Is there a difference between “ir” and “irse”?

Does adding the pronoun “se” to the verb “ir” changes its meaning in any way?  


Yes, the pronoun “se” makes a big difference.

“Ir a” means going or moving from one place to the other.

  • Ellos van al supermercado todos los sábados. They go to the supermarket every Saturday.
  • Ustedes fueron al cine ayer. They went to the movies yesterday.
  • Cuando el clima está agradable voy al trabajo caminando. When the weather is nice I walk to work.


“Irse de” means leaving a place, permanent or temporally. It is sometimes used with the connotation of abandoning a place.

  • Ellos se fueron del pueblo porque sólo estaban de vacaciones. They left town because they were only on vacations.
  • te fuiste de la fiesta por cuanto no te gustó. You left the party because you didn’t like it.
  • Su hija se fue a la universidad. Their daughter left for college.

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