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Spanish Pronouns

Spanish Pronouns
on March 24, 2017

 Personal pronouns

Personal Spanish pronouns are used to refer to participants in a conversation or in the place of nouns or names. 3rd person personal pronouns are also used to refer to animals, things or abstract concepts. Unlike in English, the choice of pronouns in Spanish may vary according to the formality used: “tú” is the familiar and informal version of singular “you”, whereas “usted” is the formal version.

Subject pronouns

Subject Spanish pronouns replace the nouns that are subjects (doers) of the verb. Note that in Spanish verbs are person specific, that is to say that they indicate the verb’s subject in the form of the verb itself. Therefore, the use of subject pronouns is less frequent and only used for emphasis or clarity. 

Prepositional pronouns

Prepositional Spanish pronouns function as objects of preposition and they are identical to subject pronouns except for the “yo” and “tú” forms. These two generally take the forms “mí” and “ti”, except when following prepositions like “entre” (between), “Excepto/menos” (Except), “hasta/incluso” (even/including) and “como” (as/like) that they retain their subject pronoun. form

Object pronouns

Object pronouns identify the who or the what that receives the action from the verb, while the indirect object pronoun is the one who benefit from the action of the verb. The main difference between English and Spanish object pronouns is that they are normally placed before the verb

For example:                   They saw him = (Ellos) lo vieron

For example:                    She hired them = (Ella) los/las contrato

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are those we use when the subject and the object of the verb are the same. That is to say, they always work with reflexive verbs to show that the subject is performing the action on himself. These type of sentences are common in Spanish and are generally related to daily routines.

For example:                   I get up (myself). = Me levanto.

For example:                   You comb your hair (yourself). = Te peinas el pelo.

Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns are used to link two parts of a sentence which have something in common. The Spanish relative pronoun “que” is a multipurpose pronoun since it can be used to people and things, regardless of gender and number characteristic.

For example:                   I know a man who knows Spanish. = Conozco un hombre QUE sabe español.

For example:                   I have an ebook which teaches you Spanish rules simply. = Tengo un ebook QUE te enseña las reglas del español facilmente.

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish agree in gender and number with the noun they represent. That is to say if the demonstrative pronouns is referring to a woman, it will take a feminine singular form, “esta” or “aquella”; but if it is referring to three men it will take a masculine plural form “estos” or “aquellos”. There are also three singular demonstrative pronouns which are neuter in gender “esto”, “eso” and “aquello”.

For example:                   This (ebook) is better than the others. = Este (libro) es major que los otros.

For example:                   These are first class linguists. = Estos son linguistas de primera categoría.

Indefinite pronouns

As in English, indefinite pronouns in Spanish are used to refer to no particular person or thing, and they can be singular or plural. However, in Spanish, some indefinite pronouns must agree in gender with the feminine or masculine nouns they refer to.

For example:                   Somebody called me last night. = Alguien me llamó anoche.

For example:                   Some think that Spanish is difficult. = Algunos/algunas creen que el español es dificil.

Interrogative pronouns

As in English, Spanish interrogative pronouns are used about who, what, which, where, when, etc. Note that they are written the same as most relative pronouns with the difference that interrogative pronouns take accents.

For example:                   What language do you prefer? = ¿ Qué idioma prefieres?

For example:                   Where is Colombia? = ¿Dónde está Colombia?

If you want to go back and review Spanish nouns, we have this post for you!

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