do/go sightseeing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by novice_81, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. novice_81 Senior Member

    Sweden
    Polish
    Hi

    I know that we can say: Let's go sightseeing
    Can I also say: Let's do sightseeing

    Is it possible to use "do" with sightseeing?

    thanks
     
  2. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    "Do" is a word that has crept into colloquial usage in many lazy ways. It is used when people can't think of the right word and has almost become an idiom, albeit a very informal one.

    The better way is to say "go sightseeing".
     
  3. novice_81 Senior Member

    Sweden
    Polish
    Hi

    So actually if I say: Let's do (some) sightseeing - it should be OK, though "go" is preferable?

    thanks
     
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I think if you use "do" you need the "some", novice_81.

    Let's do sightseeing:cross:
    Let's do some sightseeing:tick:
     
  5. novice_81 Senior Member

    Sweden
    Polish
    I get it. Thank you very much!!!!
     
  6. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    Since there is a verb "sightsee", there is no reason to "do sightseeing". On the other hand, "go sightseeing" has a different meaning, with the emphasis on the "going".
     
  7. novice_81 Senior Member

    Sweden
    Polish
    So when you say "do some sightseeing" you put emphasis on the "doing" and it's still pretty much correct?
     
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    GWB, although the verb "sightsee" exists, I don't think we use it much, do we? (I don't think I do, anyway:))

    Novice_81, I think you're right that the emphasis in "do some sightseeing" is on "do", with the idea of undertake.

    It's a bit like "do some shopping" vs "go shopping".
     
  9. novice_81 Senior Member

    Sweden
    Polish
    Thank you once again!
     
  10. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    I think we use it more than, say "defenestrate.":)

    Actually, I don't find it all that uncommon, but then I live in a town that gets lots of tourists; I can easily imagine describing people as walking down the street, sightseeing. I think, though, that you have made a very good point with the verb 'to shop".

    It is natural to use "shop" by itself as a verb.
    It is natural to say "go shopping".
    It is not natural, however, to say "do shopping" without some other word coming between the "do" and the "shoping":
    I do my shopping at Sainsbury's.
    We will do some shopping tomorrow.

    This is also true of "do sightseeing", which by itself sounds odd, but as "do some sightseeing" is not so peculiar.

    I wonder if this is true of verbs generally...
     
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    As Kevin Beach implied, do sightseeing would be possible in very informal English.

    For example, two teenage friends are touring Europe and discussing their plans for the day.

    A: So do you want to do sightseeing and then lunch? Or should we do lunch now?
    B: Actually, I think we should do the museum first. It's just around the corner.

    In this context, sightseeing, lunch, and the museum are abbreviated references to different activities, and doing them refers to accomplishing those activities.

    I should point out that do sightseeing is less natural (and therefore less likely to be said) than do lunch or do the museum, because you could just as easily say go sightseeing.
     
  12. johndot Senior Member

    English - England
    Yes, I looked it up and to sightsee is indeed a verb. Unfortunately, it’s intransitive—which severely limits its usage—so you can’t say, for example, “Last year I sightsaw Naples and died.” And I’m still here to prove it!
     
  13. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't think intransitivity is the issue here, johndot.

    But I agree with you 100% that we don't say "we sightsaw".
     
  14. padredeocho Senior Member

    United States
    If you want, you can avoid it all:

    Let's see the sights!
     

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