Expressions with go

In an informal style, go is often used before adjectives to talk about change. Go is mainly used to talk about changes of colors and quality.

Changes of colors

In British English, go is commonly used to talk about changes of colors. In American English, turn is more common. Note that get is not used to talk about changes of color.

She went green with envy. (NOT She got green with envy.)

Leaves go brown in autumn. (GB)

Leaves turn brown in autumn. (US)

I went red with embarrassment.

My hands went blue with cold.

Changes of quality

Go is used before adjectives in a number of common expressions that refer to changes for the worse.

Examples are: go crazy; go mad; go bald; go blind; go deaf; go grey; go lame; go bad; go wrong etc.

The horse went lame.

She has gone grey.

He went bald in his early twenties.

The milk went off. OR The milk went sour.

Have you gone mad?

The tyre has gone flat.

The computer keeps going wrong.

Granny has gone deaf.

The fish has gone bad.


The adjectives old, tired, young and ill are used with get, not go.

I am getting older. (NOT I am going older.)

You aren’t getting any younger. (NOT You aren’t going any younger.)

I am getting tired. I must go home. (NOT I am going tired.)