What does it mean in this sentence please?: "They head down to the local pet store and have a look around."

Thx for your answers ;)

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This isn't an idomatic collocation, head down, but head plus two stacked preposition phrases: the intransitive preposition down and to the local pet store.

Head here is the intransitive verb meaning "direct one's motion"; in this context it has an 'inchoative' sense: they started moving in that direction

Down may have a literal sense, (as in downhill) or a figurative sense of toward the center (as in downtown); but it is more likely to be employed here as an intensive expressing something like intentionality or purpose (as in get down to work).

To the local pet store expresses the goal of the motion.

You may paraphrase

They set out for the local pet store with the intention of browsing the stock.


In short, down when used like that is more like a manner of speech—something people just say. But typically it means downwards or in the southern direction. Some examples are in order.

Example #1:

I live down in Florida.

Example #2:

— Excuse me. Where's the closest subway station?
— Go down the street and turn left.

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