Using Move vs. Go – English Vocabulary Lesson

MichaelAD Confusing Words, Vocabulary Leave a Comment


When I was five years old, we moved from an apartment to a house because we needed more room. It was great to be able to grow up in a house with a backyard. My family never moved from that house and in fact, my mother still lives there. I moved a lot, though. I even moved overseas, but in 1998 I moved back to New York. I love it here!

A lot of people have trouble using the word move naturally, so today I want to show you how we use this word in English. First, take a look at a short conversation.

  • Joe: Where were you last night?
  • Bob: We were hanging out at Angela’s house. It was fun.
  • Joe: Were you there all night?
  • Bob: No, after about two hours we moved to my house to play Wii.

In the above conversation, B used moved. We usually don’t use move this way. Have you used move like this? Take a look at the different ways we use the word move:

You can use move when you change the house or town where you live:

  • Jack moved to Brooklyn last week.
  • I moved three times in 2 years. It’s tiring.
  • Are you going to move from your parent’s house?

You can also use move when you change the location of an object:

  • I moved the sofa to the other wall, and my living room seems so much wider.
  • Please move the flowers; I need to put the dishes on the table.
  • I need to move my car. I am parked too close to the driveway.

Lastly, you can use move when you talk about a person changing their temporary location:

  • At the theater, I had to move because a guy with a big hat sat right in front of me!
  • I asked my students to move closer to the whiteboard.
  • Jane said she needs to move her houseplants so they get more sun.

In all other cases, you can use go. Here is what Bob from the conversation above should have said:

  • Joe: Where were you last night?
  • Bob: We were hanging out at Angela’s house. It was fun.
  • Joe: Were you there all night?
  • Bob: No, after about two hours we went to my house to play Wii.

Have you moved recently? Have you gone somewhere recently? Leave a comment below and let us know!

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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