Can I say,"I went to play tennis."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by tu-amigo1960, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. tu-amigo1960 New Member

    Yokohama
    Japanese
    I went playing tennis. This sentence is correct, isn't it?
    I learned 'go-ing', such as 'go shopping'.
    "I went to play tennis." Is this sentence correct?
     
  2. reganse Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    English – U.S.
    I went to play tennis (yesterday).
    I am playing tennis (now).
    You can't say I went playing tennis.
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    No.
    Yes.

    There are lots of threads about gerund infinitive that discuss this topic in relation to specific activities. Usually they are about settings where either form can be used but there is a difference in meaning.

    In this particular example, only the second form is correct in normal contexts.
     
  4. pickarooney

    pickarooney Senior Member

    Provence, France
    English (Ireland)
    Not in most dialects. The construction does exist but is not common. Many would call it incorrect.

    Yes, it's fine.
     
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The funny (perhaps) thing is that if you select a different activity, where you don't need a verb-noun combination, then both forms are fine, if a little brief.
    I went surfing.
    I went to surf.
    I went singing.
    I went to sing.

    But not:
    I went playing golf.
    or
    I went singing madrigals.
     

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