0

I find that "to" and "and" sometimes can mean basically the same:

I went to the mall and bought some milk.

I went to the mall to buy some milk.

To me,there are little difference between them when it comes to indicating a purpose,and they both can be applicable to answering a question like:"what did you do last sunday?"

The only thing come to my mind about their difference is the first one the two verbs"went" and "bought" are equal level and both modify the subject "I", whilst the second one the "buy some milk" is subordinate to "went to the mall"

Well,I don't know exactly,maybe you can help me to tell which to use in what contexts?

2 Answers 2

3

The second sentence is more explicit that buying milk was the purpose for which you went to the mall.

You can see this because it makes sense to say "I went to the mall and bought some milk, though I was planning to buy something else instead", but it would be self-contradictory to say "I went to the mall to buy some milk, though I was planning to buy something else instead."

2
  • 4
    "I went to the mall to buy some milk" is completely explicit about the purpose but doesn't actually indicate that you bought the milk. With "and," the purpose is not explicit, but you did buy milk.
    – cruthers
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 3:48
  • (Perhaps add @cruthers' comment to this answer? I feel that would make it complete & perfect.)
    – BadZen
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 1:28
0

In this case, "and" establishes connection, while "to" establishes intent.

When using "and", it can establish intent in a more complex statement. "I was very thirsty. I went to the mall and bought some milk."

For the simple statements you've provided, "and" does not establish intent, only connection, as it indicates where you bought the milk. You might have intended to buy some eggs, and while you were there realized that you were also out of milk. You might have intended to buy running shoes, and saw that milk was on sale. "To" establishes intent unambiguously, although it does not establish that you actually did buy milk, only that you intended to. You might have gone to the mall to buy milk, and discovered when you arrived that the mall was closed.

You must log in to answer this question.

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