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Question 行く To Express Purpose

xminus1

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Hello, friends:

Early on in my textbook, this construction was discussed:
[place] へ [verb (ます-form)] + に + [verb of motion (行きます ・ 来ます ・ 帰ります)]

An example of this construction was:
神戸へインド料理を食べに行きます。 (I am going to Kobe to eat Indonesian food.)

I noticed at the time that all the examples of this construction expressed physically going somewhere to do something or other.

Recently in an audio exercise in my textbook, a speaker asked:
料理を習いに行くんですか。(Are you going to learn how to cook? [my translation])

This doesn't sound as though anyone is physically going anywhere; 行く seems to be used almost as "going" is in English, as an auxilliary verb to express intentionality or purpose, with no physical movement implied.

Am I right in assuming the 行く can be used this way?

Thanks!
 

bentenmusume

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xminus1 said:
This doesn't sound as though anyone is physically going anywhere; 行く seems to be used almost as "going" is in English, as an auxilliary verb to express intentionality or purpose, with no physical movement implied.

Am I right in assuming the 行く can be used this way?

Short answer: no.

The 行く in this particular construction refers to physical movement.
With 料理を習いに行くんですか, the implication is that the person being asked is going to a cooking class or community center type event or something.

If you're simply talking about intentionality, other constructions would be used, such as:

料理を習いたいと思っているんですか? (lit., Are you thinking you'd like to learn how to cook?)
料理を習おうと思っているんですか? (lit., Are you thinking about learning how to cook?)
料理を習うつもりですか? (lit., Do you intend to learn how to cook?)
料理を習う予定ですか? (lit., Do you have plans to learn how to cook?)
料理を習うんですか? (lit., Are you going to learn how to cook?)

...and so forth.

Long story short, the 行く and 来る in the (verb ます stem) +(いく/くる)construction implies the physical meaning of these movement verbs.
(The いく and くる in the ~ていく/~てくる constructions can be more figurative, depending on the context.)
 

xminus1

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Thank you, jt_san, I'm glad I asked the question so you could dispell my wrong idea right away! :)

And thank you for your good examples of intentionality...curiously enough the chapter of my textbook containing the audio exercise I referred to in my question is the chapter that presents the volitional + と思って, つもり, and 予定 constructions :geek:
 

Toritoribe

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Incidentally, 行く is a verb in 習いに行く, whereas いく is an auxiliary verb in 習っていく. (Note that auxiliary verbs are usually written in hiragana). As jt_-san mentioned, 習っていく has a different meaning from 習いに行く. ~ていく expresses "to continue the action to the future" in this case, so 料理を習っていくんですか means "Do you continue to learn how to cook?"
Another interpretation is the continuous usage of the -te form, i.e., 習って、行く, meaning "Do you learn how to cook, and then go (somewhere)?" いく is not used to express intentionality or purpose, anyway.
 

xminus1

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Incidentally, 行く is a verb in 習いに行く, whereas いく is an auxiliary verb in 習っていく. (Note that auxiliary verbs are usually written in hiragana).
Had I been fully aware of this, I should have understood that 行く had to translated as a true verb of motion.

I haven't learned about いく as an auxiliary verb yet in my Minna studies, but it's good to learn about it now. As usual I am very impressed with how many fascinating language insights can come from my "simple" questions. Thank you so much. 🙏
 
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