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LEARN SPANISH PERSONAL PRONOUNS



Personal pronouns refer to the person who is doing the action or to whom the action affects. In that way we distinguish five types of personal pronouns:

 

Personal Subject Pronouns

Personal Direct Object Pronouns

Personal Indirect Object without Preposition Pronouns

Personal Indirect Object with Preposition Pronouns

Personal Reflexive Pronouns

 

Personal Subject Pronouns. Yo (I), Tú (you), Él (he), Ella (she), Usted (Mr. Mrs. Sir, Madam, Miss), Nosotros/as (we), Vosotros/as (you all), Ustedes (Ladies, Gentlemen) and Ellos/as (they) We use the Personal Subject Pronouns to refer to the person who is doing the action of the verb or the verb speaks about.

Example

 

María está escuchando música. Ella escucha música todos los días

Mary is listening to music. She listens to music every day

 

In this example, "ella" (she) substitutes "María" which is the subject of the sentence as "María" performs the action of "listening to music". In Spanish, when the subject of the sentence is very clear and there is no space for confusion to whether which person is realizing the action of the verb, we do not use the personal subject pronoun. In this way, we normally only use them, to distinguish among different persons who could be doing the action of the verb or to reinforce the one doing it.

Example

 

María está escuchando música. Escucha música todos los días.

Mary is listening to music. She listens to music every day

 

In this example, we have omitted the personal subject pronoun "ella" (she) because it is clear that we are talking about María and there is no space to get confused. The forms "usted, ustedes" are courtesy forms and more formal to indicate respect to the person we are talking to. We use them to speak to clients, bosses, people of a higher charge than ours, etc.

Example







¿Desea usted algo más?

Do you want anything else, Sir?

 

*Note*: Nouns in Spanish have gender so, when you want to substitute them for a pronoun you have to bear that in mind and choose accordingly.

 

Personal Direct Object Pronouns. Me (me), Te (you), Lo (gente y objetos), Le (gente) (him / it / usted), La (her), Nos (us), Os (you / ustedes) and Los / las (them). We use the Personal Direct Object Pronouns to refer to the noun that is the result of the action of the verb.

Example

 

María escucha música.

María listens to music

 

In this example, the result of the action "escucha" (listens) is "música" (music) and that is the noun that the personal direct object pronoun is going to substitute in the sentence. In order for us to find which noun is the one to be substituted we can ask the verb a question starting with "qué" (what) and followed by the verb itself. So, in this sentence we would ask, "¿Qué escucha María?" (What does María listen to?) and we get the answer "música" (music) which is the direct object of the sentence. In that way we can say:

Example María la escucha. (María listens to it)

 

*Note*: Nouns in Spanish have gender so, when you want to substitute them for a pronoun you have to bear that in mind and choose accordingly.

 

Personal Indirect Object without Preposition Pronouns. Me (me), Te (you), Le (him / her / it /usted), Nos (us), Os (you / ustedes) and Les (them). We use the Personal Indirect Object without Preposition Pronouns to refer to the noun that receives the action of the verb.

Example

 

Los profesores enseñan inglés a los estudiantes.

Teachers teach English to the students

 

In this example, the noun that receives the action "enseñan" (teach) is "estudiantes" (students) and that is the noun the Personal Indirect Object without Preposition Pronoun is going to substitute in the sentence. In order for us to find which noun is the one to be substituted we can ask the verb a question starting with "a quién" (to whom) or "para quién" (to / for whom) and followed by the verb itself. So, in this sentence we would ask, "¿A quién enseñan los profesores ingles?" (To whom do teachers teach English?) and we get the answer "a los estudiantes" (to the students) which is the indirect object of the sentence. In that way we can say:

Example Los profesores les enseñan inglés. (Teachers teach them English).





*Note*: Nouns in Spanish have gender so, when you want to substitute them for a pronoun you have to bear that in mind and choose accordingly.

 

Personal Indirect Object with Preposition Pronouns. Mí (me), Ti (you), Él / ella / usted (him / her / it), Nosotros / nosotras (us), Vosotros / vosotras / ustedes (you) and Ellos / ellas (them). We use the Personal Indirect Object with Preposition Pronouns to refer to the noun that receives the action of the verb. This noun goes after a preposition in the sentence.

Example

 

El profesor compra un libro para los estudiantes.

The teacher buys a book for the students

 

In this example, the noun that receives the action "compra" (buys) is "estudiantes" (students) which is preceded by the preposition "para" (for) and that is the noun the Personal Indirect Object with Preposition Pronoun is going to substitute in the sentence. In order for us to find which noun is the one to be substituted we can ask the verb a question starting with "a quién" (to whom) or "para quién" (to / for whom) and followed by the verb itself. So, in this sentence we would ask, "¿Para quién/es compra el profesor un libro?" (For whom does the teacher buy a book?) and we get the answer "para los estudiantes" (for the students) which is the indirect object of the sentence. In that way we can say:

Example El profesor compra el libro para ellos. (The teacher buys the book for them). When they are preceded by the preposition "con" (with) they adopt a different form doing: Conmigo (with me), Contigo (with you), Consigo (con él, con ella) (with him / her / it), Con nosotros (with us), Con vosotros / ustedes (with you) and Consigo (con ellos) (with them)

 

*Note*: Nouns in Spanish have gender so, when you want to substitute them for a pronoun you have to bear that in mind and choose accordingly.

 

Personal Reflexive Pronouns. Me (myself), Te (Yourself), Se (Himself, Herself, Itself), Nos (Ourselves), Os (Yourselves) and Se (Themselves). We use the reflexive pronouns to indicate that the person who realizes the action of the verb is the same person who receives the action. These pronouns go before the verb.

Example

 

(Yo) Me corto el pelo (yo misma).

I cut my hair myself

 

In this example, "yo" (I) does the action of cutting the hair and at the same time "yo" (I) gets the action of the hair being cut.

 

*NOTE* In Spanish, most of the pronouns go before the verb, unlike in English.



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