“The essay went through a few drafts, and was later given a new title……”

From https://www.ibtimes.com/are-aliens-real-winston-churchill-wrote-essay-extraterrestrial-life-2493038

How can I interpret “go through” here?

I first checked the OED.

Go through

  1. intransitive. To complete or reach the end of an undertaking, process, etc.; to carry or follow something to completion or to its natural end; to do something thoroughly or completely.

  2. intransitive. With to. Esp. of a train: to travel or pass through various places to a final destination, esp. in a single journey.

  3. intransitive. a. Of a bill, motion, etc.: to be passed or ratified by a legislative or deliberative body. b. Of a deal, transaction, etc.: to be completed; to be officially approved or processed.

I find that “go through” generally means “experience” and “follow to its end”. Then I checked other dictionaries and sources.

Vocabulary.com has this entry for “go” and gives a relevant example:

Progress by being changed

“The speech has to go through several more drafts”


This website has an entry for “go through” and gives three examples. https://www.gonaturalenglish.com/phrasal-verb-go-through/

To be successively published

  1. The Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, one of the most popular Castilian Spanish dictionaries, has gone through 23 revisions since first being published in 1780.

  2. I’ll be done with my doctoral thesis in March, after going through about a dozen drafts.

  3. I thought the copy machine was printing my proposal, but it went through about 100 copies before I realized it was printing blank pages.

Now I am completely confused. Is there a nuanced meaning for “go through” in "the essay went through xx drafts?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of The subtle differences between undergo, experience and go through Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 12:22
  • The essay went through a few drafts = The essay was redrafted / revised a few times. It's entirely a matter of opinion (and perhaps the writer's intent) whether in the specific context there might be an allusion to [My originally carefully-crafted essay] had to suffer the strain / indignity of being revised several times (by course tutors, proof-readers, etc.). Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


The essay reads well.( The readers will find the essay good)

The bed sleeps well.(We can sleep well on the bed)

The board writes well.( we can write well on the board)

The essay went through a few drafts

(The author redrafted the essay a few times).

In English some verbs can be used specially based on the style of the author.

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