Understanding the Spanish Idiom: "ir a más" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: Spanish

The exact origin of this phrase is unclear, but some scholars believe that it comes from bullfighting terminology. In bullfighting, when a matador wants to show off his skills or impress the crowd, he may choose to continue fighting with the bull even after he has already won. This act is known as ir a más because he is taking unnecessary risks by going beyond what is required.

Usage and Examples

Ir a más can be used in various situations where someone wants to take things to another level or push themselves further than expected. For example:

– In business: A company might decide to expand their operations into new markets or develop new products as they seek to grow their business.

– In relationships: A couple might decide to move in together or get married after dating for some time.

– In personal growth: Someone might decide to learn a new skill or pursue higher education as they seek self-improvement.

Here are some examples of how to use ir a más in conversation:

Estoy muy contento con mi trabajo, pero quiero ir a más y buscar nuevas oportunidades. (I’m happy with my job, but I want to take things to the next level and look for new opportunities.)

Nuestra relación ha sido genial hasta ahora, pero creo que es hora de ir a más y comprometernos. (Our relationship has been great so far, but I think it’s time to take things further and commit.)

He aprendido mucho en este curso, pero quiero ir a más y obtener un título universitario. (I’ve learned a lot in this course, but I want to push myself further and get a university degree.)

Origins and Historical Context of the Spanish Idiom “ir a más”

The phrase ir a más is a commonly used idiom in the Spanish language, which refers to the act of pushing oneself further or going beyond what is expected. The origins of this expression can be traced back to Spain’s rich history, where it was often used in military contexts.

During times of war, soldiers were required to push themselves beyond their limits and go above and beyond what was expected of them. This idea was encapsulated in the phrase ir a más, which became synonymous with bravery, courage, and determination.

Over time, this expression has evolved to encompass other areas of life as well. Today, it is often used in business settings to encourage employees to strive for excellence and exceed expectations. It has also become a common motivational phrase among athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are looking to push themselves further than they ever thought possible.

Usage and Variations of the Spanish Idiom “ir a más”

One way to use ir a más is to indicate an increase in effort or intensity towards achieving a goal. It can be applied to physical activities such as running or weightlifting, where pushing oneself beyond one’s limits is necessary for improvement. Similarly, it can be used in professional settings when someone wants to take on more responsibilities or challenges than what is expected of them.

Another variation of this idiom is irse por las ramas, which translates literally as “going through the branches”. This expression implies that someone is deviating from the main topic or objective and getting sidetracked by irrelevant details. It can be used both positively (e.g., exploring new ideas) and negatively (e.g., losing focus).

A third variation of this idiom is no ir más allá de lo necesario, which means not going further than what’s necessary. Unlike the previous two expressions, this one suggests caution and prudence rather than ambition and drive. It may be used when someone needs to complete a task efficiently without taking unnecessary risks.

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Cultural Insights for the Spanish Idiom “ir a más”


  • Exceeding expectations
  • Going overboard
  • Taking it to the next level
  • Pushing oneself further
  • Going all out


  • Holding back
  • Taking it easy
  • Maintaining control
  • Avoiding excesses
  • Staying within one’s limits

It’s important to note that the usage of this idiom can vary depending on the context and region. In some cases, it may be seen as a positive trait to push oneself beyond their limits while in others it may be viewed negatively as reckless behavior. Understanding these nuances can help non-native speakers better navigate conversations where this idiom is used.

Practical Exercises for the Spanish Idiom “ir a más”

In order to truly master the Spanish language, it is important to not only understand its idioms but also be able to use them in everyday conversation. One such idiom is ir a más, which can be translated as “to go further” or “to push harder”. This expression is commonly used in Spain and Latin America, and knowing how to use it correctly can greatly enhance your communication skills.

To help you practice using this idiom, we have compiled a list of practical exercises that will allow you to incorporate it into your daily conversations. These exercises range from simple sentence construction to more complex role-playing scenarios.

  • Write five sentences using the phrase “ir a más” in different contexts.
  • Create a dialogue between two people where one person encourages the other to “ir a más” in their personal or professional life.
  • Watch a Spanish-language movie or TV show and identify instances where characters use the phrase “ir a más”. Write down these examples and discuss their meaning with someone else.
  • Practice using the idiom in real-life situations by setting goals for yourself and encouraging others around you to do the same. For example, if you are learning Spanish, set a goal of studying for an extra hour each day and encourage your study partner to do the same.

By incorporating these exercises into your language-learning routine, you will become more comfortable with using this common Spanish idiom. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and keep pushing yourself further!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Spanish Idiom “ir a más”

When using the Spanish idiom ir a más, it is important to understand its meaning and usage. However, even if you have a good grasp of the idiom, there are still common mistakes that you should avoid in order to use it correctly.

Avoid Overusing the Idiom

One mistake that many people make when using ir a más is overusing it. While this idiom can be useful in certain situations, using it too often can make your speech or writing sound repetitive and unoriginal. Instead, try to vary your language and use other idioms or expressions when appropriate.

Avoid Misusing the Idiom

Another common mistake is misusing ir a más. This can happen if you don’t fully understand its meaning or if you use it incorrectly in context. For example, using this idiom to mean “to go further” or “to continue with something” may not be accurate. It’s important to learn how to use this idiom properly so that you convey your intended meaning clearly.

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