Understanding the Idiom: "go towards" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: English

Origins and Historical Context of the Idiom “go towards”

The phrase “go towards” is a common idiom used in English to express progress or movement towards a particular goal or objective. This idiomatic expression has its roots in historical contexts that date back centuries ago.

Throughout history, people have always been on the move, whether it was for trade, exploration, or conquest. The concept of moving towards something has been an integral part of human civilization since ancient times. As such, the phrase “go towards” can be traced back to early forms of language and communication.

In medieval times, traveling was often dangerous and difficult. People had to navigate through unfamiliar territories with limited resources and faced many challenges along the way. The phrase “go towards” was commonly used by travelers as they set out on their journeys to indicate their direction and destination.

During the Renaissance period, there was a renewed interest in exploring new lands and discovering new cultures. This led to an increase in travel across Europe and beyond. The phrase “go towards” became even more popular during this time as explorers embarked on long voyages across oceans in search of new lands.

In modern times, the idiom “go towards” continues to be widely used both literally and figuratively. It is often employed in business settings when discussing strategies for achieving goals or objectives. It is also used colloquially when talking about personal growth or development.

Usage and Variations of the Idiom “go towards”

When it comes to idioms, their usage can vary greatly depending on the context and cultural background. The same goes for the idiom “go towards”. While its literal meaning might suggest movement in a certain direction, its figurative use can imply different things depending on the situation.

One common variation of this idiom is “go towards something/someone”. In this case, it refers to making an effort or taking steps towards achieving a goal or reaching a desired outcome. For example: “If you want to succeed in your career, you need to go towards your dreams and work hard.”

Another variation is “go towards something/someone’s favor”. This implies that one’s actions or decisions are benefiting someone or something else. For instance: “By donating money to charity, you are going towards the greater good of society.”

On the other hand, there is also a negative connotation associated with this idiom. When someone says that something doesn’t go towards them, they mean that it does not suit their interests or preferences. For example: “I don’t think this job offer goes towards my career goals.”

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Cultural Insights for the Idiom “go towards”


Some synonyms for “go towards” include approach, move closer to, head for, make one’s way to, and advance toward. These words all convey a sense of moving in a particular direction or making progress towards a goal.


On the other hand, some antonyms for “go towards” might include retreat from, back away from, shy away from or avoid. These words imply moving away from something rather than approaching it.

Cultural Insights

The use of idioms is often influenced by culture and context. In some cultures or contexts where direct communication is valued over indirect communication (such as in Western cultures), using an idiom like “go towards” may be seen as unnecessary or even confusing. However in other cultures where indirect communication is preferred (such as in many Asian cultures), using idioms can add nuance and depth to language.

Practical Exercises for the Idiom “go towards”

Exercise 1: Write down five different situations where you could use the idiom “go towards” and create sentences using them. For example, “I’m saving money to go towards my dream vacation.”

Exercise 2: Watch a TV show or movie and identify instances where characters use the idiom “go towards”. Take note of how it is used in context and try to understand its meaning based on the situation.

Exercise 3: Practice using the idiom in conversation with friends or family members. Try to incorporate it naturally into your speech without sounding forced or awkward.

Exercise 4: Create flashcards with different scenarios written on them. Shuffle them and pick one at random, then try to come up with a sentence using the idiom “go towards” that would fit that scenario.

By practicing these exercises regularly, you’ll become more comfortable with using the idiom “go towards” in various contexts. With time, you’ll be able to incorporate it seamlessly into your conversations without even thinking about it!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Idiom “go towards”

When using the idiom “go towards”, it is important to be aware of common mistakes that can be made. These mistakes can lead to confusion and miscommunication, so it’s essential to understand how to use this phrase correctly.

Mistake #1: Using “go towards” instead of “go for”

One common mistake is using “go towards” when you actually mean “go for”. For example, saying “I’m going towards a walk” instead of “I’m going for a walk”. This mistake can make your sentence sound awkward and confusing, so always double-check which phrase you should use in each situation.

Mistake #2: Not specifying what you are going towards

Another mistake is not specifying what exactly you are going towards. For example, saying “I’m going towards the store” without mentioning which store or location you are referring to. This can create confusion and leave your listener unsure about where exactly you are headed.

To avoid these mistakes, make sure to use the correct phrase (“go for” vs. “go towards”) and specify what exactly you are referring to when using the idiom “go towards”. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to communicate effectively and avoid any misunderstandings!

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