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I have recently encountered this construction:

雪{ゆき}が降{ふ}りに降{ふ}っていました

Someone translated it as "The snow was falling in waves."

After some research, I discovered similar constructions with repeated verbs, such as:

荒{あ}れに荒{あ}れる

like in this example from weblio:

あらしは荒{あ}れに荒{あ}れてようやくやんだ。At last the storm raved itself out.

or this:

走{はし}りに走{はし}る

I was wondering if it was some grammar pattern I didn't run into before and what exactly it means? Are there more similar constructions with repeated verbs? How common are they?

Is it at all similar to the construction

Verb-stem + に行く = to go to do...

I mean in the grammatical function of the parts - that is, the first verb is the purpose/target of the second verb?

My first instinct was to translate 雪{ゆき}が降{ふ}りに降{ふ}っていました as "The snow was falling and falling" and 走{はし}りに走{はし}る as "to run and run" but it feels incomplete somehow...

marked as duplicate by naruto grammar Nov 7 '18 at 9:15

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  • Interesting... it's a gerund plus a verb, if I understand it correctly ... If you took out the "gerund + に" portion, they would each be simple declarative sentences. ... I'm inclined to translate that に as "to" ...as in "in order to" or "for" as in "for the sake of" ... but those constructions don't make nice sense in English, so I'm not sure my instinct is right. "The snow was falling for the sake of falling."... "The storm, raving for the sake of raving, finally died down."... I feel like I'm on the right track but missing something. – ericfromabeno Nov 6 '18 at 13:23
  • Maybe related. I'm not sure: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/34564/… – user3856370 Nov 6 '18 at 16:55
  • @user3856370 thanks, it may be related. The construction discussed there is similar: には...が..., used (if I understand correctly) to emphasize the verb/state and show contrast like this: "I DID DO the verb, but..." (eg. when making an excuse). Then the linked entry form kotobank mentions at one point that the construction is used to emphasize the meaning of the verb/adjective (その動詞・形容詞などの意を強めて言い表す). I wonder if in my example は is simply omitted, and without the が the contrast is not as strong, so 降りには降っていた mayby then means "as for snowing, oh it certainly WAS snowing" (as in: so much) – Arie Nov 6 '18 at 22:44
  • @Arie What makes me worry that it isn't related is that one uses the masu form of the verb and the other uses the dictionary form. – user3856370 Nov 6 '18 at 22:56

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