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I noticed the usage of go they went in the TV show How I Met Your Mother:

Marshall: Where are all my underpants?

Lily: Did you check your suitcase?

(Marshall checks his suitcase, gives a thumbs-up)

Marshall: Let's go.

Future Ted VO: And go they went, all the way to St. Cloud, Minnesota, Marshall's hometown.

Is using this expression correct?

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1  
Apparently a funny twist to 'and so they went.' –  Kris Aug 22 '12 at 6:36
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It's often more helpful to ask not 'is it correct?' but 'does it work?' –  Barrie England Aug 22 '12 at 6:46
    
I have a nagging feeling that I know this phrase from somewhere. Possibly I'm just misremembering some e.e.cummings. –  Wudang Aug 22 '12 at 7:11
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@Kris, funny, I read it as a funny twist on, "and go they did." I'm making up my own preamble here: After many months of deliberation they finally decided to go. And go they did! all the way to St. Cloud, Minnesota. So swap out 'did' for 'went' –  Jim Aug 22 '12 at 7:16
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If this is actually what they said, sounds similar to the structure of "...and eat they did!" –  tenfour Aug 23 '12 at 8:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you want to stress the verb in this way you should use do/did, so the correct expression would have been "And go they did." "Went" would have been correct if it had been preceded only by an adverb in Future Ted VO's comment. For example, if Marshall had said "Let's get away" then Future Ted VO could have correctly said "And away they went."

Actually I think "And go they went" sounds so obviously wrong that it's deliberately being used to sound amusing.

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To answer your question, it is not grammatical.

In that context, you would use "and so they went".

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