ir vs irse in spanish

“Ir” vs “Irse”: Understanding Their Differences in Spanish

Dennys Caldera Boka Published on February 14, 2024

Understanding the difference between “ir” vs “irse” in Spanish can take time. These two verbs are conjugated the same, and both convey movement, making it easy to mix them up. “Ir” signifies the act of a person moving from one place to another, essentially meaning “to go.” On the other hand, “irse” is a reflexive verb used to talk about a person’s departure from a place or location, synonymous with “to leave,” or “to depart.”

Discerning the subtle differences in meaning between “ir” and “irse” can pose a challenge for both novice and seasoned Spanish speakers. In this article, we’ll look at these two verbs to unravel their distinctions and understand when to use each. We’ll explore their conjugations and usage scenarios, and provide examples to solidify your understanding.

ir vs irse in spanish

Conjugations of “Ir” and “Irse”

Before jumping to the conjugation charts, it’s important to understand what reflexive verbs are, as “irse” belongs to that group. Reflexive verbs in Spanish denote actions that the subject performs on oneself. In these verbs, the subject and the object (the recipient of the action) are the same person. The translation of reflexive verbs into English often includes words like “myself,” “yourself,” “himself,” “herself,” etc. However, it’s important to recognize that the English translation may not consistently incorporate reflexive pronouns. In Spanish, a reflexive verb needs the use of a corresponding reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, nos, os) that aligns with the sentence’s subject.

Below are the conjugation charts for both “ir” and “irse” in the most commonly used tenses in Spanish. If you want to see all conjugations, check out this comprehensive “ir” conjugation guide.

Conjugation of “Ir”

PronounPresentPreteriteImperfectFuture
Yovoyfuiibairé
vasfuisteibasirás
Él/Ella/Ustedvafueibairá
Nosotros/Nosotrasvamosfuimosíbamosiremos
Vosotros/Vosotrasvaisfuisteisibaisiréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedesvanfueronibanirán

Conjugation of “Irse”

PronounPresentPreteriteImperfectFuture
Yome voyme fuime ibame iré
te vaste fuistete ibaste irás
Él/Ella/Ustedse vase fuese ibase irá
Nosotros/Nosotrasnos vamosnos fuimosnos íbamosnos iremos
Vosotros/Vosotrasos vaisos fuisteisos ibaisos iréis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedesse vanse fueronse ibanse irán

When to Use “Ir” in Spanish with Examples

“Ir” is a non-reflexive verb, directly translating as “to go.” In Spanish, “ir” is employed to convey the movement of a person from one place to another, indicating the act of going. When pointing out a destination with “ir,” it is essential to pair it with a preposition. Additionally, within this context, the verb “ir” is versatile and can be conjugated to align with various tenses as needed.

Voy al mercado todos los domingos. / I go to the market every Sunday.

Fuimos al cine ayer. / We went to the movies yesterday.

-Susana irá a la playa con nosotros el próximo fin de semana. / Susana will go to the beach with us next Saturday.

Iría al concierto si tuviera las entradas. / I would go to the concert if I had the tickets.

When to Use “Irse” in Spanish with Examples

“Irse” is used when expressing the act of leaving or going away from a specific place. It conveys the notion of departure and emphasizes the action of physically moving away from a location. This verb is accurately translated as “to leave,” “to depart,” or “to go away.” Additionally, in certain contexts, it can be interpreted as “to go,” specifically when pointing out that a person is departing from a particular place.

Me voy de la fiesta a las 11:00 p.m. / I am leaving the party at 11:00 p.m.

-Ella se fue de la reunión temprano. / She left the meeting early.

Nos íbamos del pueblo cada verano. / We used to leave the town evry summer.

-¿Te irás después de la cena? / Will you leave after dinner?

Irse vs Salir

Both “irse” and “salir” can be translated to the English verb “to leave,” making it a bit challenging to determine which one to use. First, “irse” has a broader application, as it is used to discuss leaving without specifying the origin or destination. On the other hand, “salir” is employed when referring to leaving a particular location.

Examples with “irse”:

Me voy a la oficina. / I am leaving for the office.

-Nosotros nos fuimos temprano. / We left early.

-¿Te vas a ir mañana? / Are going to leave to leave tomorrow?

Examples with “salir”:

-Ella sale del trabajo a las 5:00 p.m. / She leaves work at 5:00 p.m.

Salimos a cenar anoche. / We left for dinner last night.

-Esta noche saldré tarde de la oficina. / I’m leaving the office late tonight.

Ways to Practice “Ir” vs “Irse”

Effectively mastering the usage of “ir” and “irse” in Spanish involves consistent practice. There are different learning methods you can combine to create a comprehensive study routine. Using Spanish language apps can teach you basic vocabulary and what’s the difference between similar words. On the other hand, Spanish books have in-depth grammar lessons that can answer your doubts about different verbs. If you want to improve your conversational skills, you can watch Spanish YouTube videos to test your skills and compare your pronunciation to that of Spanish native speakers. This way, you’ll be studying Spanish thoroughly.

Ir vs Irse: Final Thoughts

Understanding the nuances between “ir” and “rise” can make your Spanish conversations more natural and easy. “Ir,” a non-reflexive verb, translates directly to “to go” and is employed when expressing movement from one place to another. Conjugated in various tenses, “ir” requires a preposition when pointing out a destination. While both verbs convey the idea of leaving, they can’t be used interchangeably. Consistent and varied practice is key to confidently navigating the distinctions between “ir” and “irse” in diverse contexts.

Dennys Caldera Boka

Dennys is a content writer at Langoly. He’s passionate about language learning and has been helping others achieve their goals and develop their language skills for many years. He’s interested in emerging technologies and how they can help people reskill and upskill. He loves cooking, watching sci-fi movies, and listening to podcasts. Connect with Dennys on LinkedIn.

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