Why does I watch a movie doesn't make sense while I watch movies makes sense?

While I go to church makes sense and I go to churches doesn't.

1 Answer 1


The singular "I watch a movie" refers to an individual, single, discrete action.

What do you do to relax after a hard day at work?
--I watch a movie. idiomatic

The plural "I watch movies" refers to a habitual or regular behavior.

What is your worst time-wasting vice?
-- I watch a movie. unidiomatic
-- I watch movies. idiomatic

go can combine with prepositional phrases with a singular object to express the idea of habitual or regular behavior in a specific role related to the object of the preposition:

I go to school.

I go to church.

I go to choir practice.

In these cases, the roles are "to attend as a student", "to attend as a member of the congregation", "to attend as a member of the choir".

When go is combined with a prepositional phrase with plural object, the meaning is different. go then means to make your way to these places as a visitor:

In your job as building inspector for the Department of Education, what do you do?
--I go to schools, and make sure they are safe and that their systems are functioning properly.

When you visit a foreign city as a tourist, what do you see first?
--I go to churches because I like architecture that tries to express something spiritual.

As a talent scout for the big music label, what do you do?
--I go to choir practices in the hope of discovering the next big star.

  • any other verbs like go which requires singular object for habitual behaviour
    – kobe24
    Jun 15, 2017 at 14:22
  • @kobe24: go + to + {singular object} = habitual behavior in a specific role related to the object, not merely "habitual behavior".
    – TimR
    Jun 15, 2017 at 14:28

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