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"vamos" vs "nos vamos".

Both seem to mean "we are going".

What does "nos" add in the second case?


I selected a different answer, but the answer by @Diego is also great and works well in Google Translate.

Note for myself, please don't edit it: irse means "to leave", ir means "to go". Nos vamos seems to be derived from irse whereas vamos is derived from ir, and hence nos vamos means we leave whereas vamos means we go. The "tell" (for me) is the "reflexive modifier", i.e. the "se" in irse and the "nos" in nos vamos, which establishes/enforces the relationship between the two.

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    Google Translate does not disagree. One has to understand what GT means. In fact, vamos as go is a mistake. It's: Let's go. or We go or We are going.
    – Lambie
    Feb 26 at 19:51

3 Answers 3

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Both can be translated as "we are going", but that has two different meanings in English:

  • vamos or nosotros vamos means "we are going", usually to indicate going to somewhere/-thing, e.g. vamos a la playa – "we are going to the beach"
  • in nos vamos, ir is used as a reflexive verb and it means "we are going" in the sense of "we are leaving"

For reference, compare definitions 1 and 4 in the English Wiktionary or the Spanish equivalents about ir and irse.

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  • Clarificaton needed: nos is a reflexive pronoun (I think -- pls. correct me if that's wrong). Do you know if it triggers ir into becoming a reflexive verb? Feb 25 at 20:36
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    I'm not 100% sure about the terminology, I'm a learner of Spanish myself (and not a native English speaker either). The DLE seems to distinguish pronominal usage only.
    – Glorfindel
    Feb 25 at 20:43
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Vamos. means Let's go. Vamos a la playa. Let's go to the beach. OR: We're going to the beach.

Nos vamos. means: We're leaving or going (away from a place). OR: Nos vamos a la playa. We're leaving for the beach.

That is, when these phrases are used in speech like that.

irse, the reflexive verb can be go or leave but if you mean leave you need it.

  • Me voy ahora. I'm leaving now. I'm going now. To leave or go away from a place: irse.

To say leave use irse. Both irse and ir though mean go.

¿ Dónde está José? Se fue. [He left.]

¿ Dónde están José y Mária? Se fueron. Se marcharon. [They left.]

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  • It's only Google Translate, I know, but Google Translate disagrees: translate.google.com/… Feb 26 at 17:00
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    @thanks_in_advance Please understand: vamos meaning we go is right but you need context: Vamos a la playa todos los dias = We go to the beach everyday. (present simple tense: general idea) Just looking up individual words like that does not work. I suggest you not use it if you want to learn a language. So, in fact, Google Translate does not disagree. Even Google Translate needs context.
    – Lambie
    Feb 26 at 17:11
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La cuestión esta enunciada de forma regular.

Sin embargo, "Vamos" y "Nos vamos" no parecen significar "nos vamos" a no ser que lo estés preguntando con el sentido de "irse", ¿Vamos? ó ¿Nos vamos?.

Cuando se dice "vamos" estas intentando iniciar una acción junto con alguien ó animando a que te acompañen a realizarla, pero no es del todo seguro 100% que esa persona inicie contigo esa acción.

  • Vamos a jugar. Vamos al circo. Vamos de compras. Vamos a merendar, no, mejor paseamos. ¡ vamos, tu puedes!... ó preguntas con sentido de duda ¿vamos? ( vamos ó no, se sobrentiende el no). ¿Vamos? Pregunta si se comienza ó no la acción del verbo.

Cuando se dice "nos vamos" estas indicando afirmativamente, junto con alguien, que dejas un lugar, (Nosotros vamos a irnos - Nos vamos), "nosotros nos vamos" y puedes especificar alguna razón.

  • Nos vamos porque no hay tarta. Si no tienes dinero, nos vamos. Nos vamos porque nos has dejado en ridículo. ¡Nos vamos ya!... (Se cambia de lugar).

Otro sentido de nos vamos es utilizando los signos de interrogación ¿? ¿Nos vamos?. Cuando se pregunta o se afirma en una pregunta, indicando el momento de una partida.

  • Es hora, perderemos el tren ¿nos vamos?. ¿Nos vamos?, llegaremos tarde....

En algunos aspectos que indican prisa puede sustituirse ó añadirse la expresión "venga".

  • ¡venga, venga!, ¡vamos, vamos!....

Espero te haya ayudado. Saludos.

Diego

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