Business English: Go out

Go out” isn’t directly related to business English, but people confuse it with some business English expressions.   There are many definitions of  ” go out”.  We will just focus on the most common usage.  “Go out” typically means “recreation/entertainment” – specifically, “nightlife”.  Many people get confused and think it just means “leave” or “leave the city”.  This causes confusion (see explanation below examples).


I have had a tough week, I can’t wait to go out with my friends.

I don’t want to go out Saturday night because I will be running a 10 km race on Sunday morning.

Going out is a waste of money; it’s better to relax at home with a movie.

And the confusion?  I asked a student recently what he did on the weekend.  He said, “I went out”.   Naturally, I imagined him at clubs or pubs.  I said, “Oh how was it?”.  He responded, “Good, I spent most of the time talking to my grandmother”.  At that point, I imagined him at a disco with his grandmother – a strange mental picture.  It turns out that my student thought that “go out” meant to leave the city.  In this case, he thought it meant to go to his grandmother’s pueblo.  If you simply use a phrase like, “I got out of the city”, it solves the problem.

Another typical example is when students say things like:  “I go out my office late”.  Once again, with “go out” we imagine nightlife.  When they add “my office late”, we just get confused.   Did you leave your office late and then go directly to a nightclub?  Did you go out to a nightclub with people from your office until late?  What is this person trying to say?  If you simply used the verb “leave” it solves the problem: “I left the office late”.  That sentence makes perfect sense!

Why is this grandma at a nightclub?

Why is this grandma at a nightclub?


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