you can say: "They went jogging" because, jogging is a sport activity which we use with the verb, go. But it is also possible to say: They went to the park to jog or even They went to jog (in the park). You can also leave out "in the park" and still have a grammatical sentence.

P.S I tried looking high and low for references with examples of uses for go + infinitive, and go + gerund and failed miserably!

Mari-Lou A

Posted 2013-06-05T17:43:27.117

Reputation: 19 962

All looks good to me. There's some interesting stuff here on the British Council's "Learn English" site, where they cover verb + infinitive/gerund (but no go! :)

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-06T02:06:19.763

1Also (I hate to mention this), love/hate are often used with the infinitive (as the nitpicker in me loves to point out). The others look right though. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-06T03:55:14.473

@FumbleFingers you are absolutely right but that's why I did say: "usually" followed by "normally" and then mentioned that some verbs take both forms! :) But I was also surprised to see how "go to + verb" examples seemed to be avoided in those very websites which are aimed at ELL (or) ESOL. And many thanks to Wendikidd for making my answer look more presentable, she probably saved me 20 minutes work! – Mari-Lou A – 2013-06-06T05:51:18.943

Here's Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn saying *"When I got by myself I went to thinking the thing over".* It sounds a bit antiquated/dialectal to me, but the form is obviously still in use

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-06T15:28:00.170

That it may still be in use is one thing, that it is correct is another! That we hear it in everyday speech yet another. I have never heard anyone saying: I went to thinking not even non-native speakers! Finn's quote illustrates that he wasn't schooled, but in its context it is perfectly comprehensible. I think this is a case of artistic license. :) – Mari-Lou A – 2013-06-07T08:14:55.393

The fact that Huck is unschooled isn't really relevant. There's obviously no "grammatical rule" saying you can't use went in this way, so you're effectively suggesting the usage be classified as "incorrect" simply because it's uncommon/dated/regional/dialectal/whatever. This writer, for example, clearly has an impressive command of English. I also see my hero Arlo's father Woody Guthrie used it

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-07T15:36:48.990


Well, can we agree that it is less common than "I began thinking 329,000 results" or "I started thinking" 765,000 results"? And if this is the case, why is it so? (2nd link was too long to post)

– Mari-Lou A – 2013-06-07T20:01:34.580

1@Fumble: I gots to thinkin' about this, and I'm thinkin' Huck's non-schooling is relevant; fact be, Twain seems to be emphasizing it. 'Sample bein' the passage you quote, which goes on to say: "I knowed very well where the right plan was going to come from." "Knowed"? Ain't too many incidents of the expression found, and much o' those quotes seem to be replete with rather informal language: "I walked a few steps and seen it was too rainy and bad to see in the fog, so I went to thinking about some kind of a place to lay down." In my little bit o' research, I seen lots o' quotes like that one. – J.R. – 2013-06-08T10:23:17.967

@J.R., Mari-Lou: I don't want to overstate my case there. I absolutely agree went to thinking is "non-standard". I'm just saying that I don't see it as "incorrect" according to any meaningful rule of grammar. If a native speaker can (or maybe, could) use a form "naturally", I'm not inclined to label it "incorrect" unless it clearly violates established grammar - as in *"I would of done something"*, which I have no hesitation in classifying as *wrong*, no matter how many native speakers say it. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2013-06-08T15:14:08.940