In this lesson you'll learn how to use pronouns in the Spanish language. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or noun phrase. Three types of pronouns are personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, and demonstrative pronouns. This lesson covers personal pronouns and possessive pronouns.
Demonstrative pronouns are covered in the lesson This and That.
A personal pronoun is a pronoun that represents a specific person, object, or group. In English these are words such as I, me, it, and them. Spanish pronouns have subject and object forms, like in English, but there are also differences in how pronouns are used in Spanish.
Subject pronouns in Spanish are often omitted. They are still used though for emphasis or to avoid ambiguity. For example to say "I am tired", someone would normally say "Estoy cansado" instead of "Yo estoy cansado".
There are several forms of "you" in Spanish.
- tú is used when talking to one friend or family member. In some parts of Spanish America the word "vos" is used instead.
- vosotros is used in Spain when talking to more than one friend or family member.
- usted (often written as Ud. or in Spain Vd.) is used when talking to one stranger or one person in more formal situations. If you are unsure you should use this form when talking to a person.
- ustedes (often written as Uds. or in Spain Vds.) Is used when talking to more than one stranger or more than one person in more formal situations. In Spanish America it is always used when talking to more than one person.
Spanish personal pronouns have different forms depending on whether they are the subject, direct object or indirect object of a sentence. In English I is the subject form, me is the direct object, and to me is the indirect object.In Spanish the direct object pronoun usually comes before the verb. It can also be attached to the end of an infinitive and the command form of a verb. For example: Yo puedo verlo. (I can see it.)
The following table lists the basic subject, object, and indirect object of Spanish pronouns.
|Spanish Subject||Object||Indirect Object||English|
|tú||te||te||you (one person informal)|
|usted||lo, la||le||you (one person formal)|
|vosotros, vosotras||os||os||you (plural informal)|
|ustedes||los, las||les||you (plural formal)|
|ellos, ellas||las, los||les||they|
Note: Nosotros, vosotros, and ellos are used when referring to more than one male, or more than one male and female. Nosotras, vosotras, and ellas are used when talking about females only.
Pronouns can be difficult to master in Spanish. Here are some examples of how to use pronouns correctly.
|Soy yo.||It's me.|
|Son ellos.||It's them.|
|¿Qué haces mañana?||What are you doing tomorrow?
(Speaking to one friend or family member)
|¿Qué hacéis mañana?||What are you doing tomorrow?
(Speaking to more than one friend and/or family member)
|¿Me puede usted ayudar?||Can you help me? (Speaking to a stranger)|
|Los oímos.||We hear them.|
|El gato nos ve.||The cat sees us.|
|¿Viste la película?||Did you see the film?|
|No veo a tu padre en la cocina.||I don't see your father in the kitchen.|
|Los vi en el parque.||I saw them at the park.|
|¿Lo quieres?||Do you want it?|
|Aquí está una taza. ¿Quieres tenerla?||Here is a cup. Do you want to have it?|
|Aquí está el libro. ¿Quieres tenerlo?||Here is the book. Do you want to have it?|
|Hay la cuchara. Ponla en la mesa.||There is the spoon. Put it on the table.|
|Te dijo la verdad.||He told you the truth.|
|Dígame lo que es.||Tell me what it is.|
|Acabo de conocerle.||I just met him.|
Pronouns After a Preposition
When following a preposition, pronouns have the form shown in the following table. Note: yo and tú are used instead of mí and ti for a few prepositions such as entre and según, and when more than one pronoun is used.
|ti||you (singular informal)|
|usted||you (singular formal)|
|vosotros||you (plural informal)|
|ustedes||you (plural formal)|
|El regalo es para mí.||The gift is for me.|
|El regalo es para ti.||The gift is for you.|
|El libro es para él.||The book is for him.|
|La mesa es entre tú y yo.||The table is between you and me.|
Pronouns After Con
The preposition con has a few special forms: conmigo (with me), contigo (with you familiar), and consigo (with himself, with herself, with yourself, with themselves).
|Ellos fueron con nosotros.||They went with us.|
|¿Puedo ir contigo?||Can I go with you? (informal)|
|¿Puedo ir con usted?||Can I go with you? (polite or formal)|
|Él está enojado conmigo.||He is angry with me.|
|Ella está enojado con él.||She is angry with him|
|Ella está enojado consigo.||She is angry with herself.|
A possessive pronoun is a pronoun that shows ownership. In Spanish possessive pronouns have different forms depending the number and gender of the object that is posessed. The following table shows the different forms.
|vuestro||vuestra||vuestros/vuestras||yours (fam pl)|
|suyo||suya||suyos/suyas||yours (formal pl)|
|El dinero es nuestro.||The money is ours.|
|Ese libro es mío.||That book is mine.|
|Esta camisa es mía.||This shirt is mine.|
|Los libros son tuyos.||The books are yours.|
Here are some questions to help you learn Spanish pronouns. Use the familiar forms of you.
|I see you.|
|She doesn't hear you.|
|They hear us. (f)|
|The book is for me.|
|He is with me.|
|Do you want them? (m)|
|The money is mine.|
|The shirt is yours.|