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Would you tell e which one is correct: give someone a good-to-go or give someone the good-to-go? For example:

Do not go anywhere until we give you a/the good-to-go?

2 Answers 2

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Either could be correct.

But in that specific example I would choose the as more natural, because it suggests that you are talking about a specific good-to-go, instead of any good-to-go.

Good-to-go might mean a thumbs-up motion, a handwave, a spoken phrase, etc.

If you say the, it means you have a specific one of those in mind. But if you say a, it means any will do.

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  • I agree - I think "the good-to-go" is more natural in this case, because we're not just talking about "one of many possible GtGs", but the specific one for this case.
    – stangdon
    Jul 26 at 20:54
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It comes down to a question of one or many in the given context.

one 'good-to-go' => the many 'good-to-goes' => a

For instance, let's say a rocket is awaiting approval to launch, there is the ultimate approval which might consist of approval from multiple entities.

All entities involved for the launch will need to give their approval or good-to-go vote. In this case referring to a vote as "a good-to-go" is appropriate.

However, there may be a case where the question regards only one vote. Perhaps in the case of a launch, all votes are in but one final vote; one final good-to-go. In this case, the final vote could appropriately be referred to as "the good-to-go". Although I might phrase it as the final good-to-go.

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