Considering that 'to dress' is a verb, why is it preferable to say "Go get dressed" as opposed to the simple "Go dress"?


Dress is a transitive verb, meaning that it takes one or more objects. Go dress doesn't contain any objects, so the sentence is ungrammatical.

  • 1
    Thank you, I'll read about that. I suppose that one might say "Go dress yourself", then?
    – dotancohen
    Sep 16 '14 at 18:32
  • @dotancohen exactly.
    – user132181
    Sep 16 '14 at 18:34
  • 3
    user132181: I disagree. 'Dress' is transitive or intransitive in different sentences. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English gives 'Aunt Margaret told her to dress herself in her nicest dress', 'I dress the kids before I go to work' (trans), 'I've got to go home to dress', 'I dressed quickly' (intrans).
    – Sydney
    Sep 17 '14 at 4:04
  • @SydneyAustraliaESLTeacher I completely agree I was wrong. Please, provide the right answer so OP can accept it and I can delete mine (right now I can't because it's accepted).
    – user132181
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:43

Dress is one of those words where if there is no object expressed, an reflexive object like myself, yourself, etc. can be understood, like wash, bathe, clean, etc.

So you can tell someone to go dress.

However this usually means to dress for a specific reason, such as a ceremony, function, costume party, etc.

Go get dressed is idiomatic for putting on your normal clothes of the day.

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