I found these two sentences in "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" under に(purpose):

学生が質問をしに来た。 A student came to ask questions.

そこへ何をしに行くんですか。For what are you going there?

When I look up し in the grammar dictionary its listed as "a conjunction to indicate 'and' in an emphatic way", which doesn't fit as far as I can tell. When I look し up in a regular dictionary all the words are nouns. What does it mean?


1 Answer 1


し in this case is for the verb する. It is not the し for "a conjunction to indicate 'and' in an emphatic way" in this case.
It is one of the very few irregular verbs so it is understandable that you might get confused.

To do

する → します → しに来た。(Came to do X)

To eat (regular example)

食べる → 食べに来た。(Came to eat)

  • In addition to that, I would say しに行く and しに来る are very common and mean "To go to do something" and "To come to do something". Nov 30, 2016 at 2:27
  • Is 食べに来た considered a conjugation of 食べる or did you append extra words for context? Also, I don't see し in my conjugation table for する. Which conjugation is it?
    – John K
    Nov 30, 2016 at 2:28
  • Yes, more generally, this form is "stem of the verb+に行く" or "stem of the verb+に来る". Look for verb stems, and you'll notice that with る verbs you just have to take off the る, and with う verbs, you change it to the い form. Nov 30, 2016 at 2:32

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