In the sentence "スーさんは高校に英語を教えに行きます" listen here

Why is the verb to teach like this: "教え". Instead of "教えり"? I thought that because it is a Godan verb ending in る it gets changed to り. I know it does that when ending in ます, but why not when it is in the middle of a sentence?

I hope I haven't misheard what what said and made a fool of myself.

edit: I listened to the next sentence in the exercise and this one doesn't do the same as the previous sentence: スーさんは喫茶店にコーヒーを飲みに行きます, this is really confusing me!

  • 3
    Where did you get the idea that 教える is godan? It's ichidan. ます form is 教えます etc
    – Angelos
    May 18, 2020 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


〜に行きます must be preceded by a verb stem: in other words, drop 〜ます from the polite form.


教える → 教えます教え教えに行きます

飲む → 飲みます飲み飲みに行きます


The verb form you are seeing is the verb stem. Verb stem + に行きます is a particular construction meaning "to go [somewhere] for the purpose of doing something". So the first sentence is "Sue went (traveled) to the high school to teach English" and the second is "Sue went to the cafe to drink coffee." It's a very common and useful construction, a good addition to anyone's Nihongo arsenal.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .