I am not entirely sure in what context you pronounce 行く as ゆく. I've read that it is pronounced as ゆく in more formal situations and in songs. For example, in the song lyric 闇へと進み行く it is pronounced as ゆく. Is this correct? Is it only pronounced as ゆく in songs and formal situations? Surely there must be something deeper to it than that.


いく and ゆく are the same meaning. Dictionaries say ゆく is a little literary and いく is a little colloquial.

ゆく seems to have been more used than いく in ancient days. And there are some words in which only ゆく is used, like 消えゆく, [行方]{ゆくえ}.

In addition, when 行く is placed before verbal auxiliary た and a postpositional particle て, it is only read いった and いって.

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  • Almost same meaning? Could you explain when the meaning actually differs? – oldergod Feb 28 '16 at 15:12
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    I corrected "almost same" as "same". The difference may not be the meaning but the usage. – Yuuichi Tam Feb 28 '16 at 17:09

Yo User13701, you use ゆく instead of いく when you:

  • want to show off.
  • write a song.
  • write a poem.
  • say the train/bus/plan etc direction.
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  • Hmm, okay. When you say "Train direction", I suppose that you mean a 電車? – user13701 Feb 28 '16 at 14:32
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    [行き]{ゆき} is a suffix that means 'bound for', 'going to'; e.g. 松本行き; It can be applied to pretty much everything: trains, buses, ships, aircraft. – oals Feb 28 '16 at 14:59
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    Also in compounds like 行方 and 行く手. – snailplane Feb 28 '16 at 15:15

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