The verb to go in Spanish and the phrases ‘go to’ and ‘to go’, particularly when matched with words for places, can be very powerful tools. Knowing that ‘ir a’ means ‘to go to’ in Spanish is life-changing: with this single expression plus some vocabulary you will be able to say and to understand going to the station, the airport, a museum, a restaurant, or the bathroom, all in Spanish.
‘To go to’ = ‘Ir a’
How do you pronounce it? EER-AH
It is two separate words: ‘ir’ is the infinitive form for the verb ‘to go.’ And ‘a’ is a preposition that in this context means ‘to.’ So, putting them together, adding the place where you want to go, you will have a complete sentence:
‘I want to go to the station’ = ‘yo quiero ir a la estación’
‘She wants to go to that restaurant’ = ‘ella quiere ir a la estación’
With this phrase you are armed and ready to get anywhere! It is pretty easy to learn too, since you don’t have to conjugate the verb ‘to go’, only the verb ‘querer’, ‘to want’ in Spanish.
So let’s add some more useful locations to your vocabulary.
|The park||El parque||EHL PAR-keh|
|The museum||El museo||EHL moo-SEH-oh|
|The cathedral||La catedral||LAH ka-teh-DRAL|
|The square||La plaza||LAH PLAH-sah|
|The market||El mercado||EHL mer-KA-doh|
|The airport||El aeropuerto||EHL ah-eh-roh-PWER-toh|
|The building||El edificio||EHL eh-dee-FEE-seeoh|
|The pharmacy||La farmacia||LAH fahr-MAH-seeah|
|The store||La tienda||LAH tee-EHN-dah|
Make sure you take your time reading them out loud a few times.
Some of them might be tricky. Here is a tip: first, remember to put the emphasis on the correct syllable.
For example, in the Spanish word ‘catedral’ you might be tempted to pronounce kah-TEH-drahl, since it is very similar to ‘cathedral’ in English. Pay extra attention on those cases. The stress is on the last syllable: kat-teh-DRAHL.
Now, the ‘r’ there is a soft ‘r,’ not a rolling ‘r.’ But it is not as soft as to get confused with the ‘d’ sound right before it. Here is a trick: pronounce ‘data’ in English. Do it faster until the ‘a’ sounds are almost lost. And you will have the same ‘dr’ sound as in ‘catedral’!
Let’s put them to use!
Quiero ir a la catedral, ¿y tú? = I want to go to the cathedral, and you?
Pay close attention to this one:
Quiero ir al museo = I want to go to the museum
You never use ‘a el’ in Spanish, this expression doesn’t exist. Instead, there is a word, a contraction, that combines both: ‘al.’ It is always used before a masculine noun:
‘A el mercado’ → ‘al mercado’
‘A el restaurante’ → ‘al restaurante’
With feminine nouns, you will use the regular combination of ‘a + la:’
¿Tú quieres ir a la estación de tren o a la estación de bus? = do you want to go to the train station or the bus station?
More Locations in Spanish!
El edificio = The building
Quiero ir a ese edificio. Está en esa calle = I want to go to that building. It’s on that street.
El parque = The park
El parque está en esa calle = The park is on that street
El teatro = The theater
El teatro está en el centro = The theater is downtown
El cine = The movies or the movie theater
¿Quieres ir al cine? = Do you want to go to the movies?
How About Some Company?
Quiero ir al teatro con Sandra = I want to go to the theatre with Sandra.
Quiero ir al parque con Sonia = I want to go to the park with Sonia.
‘With’ in Spanish is ‘con.’ And remember that ‘a + el’ becomes ‘al.’
It’s all coming together, isn’t it?
See how easy? Keep practicing these structures and you’ll be able to find your way around, and go to places, and go for food in Spanish in no time. Plus, if you want to go shopping, don’t miss my next video and article where I show you everything about the verb ‘to need’ and some essential items.