In the sentence

We went cycling.

Why is there an added "ing" in cycling?

  • Hi S.alhaider. Welcome to ELL. Please try to use correct grammar in your questions (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) to the best of your abilities. Also, note that "we went cycling" is the first person plural, not the third person singular.
    – Tashus
    Dec 12, 2018 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


Specifically in the phrase "we went cycling" the "ing" ending in cycling is necessary because the word functions as a gerund for the verb "went" rather than as a verb itself.

Another way to phrase this sentence would be: "We cycled." One reason to choose "we went cycling" vs "we cycled" would be that the speaker wants to emphasize a single cycling incident as opposed to the general concept of having cycled.


I am more concerned that you have a homework assignment that includes grammar which you haven't yet learned. Check your textbook to see if there is a chapter on gerunds, which are conjugations of verbs that like nouns. These are very common. Examples:

  • Hunting tigers is dangerous.
  • She enjoys sailing, skiing, and tennis.
  • The most important part of the recipe is mixing the ingredients.

In this example, it's also helpful to know that "go" in English is a versatile English verb. To "go X-ing" usually means to do that activity, rather than travel to some location. Example:

Later today I need to go shopping for groceries.

More examples of go+ing

If your example included the present progressive, it would be:

We are camping.

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