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I am very confused about the meaning of the expressions 'ていく' and 'てくる' and seems that every website I look has a different explanation.
Translations that I think are good:
'Go in order to buy wine';
'Going to buy wine';
'Buy a bottle of wine and then go'.

Which one is right and why?

Thanks in advance.

8

ワインを買っていく

literally means "I'll buy wine and go". You'd say this to mean "I'll buy wine on my way to the place where you are (≂ I'll buy wine and bring it to the place where you are)", "I'll buy wine on my way to somewhere (away from the hearer) (≂ I'll buy wine and bring it to somewhere (away from the hearer))", or "I'll buy wine here(, and leave this place)."

Compare:

ワインを買いに行く "I'll go (somewhere) to buy wine."

ワインを買ってくる "I'll buy wine and come back (here; to the place where the speaker is)."

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The ていく and てくる forms can express many different things. If you can imagine a timeline from past -> present -> future, てくる (てきた can be considered present perfect tense) will usually describe actions that have occurred prior to the present moment, whereas ていく will describe actions that will occur moving forward.

Also, whether you use ていく or てくる will depend on whether the thing/person that is moving is approaching or leaving the speaker.

Another concept that is expressed by てくる・ていく, is to, according to my grammar dictionary, "Do something and then move on." Without knowing the larger context around the sentence you provided, it's hard to say for sure, but ワインを買っていく could imply that the speaker is going to buy wine, and then go somewhere else or do something else. Whereas if they said ワインを買ってくる, it would mean that they were going out to buy wine and then return.

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