Learn Spanish Pronouns

By OptiLingo

Complete lesson on Spanish pronouns, including subject, object, prepositional, reflexive & relative pronouns. Includes Spanish demonstrative, indefinite & interrogative pronouns.

Pronouns

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

In Spanish

Indirect object

Reflexive

Prepositional

I

yo

me

me

you (singular)

te

te

ti

he / it (masculine)

él

lo (le)*

se**

él

she / it (feminine)

ella

la

se**

ella

you (singular, formal)

usted

lo (le)* / la

se**

usted

you (plural, formal)

ustedes

los (les) / las

se**

ustedes

you (plural, informal)

vosotros/as

os

os

vosotros/as

we (masculine)

nosotros

nos

nos

nosotros

we (feminine)

nosotras

nos

nos

nosotras

they (masculine)

ellos

los (les)

se**

ellos

they (feminine)

ellas

las

se**

ellas

 

*             Use le for an object pronoun referring to a person.

**           For multiple third-person object pronouns, use se (not le or les).

Possessive Pronouns

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.

 

Possessive

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Feminine

Masculine

Feminine

Singular

mi (mi amigo – my friend)

mis (mis amigosmy friends)

tu (tu amigo – your friend)

tus (tus amigosyour friends)

su (su amigo – his/her friend)

sus (sus amigos – his/her friends)

Plural

nuestro

nuestra

nuestros

nuestras

vuestro

vuestra

vuestros

vuestras

su

sus

 

Demonstrative and Interrogative Pronouns

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?

¿Qué?                                                                        What?

¿Cómo?                                                                     How?

¿De dónde?                                                               From where?

¿Adónde?                                                                  Where to?

¿Dónde?                                                                    Where?

¿Cuántos? (masculine) / ¿Cuántas? (feminine)     How much?

¿Cuál?                                                                        Which?

¿Quién? (singular) / ¿Quiénes?(plural)                    Who? / Whom?

¿A quién? (singular) / ¿A quiénes?(plural)              To whom?

¿De quién? (singular) / ¿De quiénes? (plural)         Whose?

Indefinite Pronouns

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.

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Feminine

Masculine

Feminine

a lot Mucho Mucha Muchos Muchas
all (that) Cuanto Cuanta Cuantos Cuantas
all (of), each, every Todo Toda Todos Todas
certain, specific Cierto Cierta Ciertos Ciertas
little, few Poco Poca Pocos Pocas
not, not any Ningún Ninguna Ningunos Ningunas
other, another Otro Otra Otros Otras
same Mismo Misma Mismos Mismas
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.

A Few Miscellaneous Things to Note

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.