Irse Command Conjugation

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

The Spanish verb 'irse' means 'to leave' and 'to go away' from a place. There are times when you want to ask someone to leave or get away from a place or the opposite, such as ask them NOT to leave/get away. This lesson covers both cases when the verb might be used as a command.

Time to Ask Someone to Leave

You are celebrating your birthday party and things suddenly begin to get a bit uncomfortable because a couple of friends have drunk quite a bit. They begin to break things. Time to tell them to leave! Hopefully, when you say 'Leave!' they will simply do it. You need the command form of verbs to give orders, but also tips, advice, suggestions, etc.

The verb irse (EER-seh) means both 'to leave' and 'to get out/go out'. For this reason, its command form may imply an uneasy situation although this is not always the case.

Let's begin with the command forms. After, we have some examples that show you the use of this verb.

Command Forms of Irse

Let's learn each type of command (affirmative and negative) through separate tables. Since the verb irse is reflexive (it ends in se), each command form requires a reflexive pronoun at the end. Note that while the table includes a pronoun, that's only so you know for whom the command is intended. However, do not say the pronoun; only say the command when you use it in conversation.

Affirmative Commands

To begin, let's learn how to give an affirmative command such as 'Leave!' for both formal and informal relationships. Formal would be at work or with a stranger whereas informal might be used with your family or friends. Both formal and informal commands can be directed to a single person or to a group. You can see that the command includes the pronoun 'we' because we often use the command form to suggest something to a group that includes ourselves, like when we say 'Let's get out of here!'

Irse (EER-seh) - 'to leave / to get out /go out'

Subject Pronoun Irse Command Pronunciation Translation
vete BEH-teh you (singular/informal) leave /get out /go out
usted váyase BAH-yah-seh you (singular/formal) leave /get out /go out
vámonos BAH-moh-nohs let's leave /get out /go out
idos EE-dohs you (plural/informal) leave /get out /go out
ustedes váyanse BAH-yahn-seh you (plural/informal) leave /get out /go out

Negative Commands

Sometimes, our commands are negative, like when we say 'Do not leave yet!' for both formal and informal relationships. In this case, we may include ourselves as when we say 'Let's not leave the party!' Here are the forms you need:

Irse (EER-seh) - 'to leave / to get out /go out'

Subject Pronoun Irse Command Pronunciation Translation
no te vayas noh teh BAH-yahs you (singular/informal) Don't leave /get out /go out
usted no se vaya noh seh BAH-yah you (singular/formal) Don't leave /get out /go out
no nos vayamos noh nohs bah-YAH-mohs Let's not leave /get out /go out
no os vayáis noh ohs bah-YAH-ees you (plural/informal) Don't leave /get out /go out
ustedes no se vayan noh seh BAH-yahn you (plural/informal) Don't leave /get out /go out

Just in case you are wondering, the pronunciation column shows the sound of v as b because this is how most Spanish speakers sound. In the days of old Spanish, the v sound was more similar to the English v, which you still may hear in some parts of Spain. Now, let's look at some practical examples.


A Drama on TV

Do you know the word telenovelas? It means 'soap operas.' One of the biggest industries in Mexico is the television production of soap operas. Here, we have a dialogue in which the female star tells the male star to go!

After a dramatic argument, she orders him:

  • ¡Vete de esta casa! (Get out of this house!)

The handsome actor makes his suitcase immediately while she is sobbing. As he is leaving, she changes her mind:

  • ¡No te vayas! ¡Te amo! (Don't leave! I love you!)

They passionately kiss and hug and the audience is happy. Note that in writing, we need an opening exclamation mark in Spanish to illustrate the drama or urgency in the command.

A Real Drama

Workplaces in which bosses micromanage can lead to some uncomfortable situations. Claire spends too much time gossiping and looking at her Facebook page instead of working. Her boss, Stephanie, has finally fired her. She calmly orders Claire:

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