Spanish Grammar: Personal Pronouns

Spanish Grammar: Personal Pronouns

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Identify

Spanish Grammar: Personal Pronouns
la gramática española: los pronombres personales

  • Most often teamed up with verbs.
  • Identify the source or origin of an action.

Study

In English, we don’t use grammar to address people formally and informally. But in Spanish, different subject pronouns and verb conjugations are used to address different people.

Personal Pronouns
YO : I NOSOTROS(AS) : We
 : You (familiar) VOSOTROS(AS) : Y’all
ÉL / ELLA / USTED : He / She / You (formal) ELLOS / ELLAS / USTEDES : They / You (plural)

The yo form lets us talk about ourselves in the first person!

The form is used to address people informally (familiar). It is usually used with small children, pets, family members, and friends.

The usted form is used to address people formally (polite). It is used in professional conversations, with people of authority (to teachers, administrators, managers), strangers, and older people as a sign of respect.

The pronouns nosotros, vosotros, and ellos all reflect groups of males exclusively OR groups of mixed sex. If there is a group of nine women, and one man enters, the group is now grammatically masculine (ellos). (Sorry ladies!)

The pronouns nosotras, vosotras, and ellas denote groups of women only.

In Spain, vosotros and vosotras (y’all / alls y’all – masc. and fem.) is often used to informally address a group of people. For example, a professor may choose to address his or her students collectively as vosotros. However, this professor may choose to address his or her colleagues with ustedes (you – group/formal), denoting respect and distance.

In Latin America the vosotros form is not used very often. Ustedes is used in addressing groups formally and informally.

Adapt

¿Cómo se llama usted?
What is your name (formal)?

Yo me llamo Juan.
My name is John.

¿Cómo te llamas tú?
What is your name (familiar)?

Yo me llamo María.
My name is María.

¿De dónde son ellos?
Where are they from?

Ellos son de los Estados Unidos.
They are from the United States.

¿Cómo están ellas?
How are they (fem.)?

Ellas están bien, gracias.
They (fem.) are well, thanks!

¡Nosotros vamos al cine!
We are going to the cinema!

Vosotros sois mis estudiantes.
Y’all are my students.

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