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昨夜スーパーへ買い物しに行きました。

I understand the purpose of the "ni" particle, but why does it need the "shi"? Did I miss something?

Thanks.

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What's the purpose of “し” after “買い物” in this sentence?
昨夜スーパーへ買い物しに行きました。

I understand the purpose of the "ni" particle, but why does it need the "shi"? Did I miss something?

It doesn't need, and must be colloquial, but not wrong. We say 買い物をしに行く, 買い物しに行く, or 買い物に行く. This し is just the conjugated version (連用形) of する. And に is a particle to show a purpose of the action expressed by the following verb.

  • 食事しに行きませんか? =食事に行きませんか?
  • 宿題しに友だちがもうすぐ来る。(I find this one is not very natural without this し.)
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  • So in other words, する verbs can, in certain cases, be turned into nouns by thus conjugating する? If that's so, what could also follow that pattern? Also, would it be incorrect to say 買い物して行きました? – Miles Coe Jul 10 '17 at 4:17
  • I don't feel the し in 買い物しに行く is a noun, it's still a verb here. It's parsed as 買い物+しに行く; 何か+しに行く. 買い物して行きました should have an occasion to be used; it sounds like saying someone has come to buy something and gone away, or the speaker dropped by to buy something on the way to somewhere. We quite often say 買い物してきました when just coming back from grocery shopping or the like. – karlalou Jul 10 '17 at 4:58
  • ありがとう御願いしました。微笑 – Miles Coe Jul 10 '17 at 5:14
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    「買い物する > 買い物しに行く... 食べる > 食べに行く 」でしょうね – Felipe Chaves de Oliveira Jul 10 '17 at 12:58
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"に for purpose" can be used in two ways:

  • masu-stem of any verb + に

    泳ぎに行く, 食べに行く, 見に行く, 発表しに行く

  • noun part of suru-verb + に

    観劇に行く, 食事に行く, 発表に行く

The masu-stem (aka pre-masu form) of 買い物する is 買い物し, so that's where the し came from. When you say "in order to (verb)" using a suru-verb and に, ○○に and ○○しに are usually interchangeable.

に has many other roles, including as a destination marker (e.g., 学校に行く). ○○しに is unambiguous and preferred when the word it modifies is remote.

  • 買い物しにスーパーに行きました。
  • [?] 買い物にスーパーに行きました。 (understandable, but clumsy)

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