to do or go boxing

  • C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Hmm, you say "I box" if you regularly "box."

    You don't normally say, "I do boxing," although it's understood."

    I'm not sure about "I go boxing" either. Sorry.

    You might say, "I have a match tonight" or "I have a fight tonight," meaning, "I have a boxing match tonight, so I will box tonight" (if all goes as planned).

    Alternately you can say, "I am going to box tonight."

    You rarely say, "I am boxing right now," I guess because you are likely to be too busy in the ring if that is the case.

    If you watch boxing, you say, "I am going to watch boxing tonight."

    (Gosh, I have a bump on my head from a tent stake and then someone on a farm where I worked hit me a bunch on the bump with a box, and now we must all get boxed? Can't we have some other sports instead? Interstingly one can say, "I am going running," or "I am going swimming" [but never use "do" with this]; however I've not heard of, "I am going boxing.")

    Best,

    cew
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Myol, this is a perfect example of why we require you to provide context or, at the very least, a complete sentence.

    C.E. Whitehead has valiantly tried to cover all the bases because you have not told us what context this is in. Do you mean that the person saying this is a boxer? Do you mean that the person saying this goes to matches to watch the fights? Do you mean that the person saying this is a professional boxer or boxes as part of a physical fitness program? When she or he says this, are they "going" to the gym or are they stepping into the ring?

    The answers (which only you can provide) help us to help you.
     

    myol

    New Member
    Spanish
    The context of "to go boxing" would be for example talking about the sports you play /do or go. For example can I say:"I go boxing twice a week"? as I say "I go swimming twice a week" or should I say: "I do boxing twice a week"?

    Thanks a lot,
    myol
     

    ace02nc

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I would just say "I box twice a week." As Whitehead pointed out, you really don't use "to do" or "to go" in this context. If you want to distinguish between practice and an actual fight, you would say either:

    "I practice boxing twice a week."

    or

    "I have a boxing match twice a week."
     

    pickarooney

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    I would just say "I box twice a week." As Whitehead pointed out, you really don't use "to do" or "to go" in this context. If you want to distinguish between practice and an actual fight, you would say either:

    "I practice boxing twice a week."

    or

    "I have a boxing match twice a week."
    Strange... both of those sound wrong to me (not least because two matches a week is a hell of a rhythm!). "I go boxing twice a week" sounds fine to me on the other hand. I might also say "I have boxing twice a week", depending on the context. "I do boxing" isn't particularly shocking to my ears. I think I would say "I do karate twice a week", so in that sense it's similar.
     

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Actually we use the word 'go' to talk about doing outdoor sports (we 'go hiking,' 'go biking,' 'go hunting,' 'go fishing'); we also 'go swimming' and 'go running'). I don't know of any other sports we use 'go' for.
    We use 'play' when we are talking about playing any kind of ball or card or dice game, and with many games of chance, and for boardgames (such as monopoly, scrabble, chess). Thus we say: 'play tennis,' 'play baseball,' 'play basketball,' 'play rugby,' 'play football,' 'play soccer,' 'play raquetball,' 'play golf,' and yes, 'play catch' (generally meaning to 'practice catching a ball'). And we say, 'play poker,' 'play cards,' and 'play lotto.' We also 'play chess' which is boardgame.

    You can also talk about 'playing an instrument' but to some minds 'playing an instrument' is not a game and the word play is translated differently in some languages depending on whether it's an instrument being played or a game.

    You can't go or play boxing or karate though you can practice both and you can have a match (where two opponents meet).

    I guess when you go fishing or hiking or running, you are moving along.

    And when you play, you are having a good timem (even when you are losing a lot of money in a card game apparently; don't ask me why; that's just the psychology of the English word 'play.').

    You apparently don't have that good a time getting all beaten up boxing and you certainly do not move very far from where you are. Sports that involve fighting thus don't use 'play' or 'go' as far as I know.

    Hope this helps!

    --cew
     
    Last edited:

    Robbie168

    Senior Member
    Spanish, English - US & UK
    Interesting points of view and still a bit unclear on whether you go or do boxing! I' teaching English as a foreign language and in the coursebook there's an activity which invites students to decide on some sports and The typical collocations used with them such as 'play, do, or go'! The coursebook provides the word 'boxing' so according to what's previously been discussed I think I'd go with pickarooney's explanation.
    Have you got any other input on this? Please advise!
    Thank you,
    Robbie

    By the way! The book is for advanced students of English who are preparing for The FCE test.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Interesting points of view and still a bit unclear on whether you go or do boxing! I' teaching English as a foreign language and in the coursebook there's an activity which invites students to decide on some sports and The typical collocations used with them such as 'play, do, or go'! The coursebook provides the word 'boxing' so according to what's previously been discussed I think I'd go with pickarooney's explanation.
    Have you got any other input on this? Please advise!
    Thank you,
    Robbie

    By the way! The book is for advanced students of English who are preparing for The FCE test.
    I agree with C. E. Whitehead:
    You can't go or play boxing or karate though you can practice both and you can have a match (where two opponents meet).
    I might go to boxing class [OR: box at the gym] twice a week, but I wouldn't say that I "go boxing".
     

    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    For me, "to go boxing" (correctly) covers the whole business: catching the bus to the sports centre, getting changed into boxing kit, getting knocked about, getting changed back into normal clothes and catching the bus home.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I regret to say that we are not going to resolve this question until it is put into a narrow and understandable context. I went to the boxing matches last Saturday evening at the St. Paul Armory. In plain English I did not go boxing. The fighters on the card did not go there to watch the spectators such as myself.
     
    Last edited:

    elianecanspeak

    Senior Member
    English - EEUU
    Caution: Because a term is used on Google, it does not mean that it is considered correct usage.

    I was puzzled by this question. While "going boxing" didn't sound completely correct to me, it didn't sound completely wrong. I just now googled it to see if it were in use at all. There was some use, but it was fairly limited.

    "Boxing" had 78,000,000 hits.
    "Go boxing had only 27,000 and "going boxing" had only 9,560.


    A fair number of entries were from the UK, and there was a club in Georgia called "Train 2 Go Boxing & Fitness Club".

    A small portion of the context involved Boxing Day in thee UK, a holiday that occurs the day after Christmas celebrated in many countries other than the US, when the overflow of Christmas is boxed up and given to charity or servants.

    In comparison, "go bowling" had 1,010,000 hits and "going bowling" had 131,000, although this may be proportionate, since probably more people bowl than box.

    This does not answer the question myol answered about whether the usage is correct, but it is interesting from a descriptive linguistics perspective.
     
    Last edited:

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Hi, yes, I think people watch boxing and go bowling . . . (I once read a story about being recruited to box . . . by Villareal . . . so some people do box but to tell the truth I do not think they normally say they go boxing . . . perhaps it is as you say -- "go x-ing" is a structure reserved for things we do often camping, swimming, cycling, jogging, bowling, fishing, horseback riding, skating )

    Best,

    --cew
     

    elianecanspeak

    Senior Member
    English - EEUU
    I assumed that "going boxing" meant being in the ring, not just a spectator, just as going bowling implies active participation. See C. E. Whitehead'ס post #9).

    I always heard "going to the fights" to refer to sitting in a seat and watching.

    "I'm going to go do some boxing" would also be OK to my ear.
     

    Thomas Veil

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Between the choices of go, do, and play, I would put them in that order. One wouldn't say "play boxing" unless one meant that one is pretending to box. But it's a rather artificial question.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top