'Go for a swim' and 'go swimming


What is the difference between 'go for a swim' and 'go swimming'? Actually I thought I knew it but because of the definition by some dictionaries, I got confused. Please help me out.


Cf. swim [countable]

a period of time that you spend swimming:

Let's go for a swim.


Why do we have to think about a period of time there? Thank you so much as usual and have a good day.

asked Nov 24 '12 at 03:51 Hans Contributor

3 answers


The dictionary refers to time because "go for a swim" is a broader, more general usage than is "go swimming".


When I say "let's go for a swim," I am really saying "let's spend some time where our main activity is swimming but we might also sunbathe, talk, and hang out in and around the water." It is a broader, general statement.



If I say "let's go swimming," I'm still saying more or less the same thing, BUT the statement has a greater focus on swimming alone.


There is no "rule" of grammar that tells us this subtle difference. It is something you learn as you use the language.

link comment answered Nov 24 '12 at 15:19 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I go swimming.  Here, go is an intransitive verb and swimming is a gerund. Swimming is acting as an adverb in your sentence. In the first sentence, I go for a swim, swim is acting as a noun. Swimming is a direct object

You can also say, I go jogging/I go for a jog

                              I go walking/I go for a walk and so on.


Please go through this website for the better understanding.


link answered Nov 24 '12 at 05:09 sanjay Expert

thank you so much, sir, you helped me clear my confusion!

awerty397Sep 19 '16 at 13:47

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can i say " Are you going for swimming?"

link comment answered Oct 20 '16 at 16:48 Sulagna Banerjee New member

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