Spanish verbs: (Ir a) + (infinitive)

ir a plus infinitive spanish verbs

In Spanish, we use the structure Ir a + infinitivo when we want to express something that we will do in the future. That’s common in spoken Spanish. Some native speakers call it el Futuro Máximo. Yet, in most cases, Spanish speakers just talk about “Futuro” in general and don’t need to be specific. For example, Nosotros vamos a leer mucho (We are going to read so much). We use the alternative in English going to.


A verbo en infinitivo is a verb that expresses action, but it doesn’t specify the verbal tense, person, or mode. Learning how to use Ir a + Infinitivo will help you not only to talk about future events. Also, events in the past, and many other things in your routine and daily tasks. For that reason, Ir a + infinitivo is a must-have tool you need in your toolbox and here we will show you how to use it properly.


How to use Ir a + Infinitivo.


The first thing you need to know is that when using this structure, you don’t have to use “ir” in the infinitive form—generally, Spanish speakers conjugate “ir” in the present tense. Then, let’s see below how to do this.


Yo– Voy

Tú– Vas

Él/ Ella/ Cosa- Va

Nosotros– Vamos

Vosotros- Vais

Ellos/ Ustedes- Van


Please note that all of these conjugations are in indicative form. The preposition /a/ remains in the structure because it serves as a connector to the second act which is the verb in the infinitive form. In this structure, “ir” is an auxiliary verb and the verb in the infinitive form is the main verb. The formula to build sentences with this structure would be:


Subject + Ir a (Present indicative)  + Main verb (infinitive)  +complement.


Let’s see some examples to get a better idea.


Ellos van a comer algo en el restaurante de mi padrino mañana.

They are going to eat something at my godfather’s restaurant tomorrow.


Voy a comprar algunas cosas al supermercado, ¿necesitas que te traiga algo?

I’m going to buy some things at the supermarket, do you need me to bring you something?


Está tronando demasiado fuerte, creo que va a llover muy pronto

It’s thundering too loud, I think it’s going to rain very soon


Just like its English counterpart, we can use ir a + infinitivo to talk about plans or things we indeed want to do in the near future. Keep in mind that placing this structure in a sentence is quite simple and there’s nothing ‘mandatory’. In other words, it is not mandatory to put it in the middle of the sentence or beginning. It’ll all depend on how you want to express yourself. Of course, in some situations, de subject might be implicit in the conversation and you must pay attention to the context.


In particular cases, we can use this structure for other verb tenses to express an intention. For example, the imperfecto, futuro simple o compuesto, and so on. Let’s see it more in-depth.


How to use the Ir a + Infinitivo in Pasado Imperfecto.


Even though Spanish speakers use the structure ir a + Infinitivo to talk about plans, you can use it in different tenses. One of them is el pasado imperfecto or indefinito. In this case, you can use it to talk about things you planned in the past that didn’t take place in the “future” or, let’s say, the present time. Let’s see a few examples.


Íbamos a ir al café de la esquina, pero estaba cerrado.

We were going to go to the cafe on the corner, but it was closed


Probablemente llamará más tarde, iba a estar un poco ocupada

She’ll probably call later, she was going to be a little busy.


No quería salir de casa hoy, iba a pasar tiempo con mi familia.

I didn’t want to leave the house today; I was going to spend time with my family.


Although we generally use ir a + infinitivo in el pasado imperfecto to talk about unfinished plans, we can also use it to express probability. Take for example the second sentence above. There, saying  “Iba a estar un poco ocupada” is correct but we aren’t completely sure if the person was busy or not. We were just making an assumption.


How to use the Ir a + Infinitivo in Futuro Simple


You’re probably wondering why we have made a section about el futuro simple if you can use ir a + infinitivo in the present tense to talk about future plans. When we talk about future, we can “divide” it into near futuro or futuro cercano and far future or “futuro lejano”. Using el futuro simple to conjugate the structure ir a + infintivo will help us talk about plans but in the far future.


When we use ir a + infinitivo to talk about far future plans helps you express that even though everything should go as planned, you aren’t 100% that it’ll be that way. Let’s see a few examples to get a better understanding.


Iremos a ver el partido de mañana en el estadio.

We’re going to watch tomorrow’s game at the stadium.


Iré a estudiar a la universidad el siguiente año

I will go to college next year


Irá a comer a casa de Michael por la tarde

She will go to Michael’s house in the afternoon.


As you may see, you can use time expressions to provide more information about the time you think the action will take place. Yet, no matter if you provide that information or not, you’re still expressing that you aren’t 100% sure that it will, indeed, take place. Also, the main verb will remain in the infinitive form.


Generally speaking, using the structure ir a + infinitivo isn’t a difficult thing. But, you must pay attention to the way you conjugate the verb “ir” it will help you express different things. In most cases, Spanish speakers use it in the present time, but you now know that using other tenses is also helpful. If you need to provide more information, using time expressions or phrases like “por la mañana, en la tarde, el año que viene” is undoubtedly a good choice. Keep practicing day and night, keep in mind that practice is essential to achieve success. Mastering ir a + infinitivo won’t take your sleep and will enhance your communication in Spanish.



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