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Conjugating IR in the Preterite Tense in Spanish

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  • 0:02 Conjugating IR in the…
  • 0:41 Conjugations & Structures
  • 1:41 Adding a Preposition
  • 2:39 Listen, Read & Practice
  • 7:09 Vamos a Practicar!
  • 8:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about the places you went or about some activities, like going shopping, in the past using the verb ir (to go) in the preterite. Also, you will be able to see how this verb has the same conjugation, in all its forms, as the verb ser (to be).

Conjugating Ir in the Preterite Tense

In Spanish, we use the verb ir (to go) in the preterite - fui - to talk about places we went and things we did.

Fuiste a la playa en tus vacaciones? (Did you go to the beach on your vacation?)

Yo no fui a la playa, pero fui a las montañas. (I didn't go to the beach, but I went to the mountains).

I would love some vacation so I could rest and then talk with my friends about how beautiful and awesome other places were. Maybe I would go to the mountains or the rainforest or the beach. Wouldn't you like that?

Conjugations & Structures

In English, when we are talking about the places we went, or the things we did, we use the preterite tense, as in, 'We went to the mountains,' or the construction went + verb + ing, like 'went shopping'. In Spanish, on the other hand, we commonly use the verb ir in the preterite tense + a or the verb ir in the preterite + de + noun as in, Fui a la playa, or Fui de compras.

Before we see more examples, let's see how to conjugate this irregular verb ir:

Yo fui
fuiste
Él/ella/usted fue
Nosotros fuimos
Vosotros fuisteis
Ustedes fueron
Ellos fueron

Adding a Preposition

Atención! Remember, just like any tense for the verb ir, most of the time we need to add the word a after the verb and add a verb in the infinitive form, like in, 'voy a comer', 'fuimos a comer', or a place, as in, voy a la plaza, fueron al centro comercial (shopping mall), etc.

Some other prepositions we commonly use are:

  • ir + en + mean of transportation: Fui en avión. (I went by plane).
  • ir + desde (from) / hasta (to) + noun/place: 'Fui desde el lago hasta el camino.' (I went from the lake to the road).

Listen, Read & Practice

Let's look at the conversation between Ana and Gabriela talking about their spring break:

- ¡Hola Ana! 'Cómo estás?

- Muy bien Gabriela, 'y tú?

- ¡Muy bien también! Fui de vacaciones a Panama City Beach y fui a la playa y al mar toda la semana.

Mis amigas y yo fuimos a nadar (swim) pero mis amigos fueron a jugar fútbol playero (beach soccer). Y tú, 'adónde fuiste?

- ¡Qué bien que fuiste a Florida! Yo también fui de viaje. Mis padres y yo fuimos a Cartagena, Colombia. Fuimos en barco, en un crucero por el Caribe y fuimos a las murallas (walls) y al Castillo (castle) de San Felipe de Barajas.

Todas las noches fui al mismo bar con mis nuevas amigas por su buena música.

Ahora responde las preguntas:

1. 'Adónde fueron Ana y Gabriela de vacaciones?

- Ana fue de vacaciones a Cartagena, Colombia, y Gabriela fue a PCB, FL.

2. 'Cuál de las dos (which one) fue de vacaciones con sus padres?

- Ana fue de vacaciones con sus padres.

3. 'Quiénes fueron de viaje con Gabriela?

- Los amigos de Gabriela fueron con ella.

4. 'Adónde fue Ana todas las noches?

- Ana fue al mismo bar todas las noches.

5. 'Adónde fue Gabriela con sus amigas? Y sus amigos?

- Gabriela y sus amigas fueron a nadar. Sus amigos fueron a jugar fútbol playero.

6. 'Adónde fue Gabriela toda la semana?

- Gabriela fue a la playa y al mar.

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