Today, we are going to look at the difference between these two common informal phrases : "Have a go at somebody" and "Have a go at something".

 Let's start with "to have a go at someone". When we have a go at someone, we criticize them, tell them off ,or say something to them in an angry way.

Examples :

  • My mother had a go at me for not doing my homework.
  • I think my teacher has it in for me. He's always having a go at me for no reason.

We use this phrase to mean that we try something , try to do something or attempt something new.

Examples :

  • I need a new hobby. I've been thinking about having a go at painting.
  • I'd like to have a go at starting my own business.

In the pictures below, you will find some more examples that will help you to better understand how to use these two verbs.

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Have a go at someone
Have a go at something