Last week my team presented some new ideas to the boss. He seemed to like them but we didn’t get the go-ahead in the meeting. So I went in on Friday and talked to the boss. He said go ahead and get started, so now it looks like we’ll go ahead with the project next Monday. We were just waiting for the go ahead! Did you notice a repeated phrase in that last comment? Of course, you did. I said go ahead 4 times. But each time was in a slightly different context.
I’m Paul Preston and this is 3 Minute English, a podcast in English, about English for English learners. On this episode of 3 Minute English were going to go ahead and talk about go ahead. Are you ready?
You may have heard go ahead used as a phrasal verb before. I mentioned that the boss said, “go ahead and get started.” Why does he say go ahead? Couldn’t he just say “get started?” Well yes, he could, but “go ahead” does add some nuance to the meaning. The verb “go ahead” often means you have permission to do something. It is often used to answer permission questions such as “May I use your restroom.” The answer will likely be “Sure go ahead” or even “Sure go right ahead.”
Well in the first sentence I mentioned that we didn’t get the go-ahead from the boss at the meeting. In this case “the go-ahead” is a noun, but it still means permission. In other words, we didn’t get the permission from the boss to continue.
Usually, when we use “go ahead” for permission we say “go ahead and do something.” So the verb is really “go ahead and. Plus a verb” But we also say go ahead with” I said earlier that we would go ahead with the project next week. In this case “go ahead” doesn’t mean get permission, it means to proceed. To go ahead with the project simply mean to proceed with the project.
So remember the differences between go ahead with and go ahead and. Also, remember that the go-ahead can be used as a noun. That’s a lot of information, but it will certainly make your English sound better. Try to use go ahead whenever you can!
Thanks for listening. If you have a question or comment, send me an email from the venture English website. That’s venturenglish.com We spell it a little different so check the spelling on the graphic. While you are there go ahead and have a look at some of the new things we’re setting up. Oh and please take a moment to rate the podcast in the iTunes store. It helps a lot to reach more listeners. I’m Paul Preston and this has been 3 Minute English.