Trouble with IR? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again (Conjugation)

Trouble with IR? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again (Conjugation)

Vamos a hablar del verbo: IR. (Let’s talk about the verb: TO GO.) Why? Because it’s used all the time, it helps create an entire verbal tense, and it has a crazy irregular conjugation which makes it a bit hard to use.

As always, we’ll do this through chunks! We believe it is a much more efficient way to familiarize yourself with its conjugation and effectively use it. Much more than trying to learn entire conjugation tables by memory.

My name is Maura, I’m one of the teachers of Spring Spanish, and ¡vamos a empezar ya! (let’s start already!)

1. Voy a… (I’m going to…)

ACTOR 1
¿Y qué vas a hacer con el trabajo entonces?
(So what are you going to do with the job then?)

ACTOR 2
Voy a comentarlo con mi psicóloga para tomar una decisión cuanto antes.
(I will discuss it with my psychologist to make a decision as soon as possible.)

¿Qué vas a hacer? (What are you going to do?) and voy a (I’m going to…) are the very common question and answer we’d use to talk about plans in the near future.

That little word “a” is the key preposition you’d need to use along with “voy” to create that verbal tense I talked about in the intro, which is sometimes called “el futuro próximo” (the near future.) Voy a is actually the most common type of future in Spanish. You can use it to say things like:

  • Este sábado voy a la montaña. (This Saturday I am going to the mountain.)
  • Mis amigos van a venir a la casa más tarde. (My friends are coming to the house later.)
  • ¡Tengo hambre! ¿Cuándo vas a pedir la comida? (I’m hungry! When are you going to order the food?)
  • Nosotros no vamos a pelear por eso. (We are not going to fight about it.)

As you can see, we use this to talk about decisions, plans, things that are either certain or very likely to actually happen in the near future. Much like “going to” is used in English, which is why you can consider this a fairly stable equivalence between the two languages.

2. Common chunks in any tense

ACTOR 1
¿Qué tal te fue con la psicóloga? ¿Tomaste una decisión?
(How did it go with the psychologist? Did you make a decision?)

ACTOR 2
¡Sí! Me fue genial, como siempre. Al final, voy a ir a la oficina mañana a hablar con mi jefe y depende de lo que me diga, vamos viendo.
(Yes! It went great, as always. In the end, I will go to the office tomorrow to talk to my boss and depending on what he tells me, we will see.)

  • Voy a ir a la oficina. (I’m going to go to the office.) After this chunk, you can use either a place, like I did the office or a verb, as in:
    • Voy a ir a comprar pan. (I’m going to go buy bread.) Just as it would happen in English, you can use two “ir” verbs together. Meaning, you can say “voy a” and the say “ir” .  
  • ¿Qué tal te fue? (How did it go?) You could also use this as a substitute to “cómo estás? (how are you?) by using it in the present tense: “¿qué tal te va?” (How’s it going?). For more alternatives to “cómo estás”, make sure to check Maria Fernanda’s video on the subject. As I’ve used it in the role play, in the past tense, it’s more about how something went.

Before I forget, stay till the end if you want to go over the conjugation in the present tense through chunks! We believe it’ll be increasingly easier for you to remember that than memorizing the actual conjugation table!

Other common chunks with voy would be:

  • Me voy a pie (I’ll go by foot) Voy can be paired with “a” and with “en” to talk about transportation. So you can also say: me voy en carro (I’ll go by car.) To understand the difference between “a” and “en” you can check out the video I made about it right here.

ACTOR 3
¡Voy!
(Coming!)

¡Lista, vámonos!
(Ready, let’s go!)

  • ¡Voy! (Coming!): Use this voy, by itself, to mean you’re almost ready. No matter the situation.
  • Vámonos (Let’s go): Use this to mean you’re ready, and it’s time to go.

Chunk Alert!

Vamos viendo (we will see) can’t be translated literally and maintain the correct meaning. It is also a chunk that is used in the present tense almost every time. It’s about letting time take its course, being adaptable to changes, and not making a decision just yet.

Vamos viendo could very well be followed by something like: vamos viendo qué pasa y en base a eso decidiremos qué hacer. (We will see what happens and based on that we will decide what to do.) But, you do not need to say that much to mean that!

Do check out the link in the description to get our free Essential Spanish Chunking kit if you want more everyday chunks like this one!

3. To go Vs Ir

So, ir and to go are not exact translations. Let’s quickly go over the most common similarities and differences.

Similarities

Both languages use this verb to:

  • Talk about plans for the future:
    • Voy a ser doctora. (I’m going to be a doctor.)
    • Voy a comer más tarde. (I’m going to eat later.)
  • Specify where you’re going:
    • Voy a una fiesta. (I’m going to a party.)
    • Voy a tu casa el sábado. (I’m going to your house on Saturday.)
  • To ask about how something went:
    • ¿Cómo te fue en el examen? (How did it go with the test?)
    • ¿Qué tal te fue en tu cita? (How did it go on your date?)

Differences

  • To talk about transportation:
    • Nos vamos a pie. (We’ll go by foot.) Though you can translate it literally in English, use “go” and it’ll still make sense, it isn’t the most common or natural way to talk about this in English.
  • To say someone is leaving a place:
    • ¡Me voy! ¡Gracias por todo! (I’m leaving! Thank you for everything!). In English, you “leave” places. In Spanish, you “go” from places.
  • To say you’re almost ready:
    • ¡Voy! Ya estoy casi lista. (I’m coming! I’m almost ready). For this you “come” in English but you “go” in Spanish.

4. Conjugating “Ir” with chunks in the present

ACTOR 1
¿Y cómo se van?
(And how are you going to go?)

ACTOR 2
Nos vamos a pie.
(We’ll go by foot.)

ACTOR 1
¿Y tú como te vas?
(And how are you going to go?)

If you’re going on foot, the right answer would be: “me voy a pie” (I’ll go by foot). Now, let’s use that as your chunk to practice conjugating Ir in the present tense.

Column 1Column 2Column 3
PronombreConjugationChunk
Yo (I)VoyMe voy a pie.
(I go by foot.)
Tú (You)VasTe vas a pie.
(You go by foot.)
Ella, Él, Eso (She, He, It)VaSe va a pie.
(He/She/It goes by foot.)
Nosotras/Nosotros (We)VamosNos vamos a pie.
(We go by foot.)
Ustedes – Ellas/Ellos (You – They)VanSe van a pie.
(They go by foot.)

Now, let’s put all of this to actual practice, shall we? Fill in the blanks for me and leave your answer in the comments!

  • Mañana _________ cenar con mis tíos. (Tomorrow, I’m going to dinner with my aunt and uncle.)
  • ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal te ________? (Hi! How are you doing?)
  • Despídete que tus primas que ya se  ________. (Say goodbye to your cousins, because they are leaving already.)

IR is one of the most important irregular verbs in Spanish. But wait, there are others! Other really important irregular verbs that you have to know and be able to use. Chunks to the rescue! Let’s learn the 13 most important ones ri

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