Today, let’s look at the difference between go (-ing) and go to (place). Japanese learners often get confused between these two points. Although they look very similar, there is an important difference between the meanings.
To talk about leisure activities like swimming, hiking, shopping, fishing, etc., we use go (-ing). To talk about travelling and commuting to a place, we use go to (place).
First, let’s look at some examples of how we use go (-ing).
◆ I like to go hiking in the mountains.
◆ I went shopping in Ebisu on Sunday.
◆ I don’t want to go drinking after work tonight.
◆ Do you want to go scuba diving in Okinawa?
To talk about leisure activities in the future, we can use going to go (-ing) or going (-ing).
◆ I am going to go shopping at the mall.
◆ I’m going shopping at the mall.
◆ We are going to go swimming this afternoon.
◆ We are going swimming this afternoon.
Next, let’s look at some examples of how we use go to (place).