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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. 


  • (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


¿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.


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 
Plural subject pronounsVosotrosVosotrasYou 
 UstedesUstedesYou (formal)


  • 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: 

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.)


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


  • ¡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

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


  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. 


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

  • addressing someone you have just met 


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



  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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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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