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These are the sentences:



Are they both grammatically correct? Also do they both mean the same thing, which by my translation is "I went to the union and bought a sandwich."

Do they only differ in their formality with the second sentence being more casual?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

ユニオン(or [生協]{せいきょう}?/大学生協?)へサンドイッチを買いに行きました。

sounds fine to me. It literally translates to "I went to the union to buy a sandwich." Its casual version would be:


Your second sentence;


sounds a bit awkward to me. It sounds to me like "I bought a sandwich and went to the union." (parsed as ユニオンへ(サンドイッチを買って)行った。>> サンドイッチを買って、ユニオンへ行った might sound more natural but it also means "I bought a sandwich, and went to the union".)

買いに行った is like "went to buy" whereas 買って行った is like "bought and went".

As a side note,


would be "I bought a sandwich at the union and went (somewhere)"; "I bought a sandwich at the union on the way (to somewhere)"

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You are comparing apples with oranges. Let me compare


instead and hopefully this answers your question.

The first construction means that one action happens after the other. You bought a sandwich and came (home).

The second construction means that you performed the second action to achieve the first. You came to buy a sandwich.

Both sentences can be stated in the polite form, without any change in content:


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