Yesterday I was teaching my student about the verb shop. I told him that we use "go" with "shop" to mean to go and buy things. e. g.

1) You are going shopping.

2) You were going shopping.

3) You go shopping.

4) You went shopping yesterday.

Every thing was going well until I formed a question in this manner:

"Are you going to New York (insert any place here) to go shopping?"

I felt this sentence to be wrong. Not grammatically but this is not how people ask. As far I know, this is how such question should be formed

" Are you going to New York for shopping"

But again, I could be wrong.

Please tell me which one is correct and is used by the natives.


Are you going to New York to go shopping? is grammatical, but the combination of going, go and shopping is not particularly felicitous. A more concise version is Are you going to New York to shop?

The grammaticality of Are you going to New York for shopping is questionable. You can make it grammatical by including the definite article:

  • Are you going to New York for the shopping?

But this slightly changes the meaning to something like:

  • Are going to New York because the shopping there is so good.

See, for example, the following headlines:

Come for the Shopping, Stay for the Food


Forget turkey- tourists come to Vegas for the shopping


  • 1
    I don't really accept that "not particularly felicitous" bit. It's usually learners (not native speakers) who have a problem with "superficial repetition". The two elements going to New York and to go shopping serve completely different semantic and syntactic roles, and they're articulated differently anyway, so I wouldn't even notice them as being "similar" in speech. You don't need to go to school to get an education to know that's just "normal English". – FumbleFingers Nov 27 '19 at 13:14
  • I partly agree with what you say. I find "Are you going to New York to go shopping?" awkward, but "Are you going to New York just to go shopping?" sounds a whole lot better. I think it's pragmatics; 'go shopping' is in a pretty convivial register, and your alternatives up-market the tone so as to avoid the incongruity. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 27 '19 at 14:07
  • @FumbleFingers. For me the slight infelicity is in the redundancy of the verb go and as well the repetition of the -ing verb form. How does Are you going to town to go shopping? sound to you? It seems to me that the first go (as in going) obviates the need for the second go. – Shoe Nov 27 '19 at 15:51
  • Yeah, it did occur to me immediately after posting my comment that you were probably focusing on go rather than to. Also that I was probably making too much of a minor point about stylistic choices. Whatever - noting that someone else has actually downvoted your answer, I think I'd better give it an uptick to redress the balance. – FumbleFingers Nov 27 '19 at 17:04
  • @FumbleFingers. Thanks. At the risk of belabouring the point, there is a similar redundancy in I'm going to the river to go fishing or I'm going to the Alps to go skiing. – Shoe Nov 27 '19 at 17:22

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