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Difference between Have a go at it and Make a go of it

have a go at it—(coll.) give it a try; make an attempt at smth.:

  • She said that she had never skied before but she was willing to have a go at it.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase have at it—(coll.)

1. start doing smth. promptly or with enthusiasm:

  • “The driveway needs sweeping.” “Here’s the broom. Have at it.”

2. argue or quarrel:

  • All they could complain about with me (and man did they have at it) was the fact that this was my first visit in over two years.

3. (euph.) have sex:

  • However, someone breaks into the place while they are having at it, and she is barely able to leave the bed and hide.

make a go of it(coll.) make smth. succeed (also: make a do of it):

  • There seemed every reason for Tilly and Steven to make a go of it abroad.

Note: The expression is not equivalent in meaning to the phrase make it go(coll.) make smth. function:

  • When he got started in that business he found he was really able to make it go.