VAIS: Conjugation of verb IR in Spanish for Beginners


One curious thing in English grammar is that there is no distinction between talking one-to-one with a person and asking “Are you going to the shop?” or talking to two or more people and asking the same question: “Are you going to the shop?”

In many languages there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in these two terms.

A conceptual difference.

But not in English…

I have taught  English as a foreign language  to people from differing linguistic backgrounds and some are quite confused by this unusual grammar point. But this is what makes language so interesting, all these little idiosyncracies!

So you think you are confused by Spanish grammar?

Guess what?

Spanish people are also very confused by ENGLISH grammar.



Take a moment to feel some sympathy for the poor Spaniards when they discover that, grammatically, there is no difference addressing one person in the intimacy of your own home or addressing a group of friends when you’re out on the town one evening.

“How can that be possible?” they ask.

But that’s why we love languages so much, right?


It’s a funny old verb IR in Spanish. 

This post is looking into what is known grammatically as the SECOND PERSON PLURAL  of the verb TO GO = YOU GO or YOU ARE GOING or YOU’RE GOING..

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about addressing ONE person, THE SECOND PERSON SINGULAR   Spanish for Beginners: ¿A dónde vas?

Now it’s time to broaden our social network and address two, three or twenty and more. (THIS MEANS SECOND PERSON PLURAL) 

Now start looking at the verb itself

Click on the audio link and repeat all the sentences recorded. Get used to hearing yourself making ‘funny noises’; also known as “speaking another language”.



VAIS is a bit like English ‘ice’ but with a soft ‘B’ in front (BICE). A soft ‘B’ sound for the ‘V‘ is Spanish.

VAIS means :


(speaking to more than ONE person)



(speaking to more than ONE person)



(speaking to more than ONE person)


Repeat the audio link again and as many times as you like/want/need. You choose. The more the merrier!

That was so easy!

Now for the questions.

For this you simply add an inquisitive intonation to the exact same word. This is so much easier than making questions in English.

Remember how lucky you are to be learning Spanish and NOT English as a foreign language!


With a ‘question’ voice, this now means, speaking to more than one person:

   DO YOU GO?  (e.g. …to work at nine?)


ARE YOU GOING? (e.g. to work tomorrow?)

How easy is that? VERY EASY!


Listen now to a native Spanish speaker (my daughter!) using VAIS in real sentences. Repeat after the first sentence, wait to hear her again and then repeat again to accustom yourself and readjust.

See this post about the benefits of repeating ALOUD your new language: Repeat, repeat, repeat…


La tienda = the shop   A la tienda = to the shop

VAIS a la tienda 

You (people) go the shop


You (people) are going to the shop

Australian (AUS) fans in green and gold cheering 2000 Sydney PG
Photo Credit 

La fiesta = the party      A la fiesta = to the party

VAIS a la fiesta

You (people) go the party


You (people) are going to the party

La playa = the beach     A la playa = to the beach

VAIS a la playa

You (people) go the beach


You (people) are going to the beach

La casa de Jane = The house of Jane (Jane’s house)

A la casa de Jane = to Jane’s house

VAIS  a la casa de Jane

You (people) go Jane’s house


You (people) are going to Jane’s house

By Nací con un pie yámbico [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit 
La estación = the station    A la estación = to the station

VAIS  a la estación

You (people) go the station


You (people) are going to the station

La plaza = the square ( in town where people meet)

A la plaza = to the square

VAIS a la plaza

You (people) go the square


You (people) are going to the square

Now for a couple of examples using masculine nouns where A LA changes to AL 

For more about his see How to say ‘To The’ in Spanish: A la or Al ?

El aeropuerto = the airport    Al aeropuerto = to the airport

VAIS al aeropuerto

You (people) go the airport


You (people) are going to the airport

Por Javier martin (Own work release donated to Wikipedia foundation) [GFDL (, GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( undefined CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], undefined
Photo Credit
El campo = the countryside       Al campo = to the countryside

VAIS al campo

You (people) go the countryside


You (people) are going to the countryside

Por Eduardo P (Trabajo propio) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], undefined
Photo Credit
El supermercado= the supermarket

Al supermercado= to the supermarket

VAIS al supermercado

You (people) go the supermercado


You (people) are going to the supermercado


Remember by putting on an inquisitive tone, all the sentences above will translate to questions.

It couldn’t be more simple.


      1. Yeah ofcourse….I am learning as bcoz you are helping me to do so explaining so lucidly through yr posts…I would request other followers of” marieryan” If u really have apetite for spanish plz do follow her blog and you wd certainly learn…thankz for teaching me spanish..hope to learn more…..from u….

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the way u teach ….so simple way…learning .Thankz a lot for uploading such great spanish.Now dreaming to stay at Spain countryside hahaha with spanish friend…😆hahaha..imagination hving spanish wings!!! Keep writing ,I wd be glued to yr blog dearie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your explanations, and true it must be so strange to the Spanish that we have no distinctions addressing a single person or more than one… the Spanish has an added depth of knowledge with its grammar and Spaniards must think English is a bit vague.

    I’ve lived in a Spanish village in the back of nowhere for about five years, so it’s a requirement to learn Spanish because no one speaks English beyond, thank you, good morning, and oddly enough fill her up?, I’m not sure where the guy at the petrol station learned that!

    Anyhow, the bane of my life were three things that don’t appear in English, firstly ser and estar – the permanent and temporary being, imperative and subjunctive, and lastly but not least gender of objects and things.

    I began to realise gender is like the Spanish conjugation of vosotros. There are many instances when I thought ‘why the hell is it necessary for a table to have a gender!’ for example, and it was especially difficult when a noun changed due to the gender of the object.

    But then I found sometimes it helped understanding by distinguishing between one of two objects where one was of either gender.

    In Mango I’d say to my Spanish girlfriend ¿vas a comprar algo?, when she was eyeing a blouse and a dress, and she’d reply, Sí voy a comprarla, and I knew she was going to buy the blouse. There’s greater expediency in the Spanish, and in general I love the logic and machinery of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly right, beyondtheduero!
      The preciseness and logic of Spanish is so refreshing…It really all works perfectly in the end! (and when it doesn’t, then it’s just great fun!)
      You gave excellent example with your Mango experience! I may use that formula on some of my students if you don’t mind, as a bit of a lesson starter: e.g., “Was novia referring to ‘el abrigo’ o ‘la blusa’, and how do you know?”
      Ser and Estar are the bane of most people’s lives…I spend many a long hours discussing this…In the end you’ll just FEEL it…you may already be at that stage by now!
      My first posts on my site were on this topic….
      Please take a look and let me know how I could improve on my explanations…
      Sorry for long post…(takes forever with only one hand at the moment!)
      I get carried away and too excited about Spanish….
      Regards. Marie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Florencia and myself speak Spanish 99% of the time, apart from taking Spanish classes that’s one of the best ways to learn, though not always possible – depends on love too!
        The gender comes natural now, but I’m still amazed how all these things come so naturally even to the most simple uncomplicated Spaniard, such as the shepherds in the village. In my eyes they’re like erudite scholars in that they speak complex conjugations in Spanish with such fluidity whilst not always thinking, and make no mistakes with gender.
        That said I still make mistakes with the verbs ser and estar, and sometimes don’t think the justification for one or the other is correct, but there you go!
        When I first started learning Spanish I always thought soy un diseñador, should be estoy un diseñador, I mean what if I change my job tomorrow and become a librarian!
        I’ll certainly read your other posts. I have a feeling that I’ve already written a lengthy tome on one of your other posts but it may be this one!
        Anyway use what you like of what I’ve written and I’m delighted we’re in contact.
        from Feria, Badajoz.


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