Using the Spanish Verb 'Salir'

Most common meaning is 'to leave'

woman in Barcelona train station
¿Cuándo sale el tren a Madrid? (When does the train to Madrid leave?).

Kseniia Ivanova/EyeEm/Getty Images

Although salir is a very common verb that means "to leave" in the sense of "to depart" or "to go out," it also has a variety of other meanings that may not immediately be obvious.

Fast Facts

  • Salir is a common verb that most often means "to leave" or "to exit."
  • In some contexts, salir can have other meanings that generally refer to the change in status, appearance, or location of someone or something as the result of an action.
  • Salir is conjugated irregularly.

Salir Meaning 'To Leave'

Here are some examples of sentences with salir's most common meaning:

  • Los Cubs salieron de Los Ángeles con una victoria. (The Cubs left Los Angeles with a victory.)
  • ¿Cuándo saliste por primera vez de tu casa con tu bebé? (When did you leave home for the first time with your baby?)
  • Mi avión sale a las nueve con destino a Tijuana. (My plane leaves at 9 for Tijuana.)
  • Voy a salir a comprar leche. (I'm going out to buy milk.)
  • Propongo que salgamos a la calle a celebrar el campeonato. (I suggest we go out to the street to celebrate the championship.)
  • Saldré muy motivado pero sé que no será fácil. (I will leave very motivated, but I know it won't be easy.)

Salir With Other Meanings

Here are some other meanings of salir with sample sentences:

  • to turn out: Me salió bien la prueba. (The quiz turned out well for me.) Salí enoja en la foto. (I turned out looking angry in the photo.)
  • to appear (often said of a bodily condition): Me sale pus de los pendientes. (I'm getting pus from my earrings.) Si lo tocas te saldrá urticaria. (If you touch it you'll break out in hives.)
  • to rise (said of astronomical bodies): El sol sale hoy a las 7:12. (The sun rises today at 7:12.)
  • to be published or disseminated: Estaba viendo el televisor cuando salió las noticias de lo que había pasado en Nueva York. (I was watching the television when they told the news of what had happened in New York.) El libro salió a la venta en los primeros días de noviembre. (The book went on sale in the first days of November.)

In a negative form with an indirect object, salir can indicate the inability to accomplish something: No le salió como esperaba. (It didn't turn out as he hoped.) No me sale este problemita de distancia entre 2 puntos. (I can't figure out this simple problem about the distance between two points.)

In the reflexive form, salirse sometimes refers to some type of overflowing or leak: Pese a que hace seis meses se crearon las nuevas canalizaciones, el agua se salía inundando las calles. (Despite it being six months since the new pipes were installed, the water leaked, flooding the streets.)

The phrase salirse con la suya usually means "to get one's way": Chávez se salió con la suya y Coca-Cola retiró el producto de la venta. (Chavez got his way and Coca-Cola took the product off the market.)

Salir can also be a part of some common phrases:

  • salir con (to go out with)Teresa sale con José. (Teresa is going out with Jose.)
  • salir de (to come from)La leche es un alimento que sale de las vacas. (Milk is a food that comes from cows. Salir de more commonly means "to leave" or "to exit.")
  • salir caro (to be expensive): Sale muy caro deportar indocumentados. (It is very costly to deport undocumented people.)

As always with words that have more than one meaning, pay attention to context in order to determine what is meant.

Related Words

La salida is a common noun with meanings related to those of salir. They include an exit or way out, the solution to a problem, a departure, the rising of the sun (or other astronomical body) and various kinds of output.

The adjective salido can refer to something that is bulging or protruding. It can also refer to an animal in heat (or the human equivalent).

The adjective saliente can refer to someone or something that's important or prominent, or to a politician who is leaving office.

Conjugation of Salir

Salir is often regular, but it adds a g to the stem in some forms and also modifies the ending in the indicative future and conditional tenses.

Here are the irregular forms:

Present indicative: yo salgo

Future indicative: yo saldré, tú saldrás, él/ella/usted saldrá, nosotros/nosotras saldríamos, vosotros/nosotras saldréis, ellos/ellas/ustedes saldrán

Conditional: yo saldría, tú saldrías, él/ella/usted saldría, nosotros/nosotras saldríamos, vosotros/nosotras saldríais, ellos/ellas/ustedes saldríán

Present subjunctive: yo salga, tú salgas, él/ella/usted salga, nosotros/nosotras salgamos, vosotros/nosotras salgáis, ellos/ellas/ustedes salgan

Affirmative imperative: sal tú, salga usted, salgamos nosotros/nosotras, salgan ustedes

Negative imperative: no salgas tú, no salga usted, no salgamos nosotros/nosotras, no salgáis vosotros/vosotras, no salgan ustedes.

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Erichsen, Gerald. "Using the Spanish Verb 'Salir'." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Erichsen, Gerald. (2023, April 5). Using the Spanish Verb 'Salir'. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "Using the Spanish Verb 'Salir'." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).