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Subject pronouns in Spanish

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Subject pronouns (pronombres personales de sujeto) identify who or what is perfoming the action indicated by the verb. 

Since the verb ending already tells who the subject is, subject pronouns in Spanish are generally omitted. 

Examples: 

  • (Yo) tengo un perro. (I have a dog.)
  • (Nosotros) trabajamos en Colanguage. (We work for Colanguage.)

Subject pronoun singular forms

Singular subject pronounEnglish translationExample
YoIYo tengo 26 años. (I am 26 years old.)
Youeres muy simpático. (You are very nice.)
Él HeÉl trabaja en una empresa de transportes. (He works for a transportation company.)
EllaSheElla es mi prima. (She is my cousin.)
UstedYou (formal)Usted es la culpable, Doña Paloma. (You are guilty, Mrs Paloma.)

enlightenedTú carries the accent mark to distinguish itself from the possessive adjective tu

  Example

¿sales esta noche? (Are you going out tonight?)  VS  Tu novio es muy simpático. (Your boyfriend is very nice.)

enlightenedÉl carries the accent mark to distinguish itself from the definite article el.

 Example:

Él tiene 24 años. (He is 24 years old.)  VS  El perro de Juan se llama Valentín. (The dog of Juan is called Valentín.)

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Subject pronoun plural forms

Unlike the singular forms, plural subject pronouns have a masculine and a feminine form. 

 MasculineFeminineEnglish translation 
 NosotrosNosotrasWe
Plural subject pronounsVosotrosVosotrasYou 
 EllosEllasThey
 UstedesUstedesYou (formal)

Examples: 

  • Nosotros somos de Valencia. (We are from Valencia.)
  • Vosotras vivís en Bruselas. (You live in Brussels.)
  • Ellos hablan muy bien el español. (They speak Spanish very well.)
  • Ustedes deben estar equivocados. (You must be mistaken.)

Uses of the subject pronouns

Since the verb ending already tells who the subject is, subject pronouns in Spanish are generally omitted

Anyway, subject pronouns are used in the following cases: 

UseExample
emphasizing the subjectÉl es lo que es inteligente. (He is the intelligent one.)
answering a question referring to the subjectQuién quiere un trozo de tarta? Yo. (Who wants a piece of cake? I do.)
making comparisonsFernando es más guapo que yo. (Fernando is more handsome than I.)

before:

como a / hasta / mismo / también / tampoco

- Yo mismo no me lo creo. (I myself cannot believe it.)

- Ella tampoco quiere irse a Amberes hoy. (She does not want to go to Antwerp today as well.)

when using Usted or UstedesEs Usted muy bienvenido. (You are very welcome.)

enlightenedSpanish has no equivalent way to express the English subject pronoun it in impersonal expressions

   Examples: 

  • ¡Es importante! (It is important!)
  • Hace viento y llueve a cántaros. (It is windy and it is pouring down.)

4 ways to say you in Spanish (tú, vosotros, Usted, Ustedes)

 Formal youInformal you
SingularUsted
Pluralvosotros/vosotrasUstedes

1. Tú

The singular form of you in Spanish is

It is the familiar way to address a friend, a member of your family and anyone you would treat with familiarity. 

Example: 

eres lo más importante para mi. (You are the most important thing to me.) 

2. Vosotros

The plural form of you in Spanish is vosotros

It is only adopted in Spain and it has the same uses as tú. 

Example

Vosotros habláis muy mal el inglés. (You speak English very badly.)

3. Usted 

Usted is the singular form used to show respect throughout the Hispanic world. 

It is often shortened to Ud. and it needs the capital letter. 

Example:

Quizá Usted pueda ayudarme. (Perhaps you could help me.)

4. Ustedes

Ustedes is the plural form used to show respect throughout the Hispanic world. 

It is often shortened to Uds. and it needs the capital letter. 

Example: 

Ustedes pueden decirme qué pasa? (Could you please tell me what is going on?)

enlightenedMost Spanish speakers from Latin America use Ustedes to express vosotros, so they use it in a familiar way. 

  Example: 

  Ustedes cómo se llaman? (What is your name?)

Usted and ustedes

In many areas of the Spanish-speaking world, it is more common to address a listener informally. 

Anyway, they are still used for the following purposes: 

  • show respect because of the title, rank or age. 

       Example: 

       Sra. Romero, qué tal está Usted(Miss Romero, how are you?)

  • addressing someone you have just met 

       Example: 

       Puede Usted decirme su nombre? (Could you please tell me your name?)

 


Exercises

  1. Spanish subject pronoun practice quiz
  2. Spanish subject pronouns - Fill in the blanks

Spanish subject pronoun practice quiz


Spanish subject pronouns - Fill in the blanks


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Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
5/5
Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
5/5
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
5/5
I would highly recommend Tove. Her lessons are fantastic and I learn exactly what I'm interested in. Tove is very friendly, our chemistry goes well together and I really enjoy being tought by her.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
5/5
We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
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Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
5/5
Daniela is a very pleasant and brisk teacher who has the talent to make you feel at ease immediately. Her lessons are a nice mix of conversation and theory. Again and again it is a nice hour to look forward to !! Thank you Daniela !!
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Dear Hilde, thank you very much for your words. I'm glad you are satisfied with our time together. I will continue to do my best to make you practice your beautiful Italian in a cheerful and peaceful way :-)
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5/5
It is always a pleasure to have English lessons with Corinne. The lessons are always a lot of fun and extremely interesting concerning on current affairs and unfortunately the time always ends too early. Very recommended.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
5/5
Carmen is really prepared and very very nice. She takes you by the hand and introduces you to portuguese language in a really pleasant way. I learned 3-4 sentences already on the first lesson!
Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
5/5
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
5/5
Marissa is a very professional teacher who can put the student at ease. It is precise, effective and oriented towards achieving the objectives: highly recommended.
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Thanks so much Paola!!! I LOVE working with you guys and have enjoyed every moment. Even after this brief period, we can already start to see some changes. :-)
5/5
I have had many lessons with Luisa and I always look forward to them. We begin by chatting about the past week's events and them move to Espresso which I find very useful as a good review of material I have done in the past. There is often additional words used I had not met before. Luisa is always a pleasure to talk with and is a kind and pleasant teacher. She corrects me gently and offers useful words or meanings when appropriate.
Dear Martin thank you so much ! It's my pleasure taking class with you. And thanks a lot for your suggestion about Us movies ( Just Mercy) or Us books
5/5
She is amazing. She is excellent at her job, with very innovative teaching methods, she understood exactly my needs and adjusted her techniques based on them. Totally recommended!
Thank you so much, Magda! I´m really happy you enjoy our lessons. You´re a great student and we are going to make a great lots of progress together!
5/5
I had my first lesson a couple of days ago and everything went super good! Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had. She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day. I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)
5/5
A prepared and kind teacher, ready to teach with patience and good humor. He provided me with very useful materials to study and review even after the lesson. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language with a smile. Thanks Silvia :)
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Thank you so much for the Chiara review! It was a real pleasure to have this lesson with you. I wish you a nice trip with the German language!
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5/5
Ekaterina writes new words and sentences learnt during the lesson. She has got a very nice attitude and great accent! A pleasure to work with... yes, even in German!!!!!
Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!
5/5