In my little Spanish learning experience, I have often read the sentence that uses the term ir de compras. While I know the meaning of it (go to shopping), I have a trouble in getting the etymology of it.

Why does it uses the form used in second-person singular? For example, we use dormir in Leo un libro antes de dormir., even if the verb is used after de. We don't write it as Leo un libro antes de duermes.. But it is not the case in the ir de compras.

So why does it always use the second-person singular form?

1 Answer 1


It's not the second person singular form of the verb comprar, it's the plural form of the noun compra (purchase), though that ultimately derives from the been comprar. Many nouns in Spanish derive from present tense forms of verbs, but then follow noun gender and number rules.

  • Thanks. Then why ir de viaje, not ir de viajes? Is there any norm like when to use plural and when to use singular?
    – Blaszard
    Dec 6, 2014 at 23:40
  • @Gardecolo you can ir de viajes, but it's not common (generally you leave for what is seen as a single trip). Likewise, there's not a per se restriction on ir de compra, but you don't normally go out shopping for a single item, the idea of going shopping is to get multiple things. Dec 7, 2014 at 1:13

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