Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ir v. Irse

In Costa Rica use irse only when someone is going away for good. Anything that is only temporary only warrants the verb ir. So, if you're going to the United States to visit your family, say "Voy a los Estados Unidos". Don't say "Me voy para los Estados Unidos", unless you really are moving back to the United States. I used this last sentence once, which prompted a number of mushy text messages to my cell phone. After realizing what had happened, I had to notify people that I would be back within a few weeks.

Pura Vida,



Ralph said...

Even in "ya me voy" when, say, finally leaving a social gathering, after staying a bit longer than one had planned?

After all, one will never actually be returning to THAT particular get-together, as it will be over for good in an hour anyway.

That must still be just "ya voy"?

Thomas Carmona said...

In rural areas, most people would use the simpler version 'ya voy', even in the case you mentioned. In such a situation, though, nobody would think it weird for you to say 'ya me voy'. If you said 'me voy para los Estados' as I had said, then it'd be a different story.