The verb “TO GO” in Spanish is very irregular!
The Spanish verb IR is challenging to learn, but essential to master. Here’s the scoop!
For all of you folks who are looking into starting to learn the beautiful Spanish language, there are a few ways to get into this. While some people go ahead and start watching movies or videos in Spanish with subtitles, or moving to a Spanish speaking country to learn the new language, for most, the best way remains to start with the basic grammar.
Learning basic grammar is a perfect way to build a solid base of your knowledge of Spanish. In this way, you will be able to deeply understand how and why certain grammar structures of the language work. Further on, you can start building up a richer vocabulary of words and expressions and work on your pronunciation.
As you get started, there are several basic tenses and verbs you should be learning at the first place in order for you to be able to understand basic expressions as well as to be able to communicate at the simplest level as quickly as possible.
Some of the most useful pieces of the speech you will need to go through include the frequently used verbs. As in many other languages, some of the most popular verbs in Spanish are irregular. So, as you could have correctly guessed, using them in your speech can require a little bit of more efforts than for the rest. With these verbs, you will probably need to remember certain forms and special exceptions from general rules for each case. However, by using them frequently, these separate forms will become a natural way of expressing the common verbs in your speech.
The Spanish Verb “IR”
In this article, we will discuss one of the most useful and frequently used verbs out there, which is “IR” (to go). Well, you would agree that this verb is absolutely essential to know and to be able to conjugate in the correct way. As you travel to any Spanish speaking country and wish to express your basic thoughts, you will need to know the correct conjugation of this verbs.
As you may have guessed, the Spanish verb IR is very irregular and hence, do expect that conjugating the verb may need you to remember the special forms of it. At the beginning it can seem a little confusing, considering that for each case the word changes almost completely. However, a great tip for you here can be simply repeating the list of the conjugated forms in your head once in a while and try to remember them by heart. With time it will keep coming to you naturally as you start using the expressions with this word and you will not need to go back remembering each one separately.
Dealing with all the Tenses of the Verb IR
The bad news is that in the Spanish language has many different forms of the present, past, and perfect tenses and hence the verb “IR” will be conjugated differently in each case. The good news, however, is that as a beginner, you will need to learn only the most frequently used tenses so you can communicate with Spanish speakers. My advice here is to go for the most common present form of the verb and once you feel comfortable using it, move towards the rest of the tenses.
In order to start conjugating the irregular verbs such as IR, it is a good idea to first learn the forms of regular verbs. Once you know all the pronouns (I, you, he/she etc.) in Spanish, the next step is using those with the most common verbs. If you already know how to conjugate the regular verbs in Spanish, moving towards irregulars will be even simpler for you to catch up. A good language course like Rocket Spanish will gradually guide you from regular to irregular verbs, making sure to teach you the most useful ones first. (This contrasts a bit with total immersion in a language where you can’t quite tell what words are critical to use- say over tapas, and which you’ll only hear once in a blue moon).
Regular verbs in Spanish usually have the endings of –ar, -er, or –ir. Meanwhile, in case of regular verbs, when conjugated, the words themselves remain the same. The irregular verbs instead usually come with a completely different word during conjugation that, however, has the same meaning. So at this point, the only way to figure out how they work, you will need to simply try and remember both of the forms of the same word.
Conjugation of Spanish Verb IR
So, now we are ready to see how exactly the IR irregular verb works in speech. As promised, when we start conjugating the verb, the word itself will change and hence if you want to say that you or someone else goes somewhere you will not be using the word IR itself, but the changed form, which have a completely different spelling and pronunciation. Here is the conjugation of the very IR verb in Spanish in the present tense:
|Yo voy||I go|
|Tu vas||You go (used as an informal form)|
|El/ ella/ ello va||He/ she/ it goes|
|Usted va||You go (used as a formal form)|
|Nosotros vamos||We go|
|Vosotros vais||You all go (used as an informal form)|
|Ellos/ ellas van||They go|
|Ustedes van||You all go (used as a formal form)|
As you can see, the conjugation of the irregular verb can be somehow related to the general form of the conjugations of regular verbs. And we also see that when conjugated, the IR changes the entire word which sounds completely different. Try not to get confused here and simply memorize the new form of the infinitive verb.
In fact, there are not so many frequently used irregular verbs out there that you will need to memorize. There are many useful lists of most frequently used irregular verbs on the internet you can go through and hence concentrate on memorizing those as you get started with your practice. And the best part is that due to the fact that you will be using these verbs so often in your speech, you will be able to learn and memorize them pretty quickly. They’re the ones you’ll need every day in the markets of Madrid.
Beyond the present tense of the Verb IR
Okay, so you’re getting your head around the irregular conjugations of IR in the present tense. Watch out, there’s still the past and future to go. (Actually there are about 15 tenses in Spanish, but don’t worry, that’s for later!) So:
|Present||Voy, vas, va, vamos, vais, van|
|Simple (simple)||Fuí, fuíste, fue, fuímos, fuíes, fueron|
|Future||Iré, irás, irá, iramos, iréis, irán|
Notice how the future tense is actually pretty simple. It is regular- phew! It’s just a question of regular conjugation after the infinitive IR.
The past tense on other hand is a nightmare! The first person conjugation is pronounced “FWEE”! Sounds pretty funny if you chant this list aloud 😉
What’s Next? From IR to where?
I’ve written a whole article about my experience learning Spanish while living in Spain, including recommendations for a mixture between interacting with people and self study. I even drop a top secret hack to do with falling in love…
As the next step, you can also try learning some of the most important nouns which you can use with the verbs you learn. With the IR verb, you will most probably need to remember how to call some of the most frequently used destinations and places you may be mentioning during your speech. Memorizing all the words in a new language can be somehow exhausting and challenging, meanwhile keep in mind that in order to be able to communicate as a beginner in a new language, you will probably need only a very simple vocabulary which will not need to include too many sophisticated words.
In fact, try to think about your own language; how often do you use complicated phrases or tenses as you chat with your friends or ask for directions? It’s same with Spanish, as long as you know the most important verbs and expressions, you will be more than successful to get by.
How to Learn All these New Words?
A great way to learn the conjugation of the verbs in any language is to keep practicing and repeating the tenses constantly. The most important part here is the frequency of your practice. My advice is to practice every day even for 10-15 minutes instead of studying for several hours one day and not repeating the forms for a whole week or so.
The Spanish language is a rich and rather complicated language grammar-wise to learn due to all the tenses and conjugations. Meanwhile, the language is also quite easy to catch up with as a beginner due to the rather simple pronunciation of the words and the language in general. People usually learn the basics pretty quickly and improving the knowledge of the language then comes with further practice and learning, so it is all the matter of time.
How to Start Practicing?
A crucial point here is that once you know the basic expressions in Spanish you can immediately start communicating with the locals. You can always meet friendly Spanish speakers and practice your knowledge with them. In any case, Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and hence knowing it even at a beginner level can be very useful as you travel and meet new people.
Whatever the reason you wish to learn the language- be it for traveling, learning the culture, or enjoying songs in Spanish, you will love exploring all the beauty of the language. Meanwhile, it will give you the perfect insight of any Spanish speaking country and culture you may visit. Soon you’ll be able to chat to the locals on the streets of Barcelona, watch Spanish movies in the original language and sing along with salsa songs!
Remember to try different learning techniques as well in order to see which one works the best for you. Each individual has a specific way of efficient learning. And hence finding your own can make the entire process of learning a new language so much easier and interesting. As long as you are passionate about the language and the learning process, you will most probably be pretty quick to memorise the key pieces of the speech and phrases you will need the most. So, have fun learning the beautiful Spanish language and keep checking out the useful verbs and practicing your knowledge. VAMOS!
And if you’re motivated to get cracking, check out my review of Rocket Spanish. This dynamic online course / app will really step up your game!