When going out with someone, do you say “Go To the Movies” or “Go To a Movie”? We want to know if those phrases are both grammatically correct, or if one should be avoided.
We also want to know if both forms are synonyms and can interchange. Let’s find out!
“Go To the Movies” and “Go To a Movie” are both grammatically correct, acceptable forms to use. It’s said that in the early days of cinema, people would “Go To the Movies” to see more than one film – therefore, the plural form. However, nowadays, both forms can interchange as synonyms.
Take a look at some examples:
- We’re going to the movies. Do you want to join?
- We’re going to a movie. Do you want to join?
As you can see from the examples, both forms work well and convey the same message. You can use “Go To the Movies” and “Go To a Movie” and realize that both forms contain the same meaning.
You can feel free to use the one you feel more comfortable about in your communications.
“Go To the Movies” indicates the activity of going to a theater to watch a feature film. When cinema started over a century ago, people would go and see more than one movie at a session. They’d watch a feature film and a film B, for example, or a movie and the news.
That’s the origin of the phrase “Go To the Movies”, in the plural form, which we continue to use to this day.
Let’s go over some examples:
- When are we going to the movies again?
- Would you like to go to the movies with me sometime?
- Paul asked Julia to go to the movies with him.
- We went to the movies last night, before dinner.
- We should go to the movies this weekend, what do you say?
- Going to the movies is one of our favorite activities as a family.
“Go To a Movie” is a synonym for “Go To the Movies”. It’s grammatically correct and perfectly acceptable. The difference is that one uses the singular form, while the other used the plural form. Nowadays, people usually go to the cinema to watch one movie only – consequently, to say “Go To a Movie” is correct.
Let’s see some helpful examples:
- John and I went to a movie last night.
- Carla asked me to go to a movie with her tonight.
- The kids went to a movie together.
- When will we go to a movie? There are so many I want to see!
- Would you like to go to a movie with me?
- If I could, I’d go to a movie every week.
Regardless of choosing the form “Go To a Movie” or “Go To the Movies”, it’s important to notice that the expression must be complete, with an article. We’d never say “Go To Movie” or “Go To Movies”.
You must to add the article “A” or the article “The” – whichever is appropriate – to make sure your sentence makes sense.
Which one of those forms is used more often, “Go To the Movies” or “ Go To a Movie”? Let’s take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.
There are some interesting things in this graph. First of all, both expressions came to be part of people’s vocabulary around 1910, at the same time.
“Go To the Movies” has always been the phrase that appears more frequently, however, “Go To a Movie” was never too far behind – indicating it was considered a common, correct form to convey the message.
Also, both phrases followed the same trend over the years: when one grows, the other does the same, and vice versa. “Go To the Movies” and “Go To a Movie” walk hand in hand, as interchangeable forms.
Is “Go To the Movies” an American Expression? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below and find out.
In the US, amongst American English speakers, the phrase “Go To the Movies” is prevalent, when compared to the phrase “Go To the Cinema”.
In the US, people rarely say “Cinema”, preferring to say “Movies” instead. With that in mind, we think it’s possible to say that “Go To the Movies” is an American expression.
“Go To a Movie” and “Go To the Movies” are grammatically correct, perfectly acceptable forms to indicate someone is going to the theater to catch a film. You can use the form you’re more comfortable with, in the singular or plural form. Rest assured you’ll be understood.