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I saw imperative sentences with the above-mentioned pattern with verbs "go", "come". The verbs are sometimes joined with "and". I understand it as informal usage with the first verb used as "encouragement" rather than "movement".

The question is:
- Can we use both patterns interchangeably?
- Can we use the to-infinitive as well?
- Can we use other verbs in this structure instead of "go","come"?

Go and buy yourself a new pair of shoes.
Go buy yourself a new pair of shoes.
Go to buy yourself a new pair of shoes.

  • 1
    Go and buy... is definitely used in AmE, at least where I come from. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 28 '16 at 12:45
  • No, not encouragement, but movement. "Go and buy" is a compound verb phrase as part of the imperative. Same with "come and sit down". There are one or two other verbs: "Run and get me some milk before the store closes"; – BillJ Dec 28 '16 at 19:56
  • This is a very good question, and I always sought a good answer for such type of questions. I will provide some information regarding this later today. – Man_From_India Jun 7 '17 at 1:35
2

[Go and buy] yourself a new dress.

Quirk et al. calls this sort of coordination a pseudo-coordination, while Biber et al. calls it by the name coordinated binomial phrases.

Biber et al. and Marriam Webster Dictionary of English usage further says that in American English that and is often left out when the verb before and in this construction is go or come.

[Go buy] yourself a new dress.

Swan in his Practical English Usage says the similar things.

SEMANTICS:

Quirk et al and Marriam Webster dictionary of English Usage say that in this construction, the verb - go - looses its meaning of movement. And it's used mainly to emphasize the following verb (in this case it's buy).

Biber et al. says something different about its semantics. It says the verb go expresses "direction of action" and the second verb buy expresses the "consequent action to be accomplished".

Both Quirk et al. and Biber et al. says that such construction often expresses what it can express by a corresponding to-infinitive construction. For example -

[try and visit] the temple at least once. --> try to visit the temple at least once.

I will [go and see] him tomorrow --> I will go see him tomorrow --> I will go to see him tomorrow.

Further reading here.

0
  • Can we use both patterns interchangeably?

Short Answer: I wouldn't, but this isn't to say you couldn't.

  • Can we use the to-infinitive as well?

Short Answer: I wouldn't, plus, I don't think it's correct grammatically.

  • Can we use other verbs in this structure instead of "go","come"?

Short Answer: Yes. And as @BillJ and @SantiBailors have both said, there are other verbs you could use, too.

Long Answer: The reason I wouldn't is because I think they sound different to the listener, or at least, they do to me.

That is, "Go and buy yourself a new pair of shoes"...

...sounds more polite and request-like than...

"Go buy yourself a new pair of shoes"...

...which sounds more like a command. Although, said very sweetly, this could sound nice and request-like as well, so in this respect, they could be used interchangeably.

What do you think? Do they sound different to you?

  • Thank you, could you give me any source to prove that using a to-infinitive after "go" is ungrammatical? – V.V. Dec 31 '16 at 10:49
  • @V.V. Hmmm, for examples of imperatives such as yours, not off the top of my head, but honestly, this feels like a case of presumption of innocence. Meanwhile, if you want to use "go + to infinitive" not as an imperative, there are lots of cases and examples. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 3 '17 at 8:02
  • Unfortunately, I can't explain it to my students in the same way. Thanks anyway for your help. – V.V. Jan 3 '17 at 8:42
  • @V.V. Perfect! Sounds like an excellent learning opportunity for your students, then. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 3 '17 at 10:16

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