Today we talk about the difference between the Spanish verbs IR and VENIR. If you do not know exactly when to use one or another, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem provides here a short explanation to help you avoid mistakes.
IR and VENIR are two verbs that Spanish students usually learn at the very beginning of the Spanish course. In fact, these are basic Spanish verbs that you absolutely must know to ask for/ to give very simple information or to hold a daily life conversation.
Nevertheless, foreigner students make mistakes when it comes to use them, as the their meaning in Spanish can be different from the ones they have in other languages, like English, and Italian. In fact, while venir is always translated into English as “to come”, the Spanish verb ir does not have only one translation, as it can mean either “to go” or “to come”, according to the situation.
First of all, in Spanish both verbs express movement from one place to another. Therefore, in order to make the right choice, we have to consider the speaker’s position.
The verb IR
The verb IR is used to indicate the movement of the speaking person from the place where he/she is to another place, regardless of the place where the person that he/she is talking to is.
Voy a tu casa = I am coming to your house
Iré a recogerte sobre las ocho de la mañana = I will pick you up around 8 a.m.
- The speaker is going from the place where he/she is to another one (the hearer’s house)
¿Vamos al concierto de jazz esta noche? = Shall we go to the jazz concert tonight?
- Both speaker and hearer will move to a third place.
In all the above mentioned cases, we use the verb IR whether the person we are speaking to will be at the destination or not. In fact, we use IR in both sentences while in the English translation we use two different verbs: “to come”, when the speaker is going to the place where the hearer is / “to go” to mean a third place where neither the speaker nor the other person is or is expected to be.
The verb VENIR
We use the verb VENIR to indicate the movement of a person to the place where the speaking person is/was or will be.
Mi hermana vino al restaurante donde estaba cenando = My sister came to the restaurant where I was having dinner
¿Vendrás a mi espectáculo de ballet? = Will you come to my ballet show?
In all these case, the person who is performing the action went/go or will go to the place where the speaker is/was or will be. That is, a restaurant in the first case and the ballet show in the second one.
We also use VENIR when the person that performs the action went/go or will go to third place together with the speaker:
Voy a la playa. ¿Vienes conmigo? = I am going to the beach? Will you come with me?
Esta noche vamos a una fiesta. Pilar viene con nosotras = Tonight we are going to a party. Pilar is also coming.
Lastly, we use VENIR DE to express the origin (the place a person is native of) or the place we are coming from.
Mark viene de Inglaterra = Mark is from England
Vengo del despacho = I am coming from the office
To better understand the difference between these Spanish verbs, get a look at these phrases.
– Mario viene de la universidad y luego va a la exposición de arte contemporáneo.
– Estoy en casa. ¿Vienes y vemos una película?
– Vengo del trabajo y luego iré a la ópera. ¿Te apetece venir conmigo?
We really hope you found this blog useful to master the two Spanish verbs IR and VENIR.
Finally, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem invites you to keep working on your Spanish, improving your speaking skills by learning new verbs and expressions.
Although our Spanish school in temporarily closed, we continue teaching Spanish online. Get in contact with us to know more about this option.
Till the next blog!