English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. 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

Please check both sentences and let me know which one is correct.

You can't just order your children to go play while you watch TV.


You can't just order your children to go to play while you watch TV.

share|improve this question

"Go play" is a very common turn of phrase. It's often used as a directive, "Go play, I'm busy." It's also perfectly correct and natural in your first example. That sentence sounds just fine.

"Go to play" is stilted sounding, although it may be technically "correct". The only way I can think of that I would use the "to" in that line is if it also included a location. Even then, I have to mess with tenses to make it sound natural. "She went to play in the park."

I could say, "Go play in the park." I might also say, "Let's go to the park to play." I would never say, "Go to play."

share|improve this answer
I think "go play" is American. Brits would more likely say "go and play in the park". – toandfro Mar 29 '14 at 8:37
Having no experience to the contrary, I'll buy that. :) – Jolenealaska Mar 29 '14 at 23:46

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.