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Understanding grammar will help you on your way to foreign language fluency. When learning the Spanish language, it’s important to know about Spanish Pronouns. Pronouns are tricky words in any language because they take the place of nouns, and the word required to replace a noun depends on several factors.
It’s nearly impossible to speak a language without using personal pronouns. Without them, you have to continually say someone’s name to identify him/her. By using personal pronouns you can use a single, short word. However, personal pronouns are used less often in Spanish than in English.
Pronoun in English
he / it (masculine)
she / it (feminine)
you (singular, formal)
lo (le)* / la
you (plural, formal)
los (les) / las
you (plural, informal)
* Use le for an object pronoun referring to a person.
** For multiple third-person object pronouns, use se (not le or les).
The way the Spanish language indicates possession is somewhat related to the way it is used in English, but literal translation is generally not the preferred method. In English, you say the dog’s house, the cat’s box, and the girl’s toy. This form does not exist in the Spanish language. In Spanish, you say the house of the dog, the box of the cat, and the toy of the girl. This will take a while to get accustomed to. In addition, in some cases, you have to take into account the noun’s gender to ensure you use the right form of possessive pronoun.
mi (mi amigo – my friend)
mis (mis amigos – my friends)
tu (tu amigo – your friend)
tus (tus amigos – your friends)
su (su amigo – his/her friend)
sus (sus amigos – his/her friends)
Demonstrative pronouns are words that substitute a noun(a person or object) and place it in a location (near or far).
Este this (masculine) este hombre (this man)
Esta this (feminine) esta mujer (this woman)
Ese that (masculine) ese hombre (that man)
Esa that (feminine) esa mujer (that woman)
Estos these (masculine) estos hombres (these men)
Estas these(feminine) estas mujeres (these women)
Esos those (masculine) esos hombres (those men)
Esas those (feminine) esas mujeres (those women)
You can also use demonstrative pronouns without a gendered noun. This is called neutral pronoun and it never has an accent.
¿Qué es eso? What is that?
¿Qué es esto? What is this?
There are also pronouns specifically for questions.
Que that, who, which Conozco una mujer que sabe japonés. (I know a woman who knows Japanese.)
Lo que what, that, which ¡Esto es lo que quiero!
(This is what I want!)
¿Quién/quiénes? Who, whom? ¿Quién es él?
(Who is he?)
The following provides a more in-depth look at the primary question words that function as interrogative pronouns.
¿Por qué? Why?
¿Para qué? What for?
¿De dónde? From where?
¿Adónde? Where to?
¿Cuántos? (masculine) / ¿Cuántas? (feminine) How much?
¿Quién? (singular) / ¿Quiénes?(plural) Who? / Whom?
¿A quién? (singular) / ¿A quiénes?(plural) To whom?
¿De quién? (singular) / ¿De quiénes? (plural) Whose?
Indefinite pronouns do not follow such strict rules as the other pronouns, making them an ideal way to end the section. However, they tend to be used less frequently than other pronouns because you usually talk more in specifics than general or indefinite people and items.
|all (of), each, every||Todo||Toda||Todos||Todas|
|not, not any||Ningún||Ninguna||Ningunos||Ningunas|
|so much, so many||Tanto||Tanta||Tantos||Tantas|
|some, a few, any||Algun||Alguna||Algunos||Algunas|
Las mismas soluciones. The same solutions.
Muchos trabajadores no están allí. Many workers are not there.
Spanish does have a couple of contractions.
Al contraction of preposition a and article el
Example: Mandé una orden al director. I sent an order to the director.
Del contraction of preposition de and article el
Example: Éste es un mensaje del director. This is a message from the director.
All direct objects referring to a person or specific location (any proper noun) are preceded by the article a. There really is not an English equivalent.
Veo a María todos los días. I see Maria everyday.
Viajo a Europa todos los meses. I travel to Europe every month.
Finally, Spanish speakers do not omit the word that(que) the same way English speakers do.
Creo queesta cobija es muy útil. I think (that) this blanket is very useful.
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