30 Frequently Used -IR Spanish Language Verbs With Examples

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    Written byJada Lòpez
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30 Frequently Used -IR Spanish Language Verbs With Examples

One of the first things you realise when studying a Spanish course is that there are three main categories of verbs in terms of their endings.

There are Spanish verbs that end in IR.

You also have Spanish verbs that end in ER and ones that end in AR.

That first group of Spanish verbs is exactly what this article is about.

Learning commonly used verbs is essential in Spanish for various reasons. For one thing, it will help you remember them when speaking with Spanish natives.

But also, learning Spanish verbs is important for conjugation.

As we said, in this post, we are going to focus on the most commonly used IR Spanish verbs.

So, let’s make a start!

What is an IR Spanish verb?

IR Spanish verbs are verbs that end in the IR suffix (in their infinitive form).

As we’ve mentioned, there are three main infinitive forms — AR, ER and IR.

For IR Spanish verbs there are regular conjugations and irregular conjugations that will take some getting used to if you are just starting to learn.

How to conjugate regular IR Spanish verbs in the simple present

So, conjugation is the backbone of Spanish verbs.

This is why we have started this post with how to conjugate Spanish IR verbs in the simple present.

Here’s how to conjugate the regular verb escribir in the simple present:

PronounSimple PresentEnglish Translation
YoEscriboI write
EscribesYou write
Él/Ella / UstedEscribeHe / She writes / You write
NosotrosEscribimosWe write
VosotrosEscribísYou write
Ellos / UstedesEscribenThey write / You write

What are the suffixes of regular conjugated Spanish IR verbs in the simple present?

When conjugating the Spanish IR verbs in the simple present, the suffixes are:

SuffixPronoun
OYO
ES
EÉL / ELLA / USTED
IMOSNOSOTROS
ÍSVOSOTROS
ENELLOS / USTEDES

Note that the vosotros suffix has an accent mark over the i.

What are some examples of regular IR Spanish verbs?

Here are some of the most frequently used regular IR Spanish verbs:

SpanishEnglish
VivirTo live
ExistirTo exist
OcurrirTo occur
RecibirTo receive
PermitirTo allow
CumplirTo achieve
DecidirTo decide
SubirTo climb
DistinguirTo distinguish
DefinirTo define
DeprimirTo depress
DividirTo divide
AdmitirTo admit
InsistirTo insist
ImprimirTo print

We’ve also put some sentences together that include each of these regular IR Spanish verbs.

Check them out just below:

1. Vivir

Vivo en España, en una aldea.

I live in Spain, in a village.

2. Existir

Él existe para protegerla.

He exists to protect her.

3. Ocurrir

No entiendo porque ocurre esto.

I don't understand why this happens.

4. Recibir

Recibo un correo electrónico todos los días.

I receive an email every day.

5. Permitir

No permite este comportamiento.

He doesn't allow this behaviour.

6. Cumplir

Cumplo seis años en diciembre.

I will be six in December.

7. Decidir

Deciden los resultados dentro de un mes.

They decide the results in a month.

8. Subir

¿Subís montañas cada día?

You all climb mountains every day?

9. Distinguir

Son gemelos. A ver si distingues entre los dos.

They are twins. Let's see if you can tell them apart.

10. Definir

Definen y dan forma a nuestro país.

They define and shape our country.

11. Deprimir

Me deprime que hay tanto sufrimiento.

It depresses me that there is so much suffering.

12. Dividir

Dividen nuestro país como si fuera papel.

They split our country as if it were paper.

13. Admitir

Admite que el trabajo es muy duro.

She admits that the work is very hard.

14. Insistir

Insisto, no voy a Inglaterra el año que viene.

I insist, I'm not going to England next year.

15. Imprimir

¿Me imprimes este documento?

Can you print this document for me?

How to conjugate irregular IR Spanish verbs in the present tense

Now, this gets a bit tricky.

Irregular IR Spanish verbs don’t follow the above rules in terms of their suffixes or structure. They are often conjugated differently.

Here’s how to conjugate the irregular IR verb oír, for example:

PronounSimple PresentEnglish Translation
YoOigoI hear
OyesYou hear
Él/Ella/UstedOyeHe / She hears / You hear
NosotrosOímosWe hear
VosotrosOísYou hear
Ellos / UstedesOyenThey hear / You hear

What are the suffixes of irregular conjugated Spanish IR verbs in the simple present?

The difficult part about irregular IR Spanish verbs is that they don’t have the same regular suffixes as regular verbs.

For the verb oír, for example, the yo form ends with -go, while the other suffixes are:

SuffixPronoun
ES
EÉL / ELLA / USTED
ÍMOSNOSOTROS
ÍSVOSOTROS
ENELLOS / USTEDES

This is a particularly challenging irregular verb. It has an irregular yo form and irregular nosotros and vosotros forms.

But there are certain ways to master irregular verbs.

Here is some advice.

e to ie changes

There are some verbs whose form changes from containing an ‘i’ to containing an ‘ie’. For example, when conjugating the verb mentir (to lie), the letter ‘e’ becomes an ie in the present simple tense.

In other words mentir would miento in the yo form. It is conjugated like this:

Yo miento

Tú mientes

Él miente

Nosotros mentimos

Vosotros mentís

Ellos mienten

Remembering this rule for words that contain an ‘e’ can help you conjugate them more easily.

Just keep in mind that the nosotros and vosotros forms retain their e.

ir to go (yo form) changes

There are other verbs whose form changes from featuring an -ir in the infinitive form to a -go in the conjugated form. The example we have given is oír.

Instead of ‘oío’, which would be incorrectly conjugated, the yo form of oír would be oigo.

o to ue changes

There are also verbs whose form changes from containing an o to a ue when conjugated.

One example is the verb morir (to die).

For instance, to conjugate this verb, the o in morir would be substituted for a ue.

Yo muero

Tú mueres

Él muere

Nosotros morimos

Vosotros morís

Ellos mueren

Keep in mind that the nosotros and vosotros forms don’t follow this rule.

But this pattern is the same for many verbs that contain an ‘o’, so use this rule to help you if you’re a beginner.

e to i changes

Then, there are some verbs whose form changes from featuring an e to an i when conjugated.

One example is the word competir. When conjugated, it looks like this:

Yo compito

Tú compites

Él compite

Nosotros competimos

Vosotros competís

Ellos compiten

Each of these rules are a few ways to start conjugating irregular verbs with more confidence.

Some don’t fit the rules, but these patterns are useful, so look out for them!

What are some examples of irregular IR Spanish verbs?

Here are some of the most frequently used irregular IR Spanish verbs:

SpanishEnglish
DecirTo say
SentirTo feel
VenirTo come
ServirTo serve
OírTo hear
IrTo go
SalirTo leave
PedirTo ask (for)
DormirTo sleep
MorirTo die
SeguirTo follow
RepitirTo repeat
ElegirTo choose
PreferirTo prefer
ConducirTo drive

Here are some example sentences featuring these irregular IR Spanish verbs.

1.

Yo no digo nada. Es una cosa tuya.

I don't say anything. It's your thing.

2.

Me siento triste hoy. No se porque.

I feel sad today. I do not know why.

3.

¿Vienes a la fiesta? Muy bien, hasta luego.

Come to the party? Very good. See you later.

4.

Este no me sirve. ¿Me das otro boli?

This one doesn't work for me. Can I have another pen?

5.

No te oigo. Hay mucho ruido.

I can't hear you. It's noisy.

6.

Voy a España mañana.

I'm going to Spain tomorrow.

7.

Salgo a las nueve de la mañana.

I leave at nine in the morning.

8.

Ellos no nos piden nada. Tienen todo.

They don't ask us for anything. They have everything.

9.

Duerme bien por la noche, cada noche.

He sleeps well through the night, every night.

10.

¡Me muero de ansiedad!

I'm dying of anxiety!

11.

¿Sigues con ella? ¡Que bien!

Are you still with her? How good!

12.

Repito, no me encuentro bien.

I repeat, I am not feeling well.

13.

Eligimos el coche rojo. Es nuestro color favorito.

We choose the red car. It is our favourite colour.

14.

Prefiero salir a las diez de la noche.

I prefer to go out at ten at night.

15.

Conduzco por la noche en la oscuridad.

I drive at night in the dark.

Get to grips with your conjugations to master the IR Spanish verbs

Now we’ve got to the end of our post, one thing you need to remember about IR Spanish verbs is that practice is important.

Regular IR Spanish verbs are easier than irregular ones, so spend time on your irregular verbs once you’ve mastered the regular ones. This will give you a foundation to work from.

Using flashcards to practice conjugating IR Spanish verbs is one helpful way to gain more confidence and learn Spanish. Another way to practice is using Spanish verb drills and fill in the blank exercises.

But don’t cheat!

Fill in all the answers and then check to see if you’ve got them right.

We know you’ll soon become more confident with IR verbs. Just keep practising!


Any tips you’d like to share for becoming a master of Spanish IR verbs?

Share them below!

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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