go to vs. visit

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, please see the following examples I created, imagining them being spoken by your friend.

1. I went to the convenience store and bought some drinks.
2. I visited the convenience store and bought some drinks.


I looked up "visit" in the WR dictionary, and if I understand its definitions correctly, the purpose in #1 was probably to buy something, while the purpose in #2 was probably to see what's in the store (maybe it was a new store). Is my perception correct?
 
  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    1 is fine. You went to the shop to buy something.
    Visit sounds odd if you're talking about shops. And in any case, it wouldn't mean you went there just to see what the place was like. You'd need to paraphrase: something like I went to see what the new shop was like and I bought some drinks.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Visit sounds odd if you're talking about shops.
    That's good to know. What do you think about the following sentence which I found online?

    More than 60 percent of respondents said that the reason they visited the store was to purchase a new handset or upgrade their existing device

    Source: AMDOCS SURVEY: ONE OUT OF FOUR CONSUMERS LEAVE SERVICE PROVIDERS’ RETAIL STORES WITHOUT MAKING A PURCHASE

    I suppose you found "visited" odd. If so, I'll definitely avoid using the word. And I'll use
    "Number of Times Going to the Store" (instead of "Number of Visits to the Store") as a title for a graph etc. showing results of a survey question "How many times have you been to the store?"
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't find it odd to talk about visiting a shop/store. It's just a less usual word to use than went to.
    How boring it would be if we always had to say go to. It makes a change to say I frequented the pharmacy last week, although this might sound a little strange.

    Number of visits to the store
    sounds quite normal and I would not try to change it.
     

    AquisM

    Senior Member
    English/Cantonese
    I agree with both rhitagawr and e2efour. Visited did seem odd to me in your original examples, but sounds fine in the sentence you quoted and in your report. I can't quite pinpoint why that is, but I suspect it might be a difference in register. Visit is a little more formal, so something as mundane as going to the store and buying a drink would probably not warrant the use of visit.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that visit sounds all right in post 3, where the style's the sort of thing I'd expect from market research people. But I don't think I'd say visit.
    Frequent refers to pubs and cafes. I don't frequent pubs. I'm not in the habit of going to pubs.
     
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