Here is a useful list to help you remember when to use go, when to use go to, and when to use go to the.
Often English learners feel more comfortable with rules to memorize [and we have lots of them in English!], but sometimes there is no rule. There is no rule why go is sometimes followed by to or to the. That’s just the way it is!
1. go …
*No ‘to,’ no ‘the’
I like going downtown Toronto, but I don’t like driving there.
We went to Bermuda on vacation last year! We go there every year.
You’re really annoying me. Go away!
2. go + gerund
I love to go skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
My friends and I like going shopping after school.
We’re going hiking this weekend. Do you want to come?
3. go to…
go to work
go to school
go to jail
go to bed
a country, a city
We went to Bermuda on vacation last year!
Let’s go to your parent’s house for dinner tonight.
Do you have to go to work tomorrow or do you have the day off?
4. go to the…
go to the movies
go to the bank
go to the post office
go to the hospital
go to the airport
go to the train station
go to the doctor
go to the dentist
We went to the movies last night. We saw ‘Iron Man 2.’
I’m going to the hospital this afternoon to visit my grandmother.
I have to go to the airport to pick up my friend. She’s visiting us for the next couple of weeks.