Frying asparagus

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Here’s a funny expression:

Informal: ¡Vete a freír espárragos!
Formal, singular: ¡Váyase a freír espárragos!
Formal, plural: ¡Váyanse a freír espárragos!

This expression, which is a Spanish equivalent of the English expression “get lost,” uses the imperative form (it’s a command). As a reminder, we use the subjunctive conjugations for all the imperative persons except for (and vosotros, if you use it) in its affirmative version.

Interestingly, in this expression, we are not using ir (to go), we are using irse (to leave). So the literal translation would be something like “leave and go fry asparagus!”.

The cool two things about this expression are: 1. It’s not too strong-sounding, so you can say it to your Spanish-speaking friends without offending them! 2. It’s pretty international, so you can use it in most Spanish-speaking countries and people will understand what you mean!

Lastly, here’s a conjugation chart for the imperative forms of both ir and irse:

Ir – to go

  Afirmativo Negativo
Ve No vayas
Usted Vaya No vaya
Nosotros Vayamos No vayamos
(Vosotros) (Id) (No vayáis)
Ustedes Vayan No vayan

Irse – to leave

  Afirmativo Negativo
Vete No te vayas
Usted Váyase No se vaya
Nosotros Vayámonos No nos vayamos
(Vosotros) (Idos)* (No vayáis)
Ustedes Váyanse No se vayan

* This form is, of course, only used in Spain, and, interestingly, a lot of native speakers use it incorrectly; people tend to build it using the infinitive form (“iros”) instead of the imperative form. It’s so commonly done that the RAE has recently accepted this version as correct, although they still recommend the traditional form “idos” as the first choice.

Some asparagus, ready to be fried. / MUFFET, CC BY 2.0

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