I think the phrase "go exercise" is spoken in colloquial English. But I can still find the phrase "go exercising," even in Google books. Like the excerpt below:

I like to exercise, but if I'm stressed and I want to exercise, it's different than it used to be," she says. "Before, if I wanted to go exercising, it was out of anxiousness. It was not relaxing; it just made me worse. I think it's good to exercise, because the body needs to exercise, but not obsessively, and not perhaps in that moment when you are very stressed and anxious, like you're ready to run a marathon. For me, it's just walking with my dog. I do that a lot. And then I feel calm and relaxed.

Is this an American/British thing? Or is it plain wrong?

  • 1
    So presumably it would not be OK for her to "go shopping" either?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 10 '16 at 0:06
  • 1
    @HotLicks: Thanks! So the existence of "go shopping" means it's OK to say "go eating" instead of "go eat," right?
    – herisson
    Apr 10 '16 at 0:23
  • Go swimming, go hiking, go sightseeing, but not go eating.....Hmmm
    – ab2
    Apr 10 '16 at 0:39
  • 1
    Don't go eating junk food after all that exercise.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 10 '16 at 0:44
  • 1
    @ab2 That sounds like a lot of food eaten, compared with then I ate.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 10 '16 at 0:48

"Go exercising" sort of "sounds wrong", but simply because it's more idiomatic to say "go exercise". Consider that "exercising" has a number of subcategories -- jogging, swimming, weight lifting, etc, so the word is rarely used. Whereas "shopping" doesn't have the corresponding "grocerying", and "clothing", "housing", et al, mean other things. So it's common to say "I'm going shopping", but not so common to say "I'm going exercising".

But there's absolutely nothing wrong with saying it. (Better say it than do it!!)

  • Thank you, Hot Licks. Except "idiomatic," can I say it's a habit? Or a custom? (which word should I use here in this context? a habit? a custom?)
    – yyfroy
    Apr 10 '16 at 8:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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