4

The 1993 4級 test had this vocabulary question:

ちちは いま、しんぶんを ____ いって います。

1 ぬぎに  2 よびに  3 ききに  4 かいに

Am I right to say that the answer is 4, かいに, with the sentence as My dad went to buy a newspaper (Now, he is in the process of going to buy a newspaper)?

If so, would it be the same as saying ちちは いま、しんぶんを かいに いきました。?

3

The correct answer would certainly be 「買{か}いに」. The sentence would make practically no sense with any of the other three phrase choices.

So we have:

「父{ちち}は今{いま}、新聞{しんぶん}を買{か}いにいっています。」

What does this sentence mean (and imply) exactly? It is saying:

"My father went out some time ago to buy a newspaper and he has not returned yet."

The last part in bold is what is implied by 「いっている」 and it is what the English sentence "My Daddy went to buy a newspaper." does not necessarily imply.

The Japanese sentence above with no further words or context "says" without fail that Daddy has not returned at the time of utterance.

The English sentence feels different in that it can mean daddy has already returned. At the time of utterance, for that matter, this may even be about Daddy's action from weeks or years ago.

This may be a very small difference but my understanding is that SE is a place to discuss subtle differences.

Would it be the same as saying 「父は今、新聞を買いにいきました。」?

This sentence is closer in meaning to the one using 「いっています」 than the English sentence is because it uses 「今」. It is, however, still unclear whether or not Daddy has returned at the time of utterance. It would be completely natural if you said that Japanese sentence after your daddy has returned home. 

-2

いっています is the polite progressive conjugation of 行く which is "to go". This is different from いきました, which is the polite past, in that it is saying that the action is ongoing as opposed to having been already completed. If I were to say かいにいきました, it would mean "went to buy".

  • Hi. I think it's somewhat counterintuitive to downvote and then not explain why. This above is wrong because ~ている does not actually work as ~ing for verbs that express change of state (including 行く). here is another link that might help – requiredandshown Oct 15 '17 at 0:21

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