Going Somewhere to do Something: にいく

In Japanese, the phrase "に いく" (ni iku) is used to express the idea of going somewhere to do something. It combines the particle "に" (ni), which indicates the direction or destination, with the verb "いく" (iku), which means "to go." This structure is fundamental in Japanese grammar and is used frequently in daily conversation. Let's explore its usage and provide some examples to clarify how it works.

Basic Structure

The basic structure of a sentence using "に いく" is as follows:

The stem form of a verb is the base part of the verb without the ます (masu) ending in its polite form. For example, the stem form of "たべます" (tabemasu, to eat) is "たべ" (tabe).

  • たべにいく (To go to eat)

れすとらん に たべ に いく。 - I go to the restaurant to eat.

  • かいにいく (To go to buy)

すーぱー に ぎゅうにゅう を かい に いく。 - I go to the supermarket to buy milk.

  • みにいく (To go to see/watch)

えいが を み に いく。 - I go to see a movie.

  • べんきょうしにいく (To go to study)

としょかん に べんきょう し に いく。 - I go to the library to study.

Using "に いく" in Different Tenses

Just like in English, the phrase "に いく" can be modified to reflect different tenses.

  • Present/Future Tense:

ともだち に あい に いく。 - I go to meet my friend.

  • Past Tense:

ともだち に あい に いった。 - I went to meet my friend.

  • Negative Form:

かいもの に いかない。 - I don't go shopping.

  • Past Negative Form:

かいもの に いかなかった。 - I didn't go shopping.

Expanding Vocabulary with "に いく"

By changing the verb stem, you can use "に いく" to describe a wide variety of actions. Here are some additional examples:

  • あそびにいく (To go to play)

こうえん に あそび に いく。 - I go to the park to play.

  • およぎにいく (To go to swim)

ぷーる に およぎ に いく。 - I go to the pool to swim.

  • のぼりにいく (To go to climb)

やま に のぼり に いく。 - I go to the mountain to climb.

The "に いく" (ni iku) structure is an essential and versatile part of Japanese grammar that allows speakers to express a wide range of actions and intentions. By mastering this phrase, learners can significantly expand their ability to communicate in Japanese. Whether you're talking about going to eat, study, or play, "に いく" is the go-to expression for indicating your destination and purpose.