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I read some activities are commonly expressed in English by "go + present participle." However, I found a sentence like "Let's go ride a bike!" and I am wondering which sentence I should use.

Yesterday, I went riding a bike.

Yesterday, I went ride a bike.

 

Let's go riding a bike!

Let's go ride a bike!

  • The last one doesn't seem right. It should have an and between the words go and ride. – Tristan May 18 '13 at 12:14
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    @Tristan It could but it doesn't have to. "Let's go ride a bike!" is perfectly acceptable (though it implies they're both riding the same bike, which is possible but unlikely). "Let's go ride our bikes!" would perhaps be more likely. – WendiKidd May 18 '13 at 14:44
  • Wendi, it's not very likely in England and the rest of the UK. Over here, sentences like that always include go and rather just go. – Tristan May 18 '13 at 17:23
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The first sentence uses the structure "go + gerund", which is common with outdoor activities for instance. Other examples will be: go swimming, go shopping, go diving, go driving.

The second sentence is not correct. You can say "I went to ride a bike" or "I went riding", as in the first sentence; although if there is an object I would expect the structure "go + infinitive (with "to") to appear more often than "go + gerund". In other words, I would say "I went to ride a bike" and "I went riding", and not so often "I went riding a bike", which in my opinion is not incorrect, but less common.

The third sentence has the same concept as the first one; it is only in the present.

In the fourth sentence "go ride" means "go and ride". That is why the infinitive is possible, because it is "Let's go" and "Let's ride". It is similar to sentences like "We should go water the plants." "He wants to go see the film." "I will go tell them."

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    It should perhaps be observed that with transitive verbs the go VERBing construction prefers to put a direct object before the gerund: "I went bike riding", "Let's go dress shopping", "We had gone deer hunting". If the DO is too heavy it may be realized with a prepositional phrase: "I went riding on my bike", "Let's go shopping for dresses for the party", "We had gone hunting for the rare Siberian white-tailed deer". – StoneyB on hiatus May 18 '13 at 11:05
  • Thank you very much everyone! @fluffy your explanations are very clear. That's enlightening. – nkm May 19 '13 at 3:30

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