I use the following two sentences alternatively:

  1. I reached there and found out she was dead.
  1. I reached there to find out she was dead.

Can I consider them to be carrying the same meaning?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


They do have very similar meanings. Note that you cannot say "I reached there". You need a specific goal after 'reached':

  • I reached the mountain
  • I reached the hotel
  • I reached the finish line

Also, you often see "only to" instead of just "to", as in your second example:

  • I reached the hotel, only to find she was dead

The slightly different meaning becomes clearer now. The version with 'and' presents a simple sequence of events, whereas the version with '[only] to' focuses more on the thwarted expectations of the narrator.

  • 2
    The "specific goal" which "reach" requires can still be a placeholder, but that placeholder is it, not there: "Once I reached it, ..." and in this case "it" must refer to a previously specified or understood goal.
    – TypeIA
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:28
  • @TypeIA true. My explanation was hasty.
    – legatrix
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:32

You must log in to answer this question.

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