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They went to jogging this morning.

They went jogging this morning.

Should I remove "to" in this sentence,If yes than why.

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    Yes, remove it. You can say they went jogging this morning or you can say they went to jog this morning, but you wouldn't say they went to jogging this morning. – J.R. Jun 5 '13 at 17:49
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    What @J.R. said. The only valid verb I can think of offhand that works with to [gerund] is (he) set to (complaining). I can't think of any way the -ing verb form can be a present participle preceded by to. Unless you look on jogging, boxing, weight-lifting, etc. as nouns naming alternative activities you might go to on different days, perhaps. – FumbleFingers Jun 5 '13 at 18:03
  • You seem to be asking a lot of questions about the word "to". Is there something particular about it that confuses you, so we can help? – WendiKidd Jun 5 '13 at 21:37
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    @FumbleFingers there's also: I look forward to seeing/meeting/hearing you. Maybe Amish Aa is confused when "to" is a preposition and the verb that follows is in the gerund, and when "to" is part of the infinite verb as in "to jog"? – Mari-Lou A Jun 5 '13 at 23:12
  • But! If I were taking a class on jogging, then it would be possible to say, "I went to Jogging this morning." – Jim Jun 6 '13 at 2:54
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I think I understand where your confusion stems from, but please correct me if I am wrong!

You are confusing verbs that take the gerund or the infinitive. Some verbs usually take the gerund for example; enjoy, hate, finish, mind, practise, spend, suggest, stop and phrasal verbs, e.g. give up, go on, take up etc.

  1. He enjoyed swimming a lot.
  2. They hate writing stories for homework.
  3. May I suggest visiting the local museum?
  4. She can't give up smoking.

Then there are verbs which normally take the infinitive. These include; agree, decide, help, learn, promise, want, would like etc.

  1. He decided to swim in the lake.
  2. They didn't want to write a story for homework.
  3. Would you like to visit the local museum?
  4. She promised to look after herself more.

However, there are verbs which take both the gerund and the infinite for example: remember, start, try, forget etc.

The verb: GO often takes the gerund especially when we talk about hobbies and sports.

  1. I go fishing every Sunday.
  2. He goes jogging in the park.
  3. We went skiing in France.

But go is also used in conjunction with to, the preposition, when we are talking about getting or arriving at places, and to, the particle, when we make verbs in the infinitive i.e. to + verb (see brackets) to indicate purpose.

  1. I go to the lake (to fish) = A:"Why do you go to the lake?" B:"To fish."
  2. He goes to the park (to jog). = A: "Why does he go to the park?" B: "To jog." etc.
  3. We went to France (to ski).
  4. She didn't want to go to bed (to sleep).

So, you can say: "They went jogging" because, jogging is a sport activity which we use with the verb, go. But it is also possible to say: They went to the park to jog or even They went to jog (in the park). You can also leave out "in the park" and still have a grammatical sentence.

P.S I tried looking high and low for references with examples of uses for go + infinitive, and go + gerund and failed miserably!

  • All looks good to me. There's some interesting stuff here on the British Council's "Learn English" site, where they cover verb + infinitive/gerund (but no go! :) – FumbleFingers Jun 6 '13 at 2:06
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    Also (I hate to mention this), love/hate are often used with the infinitive (as the nitpicker in me loves to point out). The others look right though. – FumbleFingers Jun 6 '13 at 3:55
  • @FumbleFingers you are absolutely right but that's why I did say: "usually" followed by "normally" and then mentioned that some verbs take both forms! :) But I was also surprised to see how "go to + verb" examples seemed to be avoided in those very websites which are aimed at ELL (or) ESOL. And many thanks to Wendikidd for making my answer look more presentable, she probably saved me 20 minutes work! – Mari-Lou A Jun 6 '13 at 5:51
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    Well, can we agree that it is less common than "I began thinking 329,000 results" or "I started thinking" 765,000 results"? And if this is the case, why is it so? (2nd link was too long to post) – Mari-Lou A Jun 7 '13 at 20:01
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    @Fumble: I gots to thinkin' about this, and I'm thinkin' Huck's non-schooling is relevant; fact be, Twain seems to be emphasizing it. 'Sample bein' the passage you quote, which goes on to say: "I knowed very well where the right plan was going to come from." "Knowed"? Ain't too many incidents of the expression found, and much o' those quotes seem to be replete with rather informal language: "I walked a few steps and seen it was too rainy and bad to see in the fog, so I went to thinking about some kind of a place to lay down." In my little bit o' research, I seen lots o' quotes like that one. – J.R. Jun 8 '13 at 10:23

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