Explanation

Quick Answer

The verb iris one of the most commonly used verbs in the Spanish language. It generally means to go, but it is very versatile and can be used in a variety of expressions.

Conjugating Ir

Before learning what expressions are used with the verb ir, let’s review how to conjugate it in the present tense. Ir is an irregular present tense verb.

SubjectPresent Tense Conjugation
yo
voy
vas
él/ella/usted
va
nosotros
vamos
vosotros
vais
ellos/ellas/ustedes
van
Present Tense Conjugation
yovoy
vas
él/ella/ustedva
nosotrosvamos
vosotrosvais
ellos/ellas/ustedesvan

Click here to see how ir is conjugated in other tenses.

Now let’s learn some expressions with ir!

Ir and the Informal Future

The informal future uses a combination of a conjugated form of ir in the present indicative, the preposition a, and an infinitive. It is used to express events in the immediate future and for set plans.

Informal Future Formula

ir + a + infinitive

Check out the following examples.

examples
Voy a lavar los platos.
I’m going to wash the dishes.
Van a limpiar la casa.
They're going to clean the house.

Ir and Places

• To talk about where someone is going, use ir + a + a place.

When the place is masculine and singular, remember a + el = al.

Check out these examples.

examples
Vamos al parque hoy.
We’re going to the park today.
¿Vas a la playa mañana?
Are you going to the beach tomorrow?

• We use the reflexive pronoun with the verb ir followed by para and a place to express to leave for.

examples
Me voy para España esta tarde.
I am leaving for Spain this afternoon.

• We use ir + en + a mode of transportation to talk about how someone is getting somewhere.

examples
Va a la escuela en autobús.
She goes to school by bus.

Ir + Gerund

Ir is often used with a gerund to talk about the progression of an action. It is similar to the present progressive tense, but this formula really puts an emphasis on the action unfolding. Check out these examples!

examples
Poco a poco van mejorando las cosas.
Things are improving gradually.
Voy entendiendo cómo funciona una relación.
I'm starting to understand how relationships work.

Additional Expressions

Here are some additional expressions with ir.

SpanishEnglish
ir a medias
to go fifty-fifty
ir a pie
to walk/go on foot
ir al grano
to get to the point
ir de
to be about
ir de compras
to go shopping
ir de excursión
to go on a day trip/outing
ir de mal en peor
to go from bad to worse
ir de paseo
to go for a walk
ir de pesca
to go fishing
ir de viaje
to go on a trip
ir por
to go and get
irse por las ramas
to beat around the bush
¿Cómo te va?
How’s it going?/How are you doing?
¿Cómo va ... ?
How is … going?
¡Qué va!
Come on!
¡Vaya!
Wow!
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