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The past tense of 'I go see his dog.' (in conversational AE)

I somehow feel the first one a bit odd but the second and the third sound okay to me. Could anyone please clarify if my way of putting 'I go see his dog' into the past tense is okay? You wouldn't say 'I went see his dog,' would you?

A: I heard you went to John's house yesterday.

B: (1) I went see his dog. (2) I went to see his dog. (3) I went and saw his dog.

1

With specific reference to "I go see his dog" ...

Absent context that refers to the future, that sentence means "I regularly visit his dog".

I go see his dog every weekend.

The past tense version with the meaning "I regularly visited his dog" is

I would go see his dog (every weekend, etc).

or

I went to see his dog (every weekend, etc).

or

I went and saw his dog (every weekend, etc).

The following is not idiomatic, at least not in any dialect I'm familiar with:

I went see his dog.

  • Thanks, but I was looking at a specific occurrence. You wouldn't say 'I went see his dog,' would you? I imagine you would say 'I went to see his dog' or 'I went and saw his dog' to explain why you went to John's house or what you did there. – Sssamy Sep 27 '17 at 13:25
  • What about the normal version 'I go to see his dog.'? Does it mean differently from 'I go see his dog.'? Or it's not idiomatic at all? – dan Sep 27 '17 at 13:39
  • @Sssamy: As I wrote in the answer, no, you would not say "I went see his dog". went see is not idiomatic. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 27 '17 at 13:54
  • @dan: "I go to see his dog" is idiomatic and means "I regularly visit his dog" or "I am going (now) to see his dog" but that would be far less likely, at least in AmE, where it is not contemporary idiom. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 27 '17 at 13:56
  • -1 I go see his dog does not have to refer to regular occurrence; it can also refer to future time. – AmE speaker Sep 27 '17 at 14:02
0

Either 2 or 3 would be equally acceptable. There is a subtle difference between the two.

"I went to see his dog"

This suggests that seeing 'his' dog was an important part of the having gone.

"I went and saw his dog"

This suggests that seeing his dog wasn't as important as in the first case.

"I go see his dog"

Isn't a well formed (British)English phrase. Rather say:

"I am going to see his dog"

or

"I will go to see his dog"

In the example "I go see his dog" the word see is used in the infinitive form and in British English convention would require using it as "...to see...".

  • -1 I go see his dog is perfectly well formed English. – AmE speaker Sep 27 '17 at 12:53
  • @Clare not in British English. Whilst understandable (in context) it's neither complete or correct grammar. Hearing or seeing written "I go see his dog" immediately informs me that the speaker/writer is either; not originally from the UK; or hasn't been taught by teachers whose first language is English; or is an exceptionally poor student of Englsh language. – charmer Sep 27 '17 at 13:31
  • don't you mean "hasnt been taught by teachers whose first language is British English" and "is an exceptionally poor student of British English [usage]"? In sum, I could remove my DV if you edited your answer to say that you are talking from a BrE perspective, and preferably to provide a reference to this construction not being felicitous in BrE. – AmE speaker Sep 27 '17 at 13:56
  • 1
    "I go see his dog on Tuesdays." is terrible, ungrammatical English? Can you clarify that please? – ColleenV Sep 27 '17 at 14:10
  • In which English dialect is “I go see his dog” standard? I’m from Texas, and it immediately struck me as wrong. – G Tony Jacobs Sep 27 '17 at 14:10

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