Spanish verbs: “Salir” and “ir”

spanish verbs salir ir

Since the Spanish verbs “ir” translates to “to go” and “salir” to “to go out”, it has become a challenge for learners to identify when they should use one or another.

There are several things you need to do before using “ir” and “salir”. For that reason, if you seek to clear your doubts and make the most of your Spanish skills, you should keep reading this article.

Today, we will teach you how to properly both Spanish verbs.

How to use “ir”

We use the Spanish verb “ir” to express that we are moving away from a place. Thus, if you’re moving from one place to another, you can conjugate the verb and say “yo voy”.

Of course, frequently we provide more information and say what’s the starting point and what’s the destination. Sometimes, saying just the destination point is enough.

Before looking at some examples, let’s see first the conjugations of “ir” in the present tense:

Verb conjugation
Ir To go
Yo voy I go
Tú vas You go
Él/Ella/Usted va He/She/It/You (formal) goes
Nosotros vamos We go
Ustedes van You (plural) go
Ellos/Ellas van They go

You can either use “ir” in the infinitive form or conjugate it when necessary. Still, in all cases, it will help you express that you or someone is moving away from a place.

Now, let’s see some good examples so we can get a better understanding:

Me tengo que ir.

I have to go

Vamos al parque en la tarde.

We go to the park in the afternoon

Raúl va de casa de Camila a casa de María.

Raul goes from Camila’s house to María’s house.

In the first sentence, we are using “ir” to express that we have to leave a place.

In the second example, we are using “ir” to express that we will move from an origin location to a destination (the park).

And, in the last example, we are using “ir” to provide information about someone’s trip.

The third example provides information about the starting point and the destination. However, as you can see, we are using the structure “De…. a ….”= (From… to…).

In that particular case, the starting point is “casa de Camila” and the destination is “casa de María”.

You can also use “ir” to talk about your routines, and we can even combine it with the verb “salir”. For this purpose, we generally provide information about the destination.

Let’s look at the examples below:

Voy al banco dos veces a la semana.

I go to the bank two times per week.

Voy a salir esta noche.

I’m going out tonight.

How to use “salir”

We use the Spanish verb “salir” to express that we have to leave or move away from a specific place. Since it also means that you are moving away from a place, people usually get confused about how to use it.

To get a better appreciation of how we should use this verb, let’s see the examples below:

Tuve que salir del bar porque estaba demasiado lleno.

I had to leave the bar because it was too crowded.

El avión saldrá de Los Ángeles a las 3 pm.

The plane will leave Los Angeles at 3 pm.

Luego de terminar mis deberes, tengo que salir al parque.

After I finish my homework, I have to go out to the park.

Please note that in the first two examples, we are providing information about the starting point or the place we are moving from.

In the third example, there’s no specific starting location. Still, the verb “salir” emphasizes that we will move from a specific starting location.

On the other hand, you can also see that although “salir” usually translates to “to go”, it’s also equivalent to the English verb “to leave”.

If you don’t know how to conjugate “salir” in the present tense, feel free to check out the following conjugations. Nevertheless, if you already know how to do it, you can go to the next section.

Verb conjugation
Salir To go out / To leave
Yo salgo I go out / leave
Tú sales You go out / leave
Él/Ella/Usted sale He/She/It/You (formal) goes out / leaves
Nosotros salimos We go out / leave
Ustedes salen You (plural) go out / leave
Ellos/Ellas salen They go out / leave

Giving orders with “salir” and “ir”

In Spanish, we use the imperative form of the verb when we want to give orders. In this case, we use the verb “ir” when we want someone to go to a specific place.

On the flip side, we only use “salir” when we want someone to leave a specific place.

Let’s look at the following examples and clear our minds:

¡Ve a tu habitación ahora mismo!

Go to your room right now!

¡Sal de la habitación y cierra la puerta!

Get out of the room and close the door!

As you may realize, in the first sentence, we make an emphasis on the destination point. But, in the second example, we make an emphasis on the starting point.

Also, you can use “salir” as an alternative to “to get out”.

Should I use “ir” or “salir”?

If you’re still confused because of these verbs’ meanings, we are here to answer the big question. So, should you use “ir” or “salir”?

In simple words, if you want to highlight the destination of your trip, you should use “ir”. Nonetheless, if you believe that you should highlight the starting location, then you should use “salir”.

Only use “salir” as an equivalent to “to leave” or “to get out”.

Going out or just going?

In summary, both verbs express that you are moving away from a place. Yet, you must keep in mind what we explained above to make the right decision.

Pay attention to what personal pronoun you are using.

Don’t forget that Spanish conjugations may vary depending on the subject of the sentence.

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