Spanish YO-GO Verbs

Overview

A small number of verbs have a -go ending in the present tense in their "yo" form. In some cases only the yo form changes, but some are irregular in other forms too.

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Do you know what Spanish “go verbs” are? What about “yo-go” verbs?

These two terms actually mean the same thing—they refer to a category of irregular Spanish verbs. When conjugated in the present indicative, these verbs end in -go in the first person (yo) form.

For example:

Yo hago mi tarea. (hacer)
I do my homework.

Yo pongo mi cuaderno en el escritorio. (poner)
I put my notebook on the desk.

Tengo dos hermanas. (tener)
I have two sisters.

Keep reading to learn all about the “go verbs” and how to use them to speak about yourself in the present tense! 

9 Most Common Go Verbs

Even though it means “to go,” the Spanish verb ir is not a “go verb” because its first-person present-tense conjugation is voy

Here are the 9 most common “go verbs” in Spanish, along with their English translation and first-person present-tense conjugation.

  • Decir – to say – digo  
  • Hacer – to do, to make – hago
  • Poner – to put – pongo
  • Salir – to leave, to go out – salgo
  • Tener – to have – tengo
  • Venir – to come – vengo
  • Caer – to fall – caigo
  • Traer – to bring – traigo
  • Oír – to hear – oigo

In some cases, only the yo form changes, whereas some of these verbs are also irregular in other forms. 

And did you notice that “go verbs” only include verbs ending in -ir and -er? There’s not an –ar verb to be found in this category! 

3 Categories of Go Verbs

Spanish “go verbs” fall into three categories. Let’s go through them one by one. Nearly 80 Spanish verbs fall into this category in Spanish, but they’re all derived from the ones listed below.

1. Hacer Go Verbs

The verb hacer is one of the most frequently used “go verbs” in Spanish. We form the following “go verbs” using hacer with a prefix: 

  • Rehacer – to redo
  • Deshacer – to undo
  • Contrahacer – to counterfeit
  • Satisfacer – to satisfy

Although these prefixes change the meaning of the main verb, the conjugation pattern remains the same as the root verb (hacer).

Example Sentences

Hago mis ejercicios en la tarde. 
I’m doing my exercises in the afternoon.

Yo hago mi cama todas las mañanas.
I make my bed every morning.

PRO TIP! The subject yo is optional. It’s not necessary to use the subject in sentences in the first person, since the verb conjugation tells you who the subject is.

Como periodista, rehago mis artículos para que queden perfectos. 
As a journalist, I rework my articles to make them perfect.

Yo deshago todo mi trabajo.
I undo all my work.

Contrahago una obra de arte.
I counterfeit a work of art.

Satisfago las necesidades de mis clientes. 
I satisfy my customers’ needs.

2. +G Verbs

The second category of “go verbs” in Spanish are conjugated regularly in the present indicative, except for the first person conjugation (yo) form, where you must add a g before the suffix -o.

These verbs include: 

  • Oír – to hear
  • Poner – to put
  • Salir – to leave, to go out
  • Tener – to have
  • Valer – to be worth
  • Venir  – to come
  • Asir – to grasp

The verb poner conjugates to pongo, rather than pono in the first person simple present indicative. Likewise, it’s salgo (not salo) for salir.

Example Sentences

Oigo un ruido raro afuera en el patio. 
I hear a strange noise outside in the garden.

Pongo lechuga, zanahoria y cebolla en la ensalada
I’m putting lettuce, carrots and onions in the salad.

Salgo mañana con mis amigas. 
I’m going out with my friends tomorrow. 

Tengo tres perros peludos.
I have three furry dogs.

¿Cuánto valgo para la organización?
How much am I worth to the organisation?

Yo vengo de la oficina.
I’m coming (home) from the office.

Yo asgo las maletas.
I take the suitcases.

3. -igo Verbs

Lastly, for a few verbs including, we simply add -igo as the first person present tense verb ending. These Spanish verbs include:

  • Decir – to say
  • Caer – to fall 
  • Traer – to bring

Example Sentences

Digo la verdad.  
I’m telling the truth.

Yo digo lo que pienso es correcto.
I say what I think is right.

¡No caigo en esa trampa!  
I’m not falling in that trap!

A veces me caigo bajando las escaleras.
I sometimes fall going downstairs.

Traigo pan de banano y té de menta.  
I’m bringing banana bread and mint tea.

Yo traigo mi maleta al aeropuerto.
I bring my suitcase to the airport.

PRO TIP! The yo-go verbs also add the medial -g– (or -ig- when the root ends in a vowel) in the present subjunctive. For example: tener – tenga, decir – digas, venir – vengan, and hacer – hagamos.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

Writing:
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
Reading:
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
Listening:
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.