Here are three verbs you can use to say you are leaving/you are heading out. First of all, we have to mention that, instead of saying “I’m leaving/I’m heading out” we usually phrase it “I leave,” in the present tense. We could think of it as an informal future tense (as in “I’m going to leave”), which in English can be expressed with the present progressive, but in Spanish, it’s expressed with the present tense. Here they are:
Of course, these are all reflexive verbs, and should be conjugated as such (me voy, te vas, se va, me fui, te fuiste, se fue, me marcharé, te marcharás, se marchará, etc.).
So the following would all be correct ways to say you’re leaving/you’re heading out:
They are not all equal, though. Here are some notes on each verb:
It’s the most common one, and we’ve already discussed it from time to time here in the newsletter. As you probably know, it’s the reflexive version of ‘ir,’ but they are not really related. ‘Irse’ is a different verb with its own meaning.
It’s kind of common. The meaning is the same, but it’s slightly more formal.
This one is interesting. It’s not slang, but it carries very strong connotations. It means to leave either in a rushed or in a sneaky way, depending on the context. (It is sometimes translated as ‘to get the hell out of a place.”) Here are two examples:
La reunión empezó a las 9 y duró cinco horas. En cuanto firmamos el contrato me largué de ahí tan rápido como pude.
La situación era muy rara. En cuanto tuve oportunidad, me largué sin despedirme de nadie.
And, finally, here are three less common verbs (two verbs and a verb locution, really) you can use to say you’re leaving/heading out (these are used mostly in Spain):
It’s slang. It just means ‘to leave’.
Me piro, tío/a. (Pal, I’m heading out.)
Same, but it’s even more slangish. It was popular in the 80s and 90s, especially in Madrid.
Me abro, tronco. (Dude, I’m heading out.) (Most people won’t probably understand this sentence.)
Hacer mutis por el foro
This one is not slang, and although it’s a little outdated, some people still use it. It comes from theater jargon. ‘Hacer mutis’ means ‘to leave the scene’, and the ‘foro’ is the back curtain from which actors come into and/or leave the stage. It’s used figuratively as ‘to leave’, sometimes with a connotation of doing it silently.
Lastly, here’s a very Spanish expression using ‘pirarse’:
Me piro, vampiro.
(This just means ‘I’m heading out.’ ‘Vampiro’ doesn’t add any extra meaning; it’s there only because it rhymes.)
What about ‘dejar’ and ‘salir’?
We wouldn’t really use them when we mean “I’m leaving/I’m heading out.” ‘Dejar’ is always transitive (it needs an object), and ‘salir’ means, more or less, “to exit an enclosed/delimited space.” You can read more about the differences here.
So many different verbs, right??