I need to go cashpoint

Last night one of my friends said that she needed “to go cashpoint”, meaning that she needed go to the cashpoint (ATM) to get some money. This usage struck me as quite strange at the time, but I think I’ve heard similar constructions before.

Expressions like “I need to go eat” or “I need to go sleep” also sound not quite right to me, though not as strange as “to go cashpoint”. I’d normally say something like “I need to go and eat” or “I need to go for something to eat”.

Have you heard or do you use similar constructions?

This entry was posted in English, Language.

30 Responses to I need to go cashpoint

  1. Declan says:

    I need to go sleep/eat yes, but in a certain context that I can’t pin down right now. I would normally say, I need to go to sleep, for something to eat etc. as well. But to go cashpoint doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

  2. Phillip says:

    I wonder if this is similar to the “The car needs washed” structure that irritates a lot of people in my area (Midwest USA).

    Since you mentioned above that the place (not just the action) is “cashpoint”, could this be related to the “I need to go to hospital”?

  3. Cm says:

    When I worked as a proofreader, only “I need to go to eat” was considered correct. “Go and eat” was not right or “go eat.” However, in my day to day life, I do say “I need to go eat.” The “cashpoint” is different because it isn’t a verb and it needs an article. “Go to the cashpoint” or “go to a cashpoint.” That’s my take on it, anyway.

  4. TJ says:

    I heard or read some people who said to me once “I’m going to go”
    I don’t know, it sounds weird to me, but after all I’m not a native English speaker so, it could be right that way?

    As for the ATM, in fact here we rarely use the word “ATM” in our dialect, but some people do anyway. Usually we simply say “makeena” meaning “machine” and the other part would understand that we mean the “cashpoint” machine!

  5. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Like Cm says, “I need to go cashpoint” sounds weird to me because “cashpoint” isn’t a verb. The other constructions sound normal to me, and I’ve used them. I understand “I need to go eat” as a shorter version of “I need to go and eat”, which itself is an abbreviation for “I need to go to a different location so that I can then eat.”


    “I’m going to go” is valid English (or valid American English, at any rate).

    “I’m going to X” = “I am about to do X

    So, “I’m going to go” = “I am about to leave/do something”

  6. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Or it can also be “I intend to do X” at some point in the future (e.g. “I’m going to go to Paris next year and see the Eiffel Tower.”).

  7. Yenlit says:

    This sounds a bit like the language usage of young children, “I need go toilet” or learners’ English especially from people whose native language has no definite article Polish etc.

  8. stormboy says:

    Where I grew up on the fringes of East London, in non-standard/non-RP speech (especially among younger people) it’s very common to hear constructions with go/come + activity or place name, e.g ‘I’m goin’ football on Saturday’. I’m sure I’ve heard ‘I need to go toilet’ (so not quite Yenlit’s example) from native English speakers many times.

  9. Abbie says:

    I’m American, and the term cashpoint is unfamiliar, but if cashpoint is being used as a verb then the construction makes sense to me.

    “I need to go eat” sounds perfectly normal to me; “I need to go and eat” is a little stuffier. But “I need to go to eat” sounds terribly artificial. (“I need to go to sleep” works, but “go to sleep” is its own term.)

    I could never be a proofreader… I don’t respect standard english pedantry at all.

  10. LandTortoise says:

    In the colloquial London speech of young people the construction “I’m going London at the weekend” (the standard pattern being “to London”)is very common. I’m wondering if the cashpoint example is another example of this.

  11. TJ says:

    Thanks Petréa
    The thing is… I didn’t see much people use it so far, that’s why it sounds weird a bit to me 🙂
    only one person from NJ actually (and lives in NY now).

  12. Jim Morrison says:

    ‘I need to go eat’ sounds very american to me.

    My brother says he once heard a kid in Coventry saying:
    ‘Mum, can we go Donald’s?’

    I think most of this comes from American English, which people in England (especially in the south) seem to lap up.

  13. Macsen says:

    What an irritating expression.

    But not as bad as what’s now beginning to be heard in the UK in cafes for instance:

    ‘Can I get a cappuccino’ rather than ‘Could I have a cappuccino’.

    ‘Can I get …’ implies that the asker is going to straddle the bar and stretch over to fetch a cappucino (probably without paying for it). It doesn’t make sense. It’s used to imply a sense of faux urgency or informality with a nod to American sense of streetwise.

    Very irritating.

  14. Seumas says:

    I’m fairly sure this is American English. “I need to go buy some groceries” etc.

  15. Jim Morrison says:

    >> ‘Can I get a cappuccino’ rather than ‘Could I have a cappuccino’.
    I find this annoying too, and I hear it a lot now (again, escpecially in the south). It’s just natural I suppose that languages should change, but I am sure this has come over from America.

    If I worked in a pub and someone said ‘Can I get a Guiness please?’, I would feel like saying ‘No, I’ll get it for you; it’s my job. And customers are not allowed behind the bar’.

  16. Drabkikker says:

    I’m surprised to see that nobody has brought up the parallel with to go + adjective yet, as in to go wild / ballistic / medieval etc. If to go + verb and to go + adjective are both acceptable, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to extend the analogy to to go + noun.

  17. Drabkikker says:

    @ Macsen & Jim:
    It’s all a matter of custom. You could just as well say that ‘Could I have a Guinness?’ is a weird expression because you could interpret it as ‘Do you think I am capable of possessing a Guinness?’.

  18. Jim Morrison says:

    @ Drabkikker:
    >> It’s all a matter of custom.
    This is true but if ‘Can I get’ fully takes over from ‘Can I have’, then we will have to find a new expression to mean ‘Can I get’ when you really do mean that you want to get it yourself.
    I suppose this new expression will arise when it is needed. Maybe we will look to America to see what they use 😉

  19. D.Jay says:

    Wouldn’t it be “May I have a Guinness?” anyways? It is like students who say, “Can I go to the washroom?” to which the smartalec teacher responds, “I don’t know. Can you?”

  20. Drabkikker says:

    @ Jim: Precisely. And the cool thing about language is that it will come up with a new expression when the need is there. (Maybe it’ll be something like “Go get it yourself, you lazy —“)

    @ D.Jay: Ack! Such displays of ‘deliberate misunderstanding’ always make me want to poke people in the eye. Same with people who are offended when you ask them “What was your name again?” and respond “My name hasn’t changed since the last time you asked”.
    In certain contexts, grammar shouldn’t get in the way of good intentions. I mean, come on, if we had to describe everything exactly the way we meant it, our days would be spent on saying things like Pardon me — by which I do not mean: absolve me from my sins; I’m just saying that to indicate that my intentions are friendly and that the request which I am about to make is polite — pardon me, could you — and by ‘could’ I mean ‘is there a possibility’, not ‘are you capable’ — could you get — in the sense of ‘handing over, not ‘come in the possession of’ — could you get me one of those transparent glass containers filled with approximately 500 cubic centimeters (also known as ‘a pint’) of that bitter pitch-black (which, of course, is a metaphor; I wasn’t referring to real pitch) aley kinda stuff with the foamy substance on top? If so, I would be more than happy (meaning ‘willing’, but in an exaggerating type of polite way) to provide you with a certain amount of metal disks, or, if you prefer, small sheets of printed paper with a lady’s face on them, as a token of my profound gratitude and appreciation towards your kind willingness concerning the abovementioned matter. Oh, and keep the change.

  21. Yenlit says:

    When I was growing up we never used the term “cashpoint” it was always the “hole-in-the-wall” or just cash machine never ATM because that’s an American English term – don’t know whether hole-in-the-wall was just a regional colloquialism but cashpoint seems a bit more of a recent term? Of course you’d never say, “I need go hole-in-the-wall”.

  22. Declan says:

    Where is cash-point common? Here it’s ATM just.

  23. Adpol says:

    Where I’m from (Liverpool) it’s common to hear the type of construction: “I’m going the cashpoint” with the preposition “to” omitted. “I’m going cashpoint” reminds me of a (North) Londoner friend of mine who always urged me to visit with “come London!”. I personally would say “I’m going to the cashpoint” when I mean at some undetermined point in the near future. I would also say “I’m going the cashpoint” on occassions when I want to convey more urgency or immediacy, for example if I already have one foot out of the door. I quite like being able to choose from both to convey subtler shades of meaning. Evolution in language need not always be degenerative.

  24. Cm says:

    I am American, so that absolutely colors my view on these things.

    And yes, “Can I get…” is very, very American!

    (I loved being a proofreader, by the way. I’d go back to that job in a second.)

  25. Phil says:

    “I need to go cashpoint” looked and sounded utterly wrong until I said it with an East London / Estuary English accent and then it sounded fine. Living in East London I heard this construction a lot and actually started using it myself “go London” etc. but it’s completely disappeared now.

    Having lived in Canada a while. I find my English drifting, not towards North American English but towards some type of posh English. I suppose because I find “Can I get…” so reprehensible, that it’s a gentle shove in the opposite direction, and I find myself asking “May I have a pint of Tankhouse, please”

    However, ‘get’ also means receive. “What did you get for Christmas?” doesn’t mean what did you go out and buy for yourself. So, in theory, while it is reprehensible, “Can I get a…?” meaning “May I have a…” makes sense.

  26. Jacob says:

    I’ve never heard “cashpoint” before because I’m American. Related to the discussion on “Can I get …?”, I remember a friend of mine from Northen England bemoaning Englanders’ imitating Americans (as he put it) by using “got” for “have”. I didn’t ask him about this at the time and my exposure to British English is limited to the BBC. But I wonder if anyone over there uses “he gots” for “he has”. I often do but only in highly informal contexts.

  27. Tommy says:

    I think some languages and dialects just tend to drop words over time.

    I’m going to sleep.
    I’m going to go to sleep.
    I’m going to go and sleep.

    I think the “to” and the “and” can possibly sound the same in natural speech, although they look completely different on paper. What do you think?

    It’s like in Spanish and Portuguese.

    S-Vamos a beber.
    P-Vamos beber.

    The “a” is the rule in Spanish (and maybe was a rule in older Portuguese), but its edible, it gets eaten up in some dialects, and its not the tendency in Portuguese these days.

  28. Cossette says:

    I do. I usually say, “I gotta go play my ocarina,” or “I gotta go wash my car.” I think it just depends on the dialect.

  29. Andrew says:

    I’ve noticed the British tend to do this sort of thing. The one that’s always stuck out to me is their lack of the word “the” when referring to hospitals, and I think they also do this with the when referring to universities, e.g. a Brit might say: “She just came from hospital”, or “How long were you in hospital?”, or “I studied at University for 6 years”, etc.

    An American (I am one) would NEVER do this (I’m not saying either way is “right” or “wrong” by the way, just pointing out the difference), they would always say “She just came from THE hospital”, or “How long were you in THE hospital”, or “I studied at AN/THE/MY university for 6 years”. See what I mean?


  30. Scott says:

    I have a friend from Michigan who does this. Ex: “I gotta go Walmart.” He can even do it in the past tense: “I went town.”

%d bloggers like this: