Difference Between -고 and -서

Last week I learned two useful verb ending that will help connect phrases or thoughts. These are the verb endings -고 and -서 . These two verbs ending is almost the same in function but have difference in meaning. Difference can be noted in the example below:

  1. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kago yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy and bought medicine.
  2. 약국에 가 약을 샀어요. (Yakkuke kaso yakeul sasseoyo.) I went to the pharmacy so as to buy medicine.

The first sentence where -고 is used, going to the pharmacy and buying of medicine is merely a declaration of two. The second sentence on the otherhand shows purpose/result sentence construction.

So in an English point of view -고 is used to connect phrases to resemble these thought pattern– ‘ and (then afterwards)‘ or  ‘and (also in addition). While -서 goes by the thought patterns ‘so‘ or ‘so as to’, it can also mean ‘and then afterwards’ but with emphasis on purpose-result sentence pattern.  This means the two phrases or ideas are more linked as sequence of events.

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