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As far as I can tell there are two ways to say, "I have to go."

  1. Tengo que ir.
  2. Tengo ir.

Is the second way even right? And if so, which one is the preferred way to say, "I have to go"?


Hasta este momento, entiendo que existen dos formas de decir "I have to go."

  1. Tengo que ir.
  2. Tengo ir.

La segunda forma es tan siquiera correcta? Si lo es, cuál es preferentemente la forma de decir "I have to go"?

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Welcome to Spanish.SE, and thanks for the good question. We're glad you're here. :) – Flimzy May 10 '12 at 2:48
Thank you for the help. I hope that this website will help me improve my Spanish. – user706 May 10 '12 at 11:09
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Nope; there are more ways:

  • Me tengo que ir
  • Yo me tengo que ir
  • Tendré que ir
  • Tendré que irme
  • Me iré ahora

The exact translation of "I have to go" is "Yo tengo que ir", but that is not so correct:

I have to go on/this Sunday:

Yo tengo que ir el/este domingo

I have to go now:

  • Me tengo que ir | Yo tengo que irme | <= without using now
  • Me tengo que ir ahora | Yo tengo que ir ahora <= using now

I hope it helps!

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Awesome. All the answers I wanted to know that I was too lazy to ask in class. – user706 May 10 '12 at 0:57
If you want to make the difference... ask in class :) – user983248 May 10 '12 at 1:01

In case you are leaving someone, I would say:

Tengo que irme

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Do you have specific place you need to go? Without the reflexive, it may only makes sense with a particular destination, like “Tengo que ir al médico mañana,” or rather more rarely perhaps if you’re making a progressive tense, like “Tengo que ir cantando toda la noche,” as might be the case if you were in a tuna.

Otherwise, a reflexive “Tengo que irme” makes more sense, if what you mean is that you have to leave somewhere.

I guess there’s also “Tengo que mear”, but that’s a difference sense of “having to go”. And you probably don’t want to make that one reflexive. :)

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