English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the difference between these two examples?

I go on a ride.
I go for a ride.

share|improve this question

Go on a ride suggests having a thrilling experience at a theme park. Go for a ride suggests an excursion on a bicycle, a motor cycle or a horse.

You would normally use the present tense, I go, if you followed it with a time expression such as ‘I go for a ride every Thursday.’ If you’re describing what you are about to do now, you use the present progressive construction: 'I am going for a ride'.

share|improve this answer

Intuitively, 'go on a ride' seems to imply passive partaking in said ride, while 'go for a ride' implies an active decision and a certain level of control.

You would go on a rollercoaster ride, but go for a ride on your bicycle. Note that a ride-along is also something you go on, as you're not behind the wheel.

share|improve this answer
Yes: this is a more idiomatic usage of 'on' than Barrie's locational one. Prepositions are such fun. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 23 '14 at 10:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.