Spanish Subject Pronouns

Learn how to say the subject pronouns in Spanish


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Spanish Subject Pronouns Spanish Flashcards

singular plural
first person yo yoh I nosotros
nosotras
noh-soh-trohs
noh-soh-trahs
we
second person
vos
too
bohs
you (informal) vosotros
vosotras
boh-soh-trohs
boh-soh-trahs
you (informal)
third person él
ella
usted
ail
ay-yah
oo-sted
he / it
she / it
you (formal)
ellos
ellas
ustedes
ay-yohs
ay-yahs
oo-sted-ays
they (masculine)
they (feminine)
you (informal / formal)

 

  1. The various pronouns meaning you can be tricky to use correctly in Spanish. The informal forms are used to show familiarity with other people, while the formal forms indicate social distance. There are many factors that determine the familiarity or formality, such as gender, age, location, social class, etc. In general, informal you is used with family members, friends, children, animals, etc. while formal you is reserved for those to whom you wish to show respect. These rules are not steadfast though, and there is a lot of variation throughout the Spanish-speaking world. For example, usted is used among family members in Colombia, whereas most other Spanish speakers would use or vos. It is best simply to listen to which pronoun is used in the variety of Spanish that you are most interested in learning to figure out when to use each one.

  2. The use of vos as a second person singular pronoun, either in addition to or in place of , is called voseo. Old Spanish used this pronoun in addition to , but it became somewhat stigmatized when the standardized language of Spain stopped using it. Various regions of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela use both and vos, while Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay (known together as the Río de la Plata region) and most of Central America use vos in place of . Although voseo rarely appears in Spanish textbooks, it is used in some form by a majority (about two-thirds) of the Spanish-speaking population.

  3. Because every noun in Spanish has a gender, there are two ways to express it. If the noun is masculine, use él, which also means he. If the noun is feminine, use ella, which also means she.

  4. Vosotros is the plural form of in northern and central Spain only, for informal you. Ustedes is the plural form of usted for formal you. Since vosotros is not used in the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, Ustedes is both informal and formal plural you in these countries.

  5. Usted can be abbreviated to Ud. or Vd. (from the phrase vuestra merced). Ustedes can also be abbreviated to Uds. or Vds.  

  6. Nosotras and vosotras refer to a group of all females, as does ellas. If there is a group of people that is mixed (both male and female), use the masculine forms: nosotros, vosotros and ellos.

  7. Subject pronouns are often only used for emphasis or to avoid ambiguity when the verb conjugation is the same for different people (such as él and usted.)

 




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