What are the differences between "ongoing", "going on" and just "going"? And which one should I use to express that a TV series hasn't concluded and continues to run? For example:

  • Is 'The Simpsons' still going/ongoing/going on?

Please help me understand them. Many thanks in advance.

  • 1
    I would ask, "Are new episodes of 'The Simpsons' still being made?" to avoid any confusion. Jul 1, 2017 at 14:26
  • @Mark Hubbard, what kind of confusion would those three phrases elicit?
    Jul 1, 2017 at 14:28
  • 1
    You're not asking if "The Simpsons" are still going/going on/ongoing, you're asking (I think) whether new episodes are still being produced; hence the opportunity for confusion, yes? Re-runs of "The Simpsons" will likely be ongoing for decades. :-) Jul 1, 2017 at 14:38
  • 1
    Why not say simply "The show is still running / being produced / on the air." (there are subtle differences, of course)? I think ongoing collocates well with series, but not so much with TV show, but I could be wrong.
    – user3395
    Jul 1, 2017 at 14:41
  • 1
    Nowhere in these comments, or in your question, do you tell us that you consulted an English language dictionary to learn about ongoing, the phrasal verb go on and the verb go. A dictionary won't tell you everything, but it is always where you should start. It's even a useful beginning in the case of expressions like "keep going". Jul 1, 2017 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


ongoing is an adjective describing "continuing to exist or develop, or happening at the present moment".

go on is a phrasal verb meaning "happen" or "continue".

go on its own doesn't really have any suitable meanings: the closest is "operating". So you could say "Is your watch still going?".

If you want to describe a television show, you probably want an adjective:

The ongoing television series, "the Simpsons"....

If you want to ask whether it is showing at this moment, you could use the "happening" meaning to ask

Is "the Simpsons" going on?

If you want to ask whether the series will continue in the future, you could use the "continue" meaning:

Is "the Simpsons" going on after the current series?

If you simply want to ask whether the series is currently being aired regularly, you would be more likely to say

Is "the Simpsons" still running?

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