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I'm writing a "how I make a salad" list for school and I want to say:

"First I go buy the ingredients...."

but I don't know if I should write;

"First I go to buy the ingredients....."

Notice the difference between them as the preposition "to" is written before "buy" on the latter. Well I have my doubts because normally I would say "I go buy" not "I go to buy" as in "I've gotta go buy something" but I have to be formal and grammatical since it's for school not for a friend so I need your advice on this.

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The first is not grammatically correct; "go [verb]" is short for "go to [verb]" or "go and [verb]." The second, while there's a typo (which is obviously accidental since you spelled it right the first time), is grammatically correct. However, I would not recommend it for several reasons:

  • It's in first person; you are writing an essay about how you make a salad, I would write it in the imperative mood (simply "First, buy the ingredients").
  • The phrase "go to [verb]" is colloquial. This may be fine, depending upon the assignment, but if your teacher cares about that kind of thing then you might want to avoid it.
  • You don't really need "go to" at all, unless you want to emphasize that you are going somewhere in order to buy the ingredients. "First, I buy the ingredients" might be preferable.

Ultimately, you may want to ask your teacher as the best way to do this depends upon what your teacher wants.

  • Thanks ostrichofevil, thanks for the answer and for pointing out the typo. Please see as I have updated my question and removed the typo and thanks once again for the advice on how to start my essay. – Manuel Hernandez Apr 27 '16 at 22:10
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    I don't agree that "the first is not grammatically correct." I don't see the grammatical error in: First I go buy the ingredients. (I agree that your more simple form is an improvement, but I think calling the first "grammatically incorrect" is a bit of a stretch.) – J.R. Apr 27 '16 at 22:14
  • @J.R. It doesn't meet correct English syntax. – ostrichofevil Apr 27 '16 at 22:18
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    Go (and come) with a bare infinitive is perfectly acceptable in conversational American English. Safire had a column on “go figure” tracing it to Yiddish speech patterns; thus Angela and I are going to go check out some exhibits and the saying go fly a kite. – choster Apr 27 '16 at 23:24
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    @choster to elaborate upon what Rob said, since this is for school we are talking about moderately formal English and not conversational/colloquial English. It is perfectly acceptable to use go fly a kite in conversational English, where if you care about syntax rules you might get a few funny looks, but in formal English, not so much. – ostrichofevil Apr 28 '16 at 1:37

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