I have learnt that 타다 means "to take" and "타고 가다" means "to take and go". But sometimes I see that these two are used interchangeably.

e.g. Is the following translation correct ?

버스를 타요. I take the bus.
버스를 타고 가요. I take the bus and go.
집에서 회사까지 버스를 타요. I go to the office from home by bus.
집에서 회사까지 버스를 타고 가요. I go to the office from home by bus.

It seems that "to take" has already implied the meaning of "to go" in the case of taking a vehicle. Is this understanding correct, or there is actual difference between these two?

  • For vehicles, 타다 means "to get in/on ...." It is just that there are situations where you can interpret it as "to go by ...." – Klmo Apr 13 at 21:42

Yes, "타다" is "to take" and "타고 가다" means "to take and go" and Koreans use them interchangeably a lot, but there are some differences.

Suppose you are in a theme park and there is a classic, classy car, but the car is not running. It is only for "getting in the car and sitting in" and maybe your friend can take a photo of you sitting in the car. In this case, your friend can say to you, "저 차에 타봐" meaning "Why don't you get on the car?". However, if the friend says "저 차에 타고 가봐" meaning "Why don't you get on the car and go (to a certain place)?", it is very weird and Koreans don't say like that.

Except this kind of cases in which you can see the obvious difference, you can use "타다" and "타고 가다" interchangeably. Some examples:
"거기 어떻게 갈래?" (How would you go there?)
=> "차로." (By car)
=> "차 탈께." (I will take a car.)
=> "차 타고 갈께." (I will take a car and go there.)
You can use any of these three to mean the same thing.

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