Spanish Subject Pronouns Are Easy Peasy!
In this lesson, you will learn the Spanish subject pronouns chart.
Keep in mind that I taught myself Mexican style Spanish. The Spanish I share here is more of the Mexican variety.
There are words that exist in other countries to express the word you as well such as vos and vosotros/vosotras.
In Mexico, these terms are not used. I am familiar with them but I do not use them myself, and I have conversed with many natives over the course of twenty years. I will explain a bit more about these after the lesson.
Spanish Subject Pronouns Chart
The very first thing you need to know is the first personal pronouns and how they operate in Spanish sentences.
Tú You (informal, addressing younger people or people very familiar to you)
Usted (which can abbreviated as Ud.) You (formal, addressing an older person or someone you do not know very well)
Note: The word it does not exist in Spanish in the sense of “it is.” How it is expressed depends on the context but as you learn more Spanish you will see that this is not a very difficult concept.
The word it does exist as an object, for example don’t do it, no lo hagas, no would be like don’t, lo is it, and hagas is do in the form of “you (familiar) don’t do it.”
Nosotros We (Note: Nosotros is we when referring to a group of men and referring to a group of men and women together. Nosotras exclusively refers to a group of women.
Ustedes You all
Ellas They (feminine)
(Ellos is they when referring to a group of men and when referring to a group of men and women together. Ellas exclusively refers to a group of women.)
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In addition, I highly recommend this book Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish.
This book delivers on its statement bringing you out of the rut that most Americans find themselves in when learning Spanish, so that you can converse with a native.
An important thing you will learn pretty early on in your Spanish journey is that Spanish verbs are conjugated such that it is not necessary to use the subject pronoun in every case.
There are times when one may include the subject pronoun for emphasis but that is usually not the case. Often you will need the subject pronoun for clarity.
Quien fué a la tienda, él o ella?
Who went to the store, he or she? (Notice in English we would commonly and incorrectly say him or her instead of he or she. In Spanish, this mistake is not made at all.)
If the correct person who went to the store was she, then you would respond, “ella.”
If the correct person who went to the store was he, then you would respond, “el.”
Notice above that I mention a certain grammatical fact in parentheses. In English, it is actually grammatically correct to say “who went to the store, he or she?” But so often in English we might say “who went to the store, him or her?”
It is important to note that these kinds of rules are not broken in Spanish. It would never be okay to use him or her in place of he or she even if one is a colloquial speaker of Spanish.
In Spanish, the rules of the language are broken far less, which means that once you have the rules pretty well in memory, the language becomes easier than English.
There are additional subject pronouns you will find if you travel to Spain and some parts of South America. ‘Vosotros’ and ‘vos’ are those used. Vosotros takes the place of ‘ustedes’ meaning you all, and ‘vos’ replaces the word tú. Vos originally comes from Spain but is not really used at all there anymore.
It is very important to be careful with the usage of the word vos because there are certain countries that view the word in different ways. The word vos can be used to indicate flirtatiousness or even homosexuality, and for that reason, it is important to be careful with the word vos. Since in Mexico, vos is not used, I do not teach usage of the word vos. This site focuses primarily on Mexican Spanish.
‘Vosotros’ is a word that is used pretty much exclusively in Spain. It becomes ‘vosotras’ when referring to a group of women.
Now, to practice Spanish subject pronouns, select the correct pronoun for each sentence.
_______ llegó al banco a las 3.
He arrived at the bank at 3.
_______ hablé con ella ayer.
I spoke with her yesterday.
(Notice that in this case ella also translates as her, and not just she. ‘Her’ will not always translate as she. Sometimes it translates as ‘la.’ Example. Tienes que recogerla. You have to pick her up. In this case ‘her’ becomes the direct object of the sentence. ‘Recoger’ means pick up and ‘la’ is the one you are picking up, making ‘la’ the direct object. In Spanish these two words become connected.)
______ fueron a caminar ayer.
They went for a walk yesterday.
_______ vamos a comer el lunes con nuestros amigos.
We are going to eat on Monday with our friends.
_______ van cada semana al zoológico.
You all go each week to the zoo.
________ va a cantar dos canciones esta noche en la fiesta.
He is going to sing two songs tonight at the party.
________ eres la más guapa de todas las concursantes.
You (familiar) are the prettiest of all the contestants.
Yo veo que _______ es muy inteligente.
I see that you (unfamiliar) are very intelligent.
Here are the correct answers to each sentence:
- Ellos fueron a caminar ayer.
- Nosotros vamos a caminar el lunes con nuestros amigos.
- Ustedes van cada semana al zoológico.
- Él va a cantar dos canciones esta noche en la fiesta.
- Tú eres la más guapa de todas las concursantes.
- Yo veo que usted es muy inteligente.
I hope that this lesson helps you understand Spanish pronouns better. If this lesson is too easy for you, skip ahead, and pick up your copy of Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish! This is my top recommendation for those of you who know basic Spanish and perhaps have taken years of Spanish learning courses and yet still find that you cannot converse with a native. Check it out!
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