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Translating 'Go' Phrases

'Ir' Often Not Needed

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English has literally hundreds of phrases that use the word "go" — and many of them aren't typically translated to Spanish using the verb ir. Following are some of the most common "go" phrases with a possible Spanish translation and a sample sentence for each. In most if not all cases, other translations are possible — as always, pay attention to context. As is often the case when translating from English, you may find it easier when translating "go" phrases to think of a good English synonym and try translating that instead.

Go about (often means "to do") — hacer para¿Cómo harías para cambiar al mundo? How would you go about changing the world?

Go after (chase, pursue) — perseguirDetuvieron a un comerciante que persiguió y mató a un ladrón. They arrested a shopkeeper who went after and killed a robber.

Go against (oppose) — ir contra, oponerseNo vamos contra el avance, sino contra la destrucción ambiental. We're not going against progress, only against environmental destruction.

Go ahead (begin) — seguir adelante, empezar, comenzarA pesar de no ser autorizado, Enrique siguió adelante con su idea. Despite not being authorized, Enrique went ahead with his idea.

Go along (accompany) — acompañar, ir conMi hermana me acompañó al cine con la condición de que le haga la tarea. My sister went along with me to the movies on condition that I do her chores.

Go along (agree) — estar de acuerdoEn el pasado, cuando alguien no estaba de acuerdo conmigo lo consideraba un fracaso personal. In the past, when someone didn't go along with me I considered it a personal failure.

Go away (leave) — irse, salirNo te vayas sin probar nuestros productos. Don't go away without trying our products.

Go back (return) — volverMi padre volvió a vivir en Buenos Aires. My father went back to live in Buenos Aires.

Go by (pass) — pasarPasaron muchos años en su carrera. Many years went by in his career.

Go down (descend, drop, decline) — bajar, caerseLos precios bajaron un 0,1 por ciento en EEUU en octubre. Prices in the U.S. went down 0.1 percent in October.

Go forward (progress) — avanzar, progresarProgresamos, pero hay, hermanos, muchísimo que hacer. We're going ahead, brothers, but there is very much to be done.

Go off (explode) — estallarUn coche bomba estalló el jueves en la ciudad de Monterrey. A car bomb went off Thursday in the city of Monterrey.

Go on (turn on) — encenderseLa luz se encendió con mucha más intensidad. The light went on much more intensely.

Go on (continue, last) — continuar, durar, pasar¿Qué pasa? What's going on?

Go out (turn off) — apagarseEsa fue la noche en que las luces se apagaron en Georgia. That was the night the lights went out in Georgia.

Go over (review) — repasar, revisar, examinar, inspeccionarLes hice mención que era necesario la revisión de esta ley y propuse que revisáramos más a profundidad este tema. I mentioned to you that the revision of this law was necessary and proposed that we go over this subject more deeply.

Go through (pass through) — pasar porLa jueza dice que las víctimas pasaban por Macachín. The judge says the victims went through Macachín.

Go through (consume) — gastarLos niños gastaban casi todo su dinero en caramelos. The children went through almost all their money on candy.

Go together (complement each other) — combinar bienQuesos de sabor más fuerte no combinan bien con algunos tipos de vino. Stronger flavored cheeses don't go together with some types of wine.

Go up (ascend, rise) — subir, levantarseEl precio del pan se levantará después de las elecciones. The price of bread will go up after the elections.



Sources: Most of the sample sentences are adapted from the writings of native speakers. Sources consulted for this lesson include: Foro-Cualquiera, Boca de Polen, RadiofmQ, Wikipedia en español, ForoActivo, Stereogardenia.com, Gorbeia Central Park, Yahoo.es, Twitter, Vive Lo Hoy, Caseus Mundi, Urbanas en Red Digital.

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