Today we will learn how to express immediate future in Spanish with the periphrasis IR a + Infinitive. Take a look at the blog of our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, and start improve your Spanish now! 😊

IR a + infinitive is a verbal periphrasis that is used to express immediate future. In many cases, this paraphrase indicates the subject’s intention to carry out an action or activity.

It is mostly translated into English as “be going to”.

Firstly, let’s see the structure below:

Spanish verb IR. The verb IR must be in the present tense and agree with the subject in gender and number
Preposition A
– Verb in the infinite form. This verb expresses the action that is going to occur or to be carried out by the subject

Secondly, the Spanish verbal paraphrase IR A + infinitive is used to:

1. Speak about planned actions that will occur in the near future.

  • Este sábado voy al teatro con mi hermana = This Saturday I’m going to the theatre with my sister
  • Esta noche voy a comer pizza y leer un libro = Tonight I’m going to eat pizza and read a book
  • ¿Qué les vas a regalar a María por su cumpleaños? = What are you going to give Maria for her birthday?

2. To speak about something that is very likely to happen because of current circumstances:

  • El cielo está muy gris. Dentro de nada va a llover = The sky is very grey. It’s going to rain very soon
  • Hay mucho tráfico en la carretera. Vamos a perder el tren… = There is a lot of traffic on the road. We are going to miss the train
  • Hace mucho frío fuera…si no te pones el abrigo te vas a enfermar = It’s freezing outside…if you don’t put your coat on you’re going to get sick

3. To express an order or a request

  • Estropeaste el bolso que te presté. ¡Ahora vas a comprarme uno nuevo¡= You ruined the bag I lent you, now you buy me a new one!
  • Venga, ¡vamos a planear nuestro viaje a Islandia! = Come on, let’s plan our trip to Iceland!

Furthermore, this periphrasis can be also used in past imperfect and future tense. In both cases the periphrasis expresses a plan, an intention to do something either in past or in a far future.

  • Cuando te irás a vivir en la India, iré a visitarte = When you go to live in India, I will come to visit you
  • Iba a llamarte pero mi móvil se quedó si batería = I was going to call you but my mobile was out of battery

Normally, in the past perfect, the periphrasis implies that the plan (what we were about to do) was thwarted for some reason.


When the verb in the infinitive is reflexive, the personal pronoun can be placed:

  • Before the periphrasis: Me voy a duchar
  • After the periphrasis: Voy a ducharme

We hope that our post on IR a + Infinitive will help you improve your knowledge of Spanish verbs.

As usual, we encourage you to continue practicing your Spanish inside and outside the classroom.

Finally, we remind you that our Spanish school is happy to provide you with Spanish lessons in Valencia. Discover more about our Spanish courses 😉

¡Hasta pronto!