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Spanish Personal Pronouns

pronoun él

List of Spanish personal pronouns

In Spanish, there are 13 personal pronouns. The personal pronouns are always the subject of a sentence (nominative case).

PronounMeaning
yo I
you
usted you
(formal singular)
él he
ella she
ello it
nosotros we
(masculine)
nosotras we
(feminine)
vosotros you all
(masculine informal)
vosotras you all
(feminine informal)
ustedes you all
(formal)
ellos they
(masculine)
ellas they
(feminine)

Examples:

Yo como melón
I eat melon

Él trabaja bien
He works well

pronoun ella

Omission of the Personal Pronouns

In Spanish, you can omit the personal pronouns if the personal pronoun is attached to a verb.

(yo) He estudiado mucho para el examen de geografía
I studied hard for the geography test

*Note:

When there is more than one subject in a sentence, it may be necessary to include personal pronouns in order to avoid confusion. For example, in the sentence below, it is necessary to include the personal pronouns to avoid ambiguity.

Lucía y Raúl están en la biblioteca. Ella estudia medicina y él (estudia) química
Lucía and Raúl are in the library. She studies medicine and he studies chemical

Neutral pronoun

In English, "it" is frequently used. The Spanish equivalent of this is "esto", "eso" or "aquello" (NOT "ello", which is used to replace a specific noun).

Formal pronouns

In English, there are no formal pronouns. In Spanish, there are two: "usted" (singular) and "ustedes" (plural).

When do you use the formal pronouns?

  • if you don't know the person to whom are speaking
  • if you are speaking with your boss
  • if you are speaking with older people

Latin Americans and Canarian people don't frequently use the pronouns "tú" or "vosotros". Instead they use "usted" or "ustedes" in both formal and informal contexts.

Gender of plural pronouns

Summary of plural pronouns:

Only MalesMix (Males and Females)Only Females
Nosotros
Vosotros
Ellos
Nosotros
Vosotros
Ellos
Nosotras
Vosotras
Ellas

This is:

"Nosotras", "vosotras" and "ellas": is used if there are only females.

"Nosotros", "vosotros" and "ellos": is used if there are only males or a mix of males and females.




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