go with vs go for

koolaid02

Senior Member
Korean
go with (someone or something):to choose or use (someone or something)
  • After thinking about who to offer the job to, they decided to go with the more experienced candidate.
  • The golfer went with an iron off the tee. [=the golfer used an iron for her tee shot]
go for something

1 to choose somethingI think I'll go for the fruit salad.
In Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary, 'go for' doesn't have a meaning of 'choose', but Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary have that meaning. I'm not sure if one between two is British or American English. Is there any difference I should keep in mind when I use these phrases?
 
  • sandpiperlily

    Senior Member
    In American English at least, both can mean "choose," although "go with" is probably more common while to me "go for" also sometimes conveys enthusiasm. If I made a difficult choice where I didn't like any of the options, I wouldn't likely say "go for."

    Just keep in mind that each of these phrases can also take totally different meanings, e.g.:
    "I went with my mother to the beach." Doesn't mean I chose my mother, it means we went to the beach together.
    "I am going to go for ice cream." Doesn't mean I choose ice cream, it means I'm going somewhere to get ice cream.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, koolaid02.

    I've heard both phrases used here in the US to mean "to choose something": I'll go with/for the fruit salad.

    Cross-posted.
     

    koolaid02

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you all for the clarification.


    go with/go for(not used if options are not approval) something AmE
    go with something(low frequency)/go for BrE
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Although "I'll go with/for X." may result in a choice being made, I suspect that the with/for options have different etymologies and thus nuances:

    1. "I'll go with X" < "I'll go along with X" an expression used where the speaker has no firm decision in mind: not so much a choice rather a consensus/ easy compromise. e.g. "I will go along with your suggestion because I do not want an argument."

    2. "I'll go for X" may be the same construction as "The dog went for the sheep" (head [quickly] in the direction of [often with the intent of securing the object for oneself]) or "He drew his bow and went for the Gold." -> to aim for, etc.: not so much a choice, more a target, an aspiration.

    However, both do indicate to the listener what the speaker would be happy with.

    "To go along with X" is common in BE, and although "to go with" seems to be increasing in popularity its frequency is only small in proportion to "to go for x"
     
    Last edited:

    koolaid02

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Although
    1. "I'll go with X" < "I'll go along with X" ...no firm decision in mind: not so much a choice rather a consensus/ easy compromise. e.g. "I will go along with your suggestion because I do not want an argument."

    2. "I'll go for X" ...to aim for, etc.: not so much a choice, more a target, an aspiration.

    However, both do indicate to the listener what the speaker would be happy with.
    Thank you for the subtle nuance, PaulQ.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There’s no connection between them. To go for or go with something is to select that something out of a number of options.

    But to go in for is to:
    • like doing, used mainly in the negative (I don’t really go in for ball sports. They’re not my cup of tea.)
    • enter,
    for example a competition/contest (BE usage?)
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    There’s no connection between them. To go for or go with something is to select that something out of a number of options.

    But to go in for is to:
    • like doing, used mainly in the negative (I don’t really go in for ball sports. They’re not my cup of tea.)
    • enter,
    for example a competition/contest (BE usage?)
    Thank you, lingobingo
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    • enter, for example a competition/contest (BE usage?)
    I don't think we use that in AE, but I'm not sure without a sentence.

    We do say "go out for" a sport in a school context, which means we try to get accepted on the team by performing well enough in tryouts.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is another meaning of 'to go for'. It can mean 'to attack'

    Example

    The interview panel always go with the candidate with the highest qualifications. (mostly US English but understood by all) :tick:

    The interview panel always go for the candidate with the highest qualifications.
    This is open to ambiguity. It could mean The interview panel always attack/challenge the candidate with the highest qualifications.

    Safer is, The interview panel always choose the candidate with the highest qualifications.
     
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