Grammar

How To Say “To Go To Do” In Japanese

Misa1896 views

Today we’re going to learn how to make a sentence like:

– “To go to <place> to do <something>

For “in order to do something”, we use the word ため

And if you want to say you will do something in order to do something we say:

<plain verb> ため(に)。。。

. . . (in order) to ~

E.G. Let’s see how to say:

“I exercise everyday in order to lose weight”

  • “In order to lose weight” = “lose weight” + ために
  • To lose weight = 痩せる・やせる
  • In order to lose weight = 痩せるために

So the full sentence:

痩せるために毎日運動する

やせるためにまいにちうんどうする

I exercise everyday in order to lose weight

Another example:

I bought a Kindle to read books

本を読むためにキンドルを買った。

ほんをよむためにキンドルをかった。

You can also use this construction with nouns:

<Noun> + の + ために

I do . . . For <noun>

On Valentine’s Day, I made a cake for my boyfriend

バレンタインデーに彼のためにケーキを作った。

Now when we’re talking about going somewhere to do something, you could say:

~ために、(somewhere に) いく

I’ll go (to somewhere) in order to ~

But . . .

We have a special form just to say “I’m going to somewhere to do something”.

For example:

I’m going to the library to borrow a book.

図書館に本を借りに行く。

としょかんにほんをかりにいく。

Let’s break this down.

So, first = 図書館に

You always say <somewhere> に when you go to the place.

Next = 本を借り

本 means “book/books”

And this 借り comes from the verb 借りる・かりる which means to borrow

に行く = to go to

So “to go to borrow a book” = 借りに行く・かりにいく

And the construction is basically:

<Somewhere> に verb に行く

But the verb has to be in the “half masu-form”

You conjugate the verb preceding に行く like you would for the masu-form.

So for 借りる you get rid of the る and put ます – except for this form, you don’t put the masu. So just 借り

For other ending verbs (to write, to sing, to play, etc.) you change ‘u’ into ‘I’ and put ます

E.G. 書く・かく (to write) ―>書きます   but instead of ます  you put に行く

So to say you go somewhere to write: 書きに行く・かきにいく

Recap:

-Iru/eru ending verbs:

<Verb>る ―> に行く

= To go to <verb>

For other ending verbs, change ‘u’ into ‘I’ and put に行く。

What about making this formal?

借りに行く

かりにいく

To go borrow

Becomes:

借りに行きます

You only change the last verb bit into it’s masu-form, so from 行く to 行きます。

Do NOT say 借りますに行きます! <―― That’s wrong and it’s just a mess.

If you want to put something extra, just conjugate the いく bit.

For example, you could say:

<Verb> に 行きたい

Want to go to <verb>

図書館に本を借りに行きたい。

I want to go to the library to borrow a book.

You can also say something like “I have to go to the library to borrow a book”.

If you need a refresher on how to say “have to” in Japanese, rewatch this video or check this article.

Quick recap:

行く (to go) ―>  行かなきゃ (have to go)

図書館に本を借りに行かなきゃ

I have to go to the library to borrow a book

Instead of “have to go borrow”, you can say “have to go return”

  • To return something = something を 返す・かえす
  • To return a book = 本を返す・ほんをかえす
  • 本を返す ―>   本を返し + に行く

図書館に本を返しに行く。

I will go to the library to return a book.

図書館に本を返しに行かなきゃ。

I have to go to the library to return a book

Let’s see some examples with other verbs

レストランに晩ご飯を食べに行く。

れすとらんにばんごはんをたべにいく。

I will go to the restaurant to eat dinner.

Formally:

レストランに晩ご飯を食べに行きます。

I’m going to an izakaya (Japanese style pub) to drink

居酒屋に飲みに行く。

いざかやにのみにいく。

I’m going to Japan to study Japanese.

日本に日本語を勉強しに行く。

I want to go to Japan to study Japanese.

日本に日本語を勉強しに行きたい(です)。

I want to go to Russia to see a ballet.

ロシアにバレエを見に行きたい。

I will go to Japan to climb Mount Fuji.

日本に富士山に登りに行く。

にほんにふじさんにのぼりにいく。

I went to Japan to see my friend.

日本に友達に会いに行った。

にほんにともだちにあいにいった。

You can also use the ために construction that I mentioned earlier:

友達に会うために、日本に行きました。

ともだちにあうために、にほんにいきました。

I went to Japan (in order) to see my friend.

However, this is less common and the only reason you would use this ために construction instead of に行く is if you really want to put emphasis on the purpose of the trip.

I hope this construction was not too difficult. Basically you just need to say:

<Place> に <verb> + に 行く

If you want to practice this construction, come up with your own sentences and leave them down below :)

Misa
Translator / Linguist / Japanese Teacher / Happy World Traveler/ manga, anime, comedy lover. Speaks Japanese, English, Russian and German.

1 Comment

  1. 家に本を読みに行く?
    I am going to stay at home to read a book
    Since I am staying home 行く might be wrong Right

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