What does "She went on the swing" mean?

Does it mean "She rode on the swing and she was swing on the swing"? Or does it mean "She was walking to the swing and she sat down on the swing" ?

Does "went on" in the sentence mean "was playing on" or "was walking to on"?

1 Answer 1


Went on = Got on. It's an idiom, using to go to mean to partake in rather than to move toward.

Saying "she went on the swing" means that she physically got on it; she must have already been there, but it doesn't say explicitly whether she was swinging or just sitting on it.

  • 1
    As it relates to rides, "went on" usually means "used"... "went on the slide" = slid; "went on the roller coaster" = rode; "went on the swing" = swung.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 2:16
  • I can clearly understand the meaning of the word partake. By the way, I do not really know what the meaning of the word "got on" is. Looking at the dictionary, the meaning of "got on" => 1. If you try to get on, you try to be successful in your career. 2.If someone is getting on, they are getting old. 3.If you say how someone is getting on, you are saying how much success they are having with what they are trying to do. Does "she got on the swing" mean "She tried to ride on the swing and succeeded." ? Does "she went on the swing" mean "She tried to ride on the swing and succeeded.." ?
    – user22046
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 2:41
  • 1
    @user22046, "Got on" means situated oneself upon. For a swing, that would mean sit on. For a ride at an amusement park, "went on the ride" means that you entered it, sat on it (or however, you normally ride it), stayed on while the ride did its thing, and then got off. So merely sitting gives you the full experience. A swing is a little ambiguous because nothing much happens if you merely sit, you have to put your own movement into it. So "got on" technically just means you sat on it. "Went on" people would assume includes getting the experience of it, which would include using it.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 3:07

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