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.


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.
  • Hmm, okay. When you say "Train direction", I suppose that you mean a 電車?
    – user13701
    Feb 28 '16 at 14:32
  • 2
    [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
  • 2
    Also in compounds like 行方 and 行く手.
    – user1478
    Feb 28 '16 at 15:15

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 usually read いった and いって.

  • Almost same meaning? Could you explain when the meaning actually differs?
    – oldergod
    Feb 28 '16 at 15:12
  • 2
    I corrected "almost same" as "same". The difference may not be the meaning but the usage. Feb 28 '16 at 17:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.