Phrasal verbs are one of our most requested topics, so here’s a lesson specifically on one common phrase: go through.
This phrasal verb is a version of the verb to go. To go through something can mean a few things! So, keep reading below to go through a few examples (see what I did there?) for each different definition! 😘
Phrasal Verb Usage: To search for something carefully or in a sequence
- Go through the contacts on your phone and see if you already saved her phone number.
- His email got hacked, so he wasn’t able to go through all the messages we sent him.
- She went through the election ballots one by one to ensure every vote was counted.
- Someone broke into my grandmother’s house and went through all her belongings.
- I like going through my closet every time the seasons change to take out clothes I no longer use.
For something to be officially approved or completed
- My sister is waiting for the sale of her house to go through so that she can move to Spain.
- Once the merger goes through, the company I work for will have a new name and CEO.
- Once the judge allowed the verdict to go through, the courtroom sighed with relief.
- I tried calling you on the phone yesterday, but the call didn’t go through.
- Her loan application went through and was approved, so now she can buy a new car.
To undergo, usually a difficult or painful experience
- He had a bad skiing accident, so he will have to go through a few surgeries to fix his knee.
- You can’t understand what a person is going through unless you’re in their position.
- Going through chemotherapy is an exhausting experience.
- Sometimes you need to go through a difficult experience to appreciate an easy one.
- Have you ever gone through a break-up? I’ve never been through anything like this before, and I’m so sad.
To use or spend a resource completely
- We went through all our snacks about halfway into our road trip. We didn’t pack enough!
- If you ever go to a casino, be sure to not go through all your money!
- He inherited some money from his mother, but he went through it all within a few months.
- Newborn babies go through diapers almost as fast as nurses go through gloves.
- I love Valentine’s Day, but it’s really hard to not go through all the chocolates in one sitting.
To perform a set of actions you do regularly
- I make sure I’ve gone through all my daily tasks before I’m done with my work for the day.
- I go through the mail every evening after I get home from work.
- If you had gone through the list of grocery items, you wouldn’t have forgotten to buy milk.
- My new trainer at the gym has me going through different sets of exercise repetitions to tone my muscles.
- Make sure you follow the recipe and go through the instructions carefully, or you’ll mess up the soufflé.
To become a law or rule
- If a law goes through, or if it goes through a law-making institution, it is officially approved.
- Hopefully, the changes we suggested will go through, and our spending budget for the new fiscal year will be much larger.
- The United Stated abolished slavery in 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went through.
To be successively published
- The Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, one of the most popular Castilian Spanish dictionaries, has gone through 23 revisions since first being published in 1780.
- I’ll be done with my doctoral thesis in March, after going through about a dozen drafts.
- I thought the copy machine was printing my proposal, but it went through about 100 copies before I realized it was printing blank pages.
To have a quick thought or idea
- An idea for the theme of our graduation party went through my mind during English class, but now I can’t remember it.
- I’ve gone through a few names for our new puppy, but I don’t love any of them.
- Can you go through a few extra ideas in your head before we do our presentation?
To practice something
- Stage actors often go through their lines before they act on stage.
- I love watching ballet dress rehearsals and seeing the dancers go through all the choreographies.
- She was going through all her flash cards before taking the SAT exam, but she wasn’t allowed take them into the testing room.
* Related phrases:
Go through with: To go through with something means to do something that you have planned or agreed to do, especially after not being sure you want to do it.
- Once they had been separated for a year, she felt confident she could go through with the divorce.
Go through the roof: to increase quickly to a high level, or to suddenly become extremely angry.
- The company’s stock prices have gone through the roof this quarter.
- When he found out that his car was stolen, how blood pressure went through the roof.
- When I was younger, if I didn’t practice my scales every day, my piano teacher would go through the roof and reprimand me.
Go through the floor: to fall to an extremely low level.
- With all the drama surrounding the CEO’s departure, the company’s stock prices have gone through the floor.
Go through the motions: to do things in the usual way, but without much effort of enthusiasm, because you do not expect to succeed.
- Maybe the peace talks will be successful this time. Until then, all the leaders are going through the motions.
Go through your paces: to show other people how good you are at a particular activity; to boast, show off, or brag.
- The team went through its paces in preparation for tomorrow’s game.
Go through a red light: also known as to run a red light, it’s when you don’t stop when there is a red traffic light.
- The truck’s brakes stopped working and the driver went through a red light at the intersection. There was a huge accident.
Go through the mill: to experience a difficult or unpleasant period of time. (A mill is an engine or piece of equipment used to grind grain into flour.)
- She told me that she’s really going through the mill with this divorce. She’s so tired of fighting with her ex in court.
Go through the wringer: to suffer, or to make someone suffer, an unpleasant experience. (A wringer is an old-fashioned laundry machine that wrings out all the excess water after washing.)
- After the bank robbery, the police put every employee through the wringer to make sure it wasn’t an inside job. They still haven’t found the thieves.
Go through hell: to suffer through something extremely unpleasant, often for a prolonged period of time.
- Cancer patients really go through hell when they start chemotherapy treatment.
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