I have a question about the usage of "go into" and "enter". It seems that one can write these:

1a. He went into politics.
1b. He went into this profession.
1c. He entered politics.
1d. He entered this profession.

as standard English. But then, I found these on the web:

2a. He went into the Army.
2b. He entered the Army.
2c. He went into the armed forces.
2d. He entered the armed forces.

The Army and armed forces are groups of people, not a profession like politics. Could the sentences 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d be wrong?

  • 1
    "The Army and armed forces are groups of people, not a profession like politics." – You might not think so, but people use them in that way all the time.
    – user8399
    May 14, 2015 at 3:49
  • "The Army and armed forces are groups of people, not a profession like politics" - did you just deliberately insult soldiers, airmen, and sailors? I find that trite remark in very poor taste.
    – J.R.
    May 14, 2015 at 9:40
  • 2
    The Army, Navy, and Air Force refer also to branches of the military, not only to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who join the service. Normally when writing we spell the word with upper case to indicate that we are referring to the branch, not to the personnel. So we can say "Caesar's army marched through the swamp" and we can also say "After graduating, he went into the Navy".
    – TimR
    May 14, 2015 at 13:19
  • You can say joined the Army or the Armed forces. May 19, 2017 at 9:22
  • All of these are perfectly fine to my ears. (They may not be the "model" versions of these sentences, such as "to join" the Army, but no one would blink an eye, suspect you of not being a native speaker, or fail to understand you.) Jun 20, 2017 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


2a, 2c and 2d are definitely correct. They don't seem incorrect. However, I'm not so sure about 2b. Use 2a instead of 2b.

Note: The web contains many incorrect and slang-influenced words, phrases and sentences. Always trust reliable sources like Thesaurus or your old English professor. I appreciate you putting this up here. There are a number of experts who can help you.

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