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  • Writer's pictureMaría Molina

Spanish verbs : ir y venir

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

"ir" and "venir" are verbs of motion.


The distinction of when to use the verb "ir" and when to use the verb "venir" is a frequent issue in Spanish classes.


My experience is that even advanced level Spanish students make mistakes and that is a stumbling block in learning Spanish.


Both verbs are verbs of motion, but there are differences. To explain these differences you have to be clear about these roles:

  • The speaker, that is, the one who is saying the sentence.

  • The subject: He is the one who moves. Grammatically it is the subject of the sentence.

Furthermore, both verbs are irregular and, especially the verb"ir", very very irregular. I recommend that you review them before reading further. In the examples, I will capitalize the verb forms.


To start you can see the video I have prepared:



VERB "VENIR"


With the verb "venir", the speaker says that the subject is moving towards where he is. The verb can be used for the past, present or future.


Examples:


Juan VENDRÁ mañana a mi casa

The speaker, who is the owner of the house, tells us that Juan, the subject of the sentence, will go to the speaker's house tomorrow.


Mi padre VINO esta mañana a mi oficina

The speaker tells us that his father, the subject of the sentence, was this morning at the office where the speaker works.


In the previous examples, the verb "ir" with the third person, Juan or my father, has been used, but it can also be used with the second person, such as:


¿VENDRÁS mañana a la fiesta?

The speaker asks the interlocutor (second person) if he will attend the party in which the speaker will be


And also with collectives (us, you, them)


Mis tíos VINIERON a nuestra boda

The speaker's uncles moved from where they were to the place where the speaker and his partner were getting married


On many occasions the place of origin is indicated using the prepositions "de" or "desde".


Mis tíos VINIERON a nuestra boda DESDE Canarias.


VENIMOS DE comprar pan.


And sometimes the reason why the movement has occurred is indicated:


VENGO a comer ¿Tiene una mesa libre?


VERB "IR"


With the verb "ir", the speaker reports that the subject is moving to a different place than he is. The verb can be used for the past, present or future.


The subject can be the speaker, as in the following examples:


Ayer FUI al mercado y compré fruta

The speaker went yesterday, from where he was, to the market, where he bought fruit.


Hola Juan, VOY al gimnasio ¿me acompañas?

The speaker tells us that he is going to the gym, at this moment, from where he is.


The subject of the sentence can be different from the speaker, as in:


¿IRÁS mañana a trabajar?

The subject is the interlocutor of the person who is speaking


Juan FUE ayer a casa de su madre

The subject is Juan, neither is the speaker nor his interlocutor


The verb "ir" can also be used with groups (we, you, them)


IREMOS mañana al cine


Mis amigos HAN IDO ya a París


VERB "IRSE"


Sometimes the verb "ir" is used in its reflexive form, verb "irse". What is the difference?

With the verb "ir", you are informed that you are leaving the place you are, without it being necessary to indicate your destination. The really important thing is that you leave the place. Look at these examples.


¡Qué calor hace! ME VOY de aquí

The speaker leaves the place without saying where he is going. It would not be correct to say "VOY de aquí"


But, even if it is not necessary, the destination can be indicated.


NOS VAMOS de vacaciones a Francia

The speaker emphasizes that he leaves his residence to go on vacation


VERBAL PERIPHRASIS "IR A" + INFINITIVE


With the verbal periphrasis "ir a" + infinitive a future action is expressed in the present, instead of using the future simple. You can express both a planned action and something that will happen soon.


Ahora VOY A ORDENAR mi habitación

Something that will be done soon is reported


VAN A CONSTRUIR muchos pisos en esta zona

Something planned is reported


EXERCISES WITH THE VERBS "IR" AND "VENIR"


1.-Mañara por la tarde [iremos | vendremos] al cine

2.- ¿[Irán | Vendrán] tus padres a nuestra fiesta de aniversario?

3.- [Voy |Me voy] de esta ciudad para siempre

4.- Tengo que ser más autónoma. [Voy | Me voy] a aprender a conducir

5.- Mis amigos [han ido | han venido] ya al teatro a ver Julio César

6.-Los Reyes Magos vienen [de | a] oriente.

7.- Me [vendré | iré] de la oficina en cuanto acabe este informe.

8.- Ellos [se fueron | fueron] ayer muy temprano

9.- Mi plan es [ir | venir] a España en noviembre

10.-Hola Juan, te llamo desde la fábrica. ¿No [vas | vienes] a trabajar hoy?

11.-Juan levántate ya. ¿No [vas | vienes] a trabajar hoy?

12.-Voy [a | de] seguir un régimen alimenticio urgentemente.


Solutions


1.-Mañara por la tarde iremos al cine

2.- ¿Vendrán tus padres a nuestra fiesta de aniversario?

3.- Me voy de esta ciudad para siempre

4.- Tengo que ser más autónoma. Voy a aprender a conducir

5.- Mis amigos han ido ya al teatro a ver Julio César

6.-Los Reyes Magos vienen de oriente.

7.- Me iré de la oficina en cuanto acabe este informe.

8.- Ellos se fueron ayer muy temprano

9.- Mi plan es ir a España en noviembre

10.-Hola Juan, te llamo desde la fábrica. ¿No vienes a trabajar hoy?

11.-Juan levántate ya. ¿No vas a trabajar hoy?

12.-Voy a seguir un régimen alimenticio urgentemente.


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