• Let's go the other way

• Let's go the other side

To my ESL ears, shouldn't they have "to" after "go"?

• Let's go to the other way

• Let's go to the other side

If there's any difference, please let me know. Thanks!


6 Answers 6


"Way" phrases are often used adverbially without a preposition:

Walk this way.
Do this the same way as she does it.
You should start heading that way.
Are you going to go my way?
I like to do things my own way.

"Let's go to the other way" would be correct only if "the other way" were something that you could go to. I can't really think of a good situation in which that would make sense.

"Side" does not have that property, so "let's go the other side" is incorrect. "Let's go to the other side" would be correct, as you note.

  • "Walk this way" is also ambiguous: "How can I get to you?" -- "Walk this way!" vs. "Walk this way! Talk this way!" Feb 15, 2022 at 8:24
  • 1
    I'd interpret "let's go the other side" as let's go around the other side (of a lake or something, presumably). IOW, "let's walk the way that leads around the other side". Feb 15, 2022 at 13:09
  • 4
    @Peter-ReinstateMonica And leads to the old joke of "Walk this way" (indicating where you're both going to go) and then doing a funny walk.
    – Graham
    Feb 15, 2022 at 13:23
  • 2
    To be clear, you would not use "to" with other adverbs either, e.g. "let's go quickly" or "he'll go quietly", not "let's go to quickly". Using an adverb also doesn't stop you from using a preposition, so long as you still have an object of preposition, e.g. "do not go gently into that good night", where "gently" is the adverb, "into" is the preposition, and "that good night" is the object of preposition. So essentially "go" is a verb which may take an object of preposition, and independently, can be modified with an adverb.
    – kaya3
    Feb 15, 2022 at 16:02
  • 1
    @leftaroundabout I think it could be interpreted several ways and is quite contextual. For example, if I was going down a flight of stairs by the left railing and someone was coming up on the same side, I'd take the phrase as a suggestion to continue my descent on the right hand side instead. On the other hand, if I was attempting to enter the yummy aisle for a bar of chocolate but there was a stack of boxes blocking off one entrance, I'd interpret it the same way you've suggested.
    – user81621
    Feb 16, 2022 at 12:28

"To" means there's a destination. You don't use it when you're giving a direction without a destination. So...

  • Let's go left.
  • Let's go right.
  • Let's go straight on.
  • Let's go north.
  • Let's go mad. (OK, that's not exactly the same. ;)

But if you have a destination...

  • Let's go to the shops.
  • Let's go to London.
  • Let's go to the North. (Not really a direction in degrees on a compass, but going to the northern end of a country.)

This is different if the "to" is part of an infinitive verb though, and not a destination. Colloquial English often turns

  • Let's go to see the show.
  • Let's go to buy some food.


  • Let's go see the show.
  • Let's go buy some food.

It's also different when the verb is a gerund (e.g. swimming, paintballing). In that case

  • Let's go swimming.
  • Let's go paintballing.

expresses that you want to do that activity, but

  • Let's go to swimming.
  • Let's go to paintballing.

says that you want to go to a destination (known to you and the person you're talking to) where you're going to do it. It's a subtle difference, but there is a difference.

  • Covers the general cases well, but would help if you added the original example sentences and show how they fit in.
    – Dragonel
    Feb 16, 2022 at 15:57
  • Although you can also say "Let's go to the left/right". Which means a vector relative to our current position. Feb 16, 2022 at 16:28

Correct versions are:

"Let's go the other way." "Let's go to the other side."

You use "to" when you are giving a destination. Like, "Let's go to Sally's house." That is, you generally use "to" when the thing that follows "go" is a noun, the place where you want to go.

You do not use "to" when you are giving a direction or a description of how you will travel. Like, "Let's go north" or "Let's go quickly". That is, you do not use "to" when the thing that follows "go" is an adverb.

In your example, "the other way" describes, depending on context, either a direction or means of travel. "Let's go on the highway." "No, let's go the other way. It's slower but much prettier scenery." Or, "Let's go by train." "No, let's go the other way. Airplane is much faster." Either way, it's a description of direction or means and should not use "to".

"The other side" is a place. We could go to this side, one place, or the other side, a different place. So you should use "to".

I see Graham mentions the case where "to" is part of an infinitive, like "Let's go to see the aardvarks". Here "to see" is an infinitive, so it's a totally different case. In this case the fact that the word "to" follows "go" is more like a coincidence.

There are a few cases that are potentially confusing, where a noun is used as an adverb.

"Let's go home." In this case "home" is being used as an adjective to describe the type of travel. Logically it means the same as "Let's go to our home". Arguably this is a special case idiom.

"Lets go to the North." "North" here is not being used to describe the direction of travel, but the part of the country or region. Depending on the geography and how the regions are named, you might not even travel north to get there. Like if someone from "the South" said "Let's go to the East", he might actually travel north to get there. (There might be an amusing riddle or paradox here if you worked on it.) Note you wouldn't normally say, "Let's go to North" but "Let's go to THE North". You need the article when it's a proper noun.

Well, maybe I should also mention that you could have words that sound like a different part of speech, especially proper nouns. Like if there was a town named "Quickly", then if you want to say to go to that town you would use "to": "Let's go to Quickly". but if you want to say to travel rapidly, with no reference to the town, you wouldn't use "to": "Let's go quickly."


With "to", it indicates final destination. Without "to", it indicates a path.

  • 2
    You're not wrong, but 'let's go home...'?
    – mcalex
    Feb 15, 2022 at 8:23
  • @mcalex Or "Let's go places! " ;-) Although that may be slightly agrammatical as a stylistic device. Feb 15, 2022 at 8:25
  • 3
    @mcalex More seriously: Home in "go home" is not a noun but an adverb: Go wild, go fast, go boldly where no man has gone before: Go home. Feb 15, 2022 at 8:43
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica right, it's two different uses of the word. In related languages it may actually be different words/forms; Norwegian “gå hjem” means go home whereas “gå hjemme” would mean go at home. Otherwise same story as in English: “gå den annen vei” would mean go the other way, i.e. to use the other way for walking, whereas “gå til den annen vei” means the way is the destination, you're going to it. Feb 15, 2022 at 13:19
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica: To go fast, or go boldly, is to go in a specific manner. That's an adverb. To go home, or go wild, is to go to a specific place. That's a noun. You don't go in a home-like way. And, though it could be interpreted as such, the usual meaning of "go wild" doesn't imply you're going in a wild way, but rather that you are going to a state of being wild. (Also, we'd typically say "go wildLY" if we meant it as an adverb.)
    – MichaelS
    Feb 17, 2022 at 14:14

We can say 'Let's go the other way'. (without 'to')

We can say, 'Let's go to the other side'.

We usually use to when indicating a destination. We normally don't use to when giving a direction.


We not only can; we usually need to leave out "to" after go?

Broadly, "the other side" is a destination and "the other way" is a direction. Does that difference make sense?

"go to the other way" could never be correct.

"go to the other direction" could never be correct.

"go in the other way" could never be correct.

"go in the other direction" works yet while the others sound similar, they're not the same.

"The way I'm going is north…" might seem the same as "The direction I'm going is north/S/E/W…" but that's a mistake.

No native speaker would fail to understand "The direction I'm going is north…" but that would be through context, not strict grammar or semantics.

"The direction in which I'm going is north…" might sound pedantic but it's what we really need.

Today, "The direction I'm going in is north…" is broadly acceptable…

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