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저는 시장에 가서 딸기를 사요.

  1. Does 서 mean "and"? If so, why not just use 고 instead
  2. Does 서 mean "in order to". If so how is it different to using 러 e.g. "저는 시장에 딸기를 사러 가요" (I go to the market in order to buy strawberries)
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The verb ending -[아/어]서 has several meanings. The one used here means "do the first thing and then do the second thing". The two are connected - often the second one can be done as a result of the first one being finished:

  • 시장에 가서 딸기를 사요 - (go to the market and buy strawberries). Note that you need to go to the market first, and then you buy the strawberries.
  • 그는 편지를 써서 부쳤다 (he wrote the letter and sent it) - Note that he had to write it first then send it.

It is different than "-고" because the there is a definite order and relation between the two. The ending -고 is quite neutral - the 2 clauses joined are equal, so there is no implied temporal or causal relation between them.

It is different from -러 because -러 really emphasizes the "in order to" aspect of the sentence - it shows that the main reason for doing the second thing was in order to do the first thing.

If we said "딸기를 사러 시장에 가요", then the original reason for going to the market was to buy strawberries. However, when we say "시장에 가서 딸기를 사요", this may not be the case - we may have had other reasons to go to the market, too; this is especially so in the past ("시장에 가서 딸기를 샀어요") - in this case, it is possible that we didn't even think about buying strawberries until getting to the market.

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1) 저는 시장에 가서 딸기를 사요. It has a nuance that I buy a toy in supermarket, but a strawberry in market.

나는 (도서관 가서 공부하고) 술집에서 술먹어요. I study in library and drink in beer house.

2) 딸기 사기 위해서 (=사려고=사러) 시장가요.

Today's way to buy a strawberry is to go to market.

3) 시장에 가면 딸기사요. When I go to a market, usually I buy a strawberry.

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