Understand and use the irregular verb ir to talk about going to places

Gramática: El verbo ir

Sign reading "¡Vamos rojillos!"

A sign in support of the Osasuna soccer team from Pamplona, Navarre. Because they originally wore red jerseys, they got the nickname “Los Rojillos.”

The verb ir is used to express destinations and will need a preposition to follow it. Add the preposition a after ir to indicate a destination (where you’re going to) and the preposition de after venir

The emblem of a Chevy Nova car

The story goes (though it’s probably not true) that this Chevy model didn’t sell well in Mexico. Can you imagine why?

  • Play AudioNo voy a la fiesta esta noche porque tengo que estudiar. (I’m not going to the party tonight, because I have to study.)
  • Play AudioEllos van a la iglesia todos los domingos. (They go to church every Sunday.)
  • El tren va de Lima a Huancayo solamente los lunes. (The train only goes from Lima to Huancayo on Mondays.)

Like the verb ser, the conjugation of ir in the present tense is irregular:

ir (to go)

Singular Plural
Play Audioyo voy Play Audionosotros vamos
Play Audiotú vas Play Audiovosotros vais
Play Audioél / ella / usted va Play Audioellos / ellas / ustedes van


There are only two contractions in the whole Spanish language, and they’re frequently used with ir and other verbs of motion.

A + el = al (to the)
De + el = del (from the)

Be careful, the prepositions a and de only contract with the masculine singular definite article; if you need the feminine or plural form of “the”, it will remain a separate word.

  • Play AudioVamos al parque con el perro. (We go to the park with the dog.)
  • Play AudioVamos a los negocios locales. (We go to the local businesses.)
  • Play AudioLos científicos vienen del Instituto de Salud Pública. (The scientists come from the Institute of Public Health.)
  • Play AudioLos maestros vienen de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. (The teachers come from the Complutense University of Madrid.)


The interrogative (question word) cuándo means “when.”

  • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (when is your birthday?)

Unlike some interrogatives, cuándo does not change for gender and number. However, you do need to pay attention to the difference between the question word cuándo—with an accent mark—and the conjunction cuando (no accent mark).

  • ¿Cuándo vamos a salir? (When are we going out?)
  • Cuando tengamos tiempo. (When we have time. Note: tener here is in the subjunctive, which you’ll learn later…)