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SPANISH PRONOUNS

 

Just like adjectives, there are different types of spanish pronouns for different situations.

The main types of pronouns can be summarized as follows:-

TYPES
SPANISH PRONOUNS
Personal-subject yo el ella usted nosotro(a)s vosotro(a)s ello(a)s ustedes
Personal-direct object me te lo la nos os los las
Personal-indirect object me te le nos os les
Personal-after prepositions mí ti él ella usted sí nosotro(a)s vosotro(a)s ello(a)s ustedes sí
Possessive el mío,la mía,los míos,las mías, el tuyo,la tuya,los tuyos,las tuyas el suyo,la suya,los suyos,las suyas el nuestro,la nuestra,los nuestros,las nuestras el vuestro,la vuestra,los vuestros,las vuestras el suyo,la suya,los suyos,las suyas
Indefinite algo mucho nada otro poco tanto todo varios, and many more
Relative el cual, el que, la cual, la que, los cuales,los que, las cuales, las que
Relative with prepositions que, quien examples: con que, en que, con quien, a quien
Relative pronoun 'whose' cuyo, cuya, cuyos, cuyas
Interrogative qué,por qué,cual,cuales,quién,quienes,a quién,a quienes,de quién,de quienes,cuánto(a),cuántos(es)
Demonstrative éste,ésta,esto ése,ésa,eso aquél,aquélla,aquello éstos,éstas ésos,ésas aquéllos,aquéllas

Personal pronouns

Personal-subject pronouns

I you he/she/it we you(plural) they

Singular
Plural
I yo we (masc) nosotros
you (informal) we (fem) nosotras
he el you (masc) vosotros
she ella you (fem) vosotras
you (formal) usted they (masc) ellos
    they (fem) ellas
    you (formal) ustedes

Usage

(1) When it is clear who is the subject of the sentence, you don't need to use the subject pronoun

estudiamos español - we are studying Spanish

This is unlike English where you always have to use the pronoum.

(2) When there is obviously a need for clarity

she eats meat but he only eats fish - ella come carne pero el come pescado solo

(3) When emphasis is required

they really don't want it - ellos si que no le quieren

(4) When used after 'ser'

It's us - somos nosotros

(5) Used in comparisons with que or como

Juan is older than you - Juan es mas viejo que

(6) When used after some prepositions

The presents are for me - Los regalos son para yo

(7) When using plural subject pronouns which are a mix of male and female, you have to use the male pronouns

nosotros, vosotros, ellos

 

Personal-direct object pronouns

If it is clear who or what is involved, then direct object pronouns can be used in place of the noun.

Their house is very large, do you know it - Su casa es muy grande, la conoce

Singular
Plural
me me us nos
you (informal) te you os
him, it, you (masc) lo them, you (masc) los
her, it, you (fem) la them, you (fem) las

Usage

(1) The direct object usually is positioned before the verb

the men saw us - los hombres nos vieron

(2) If the pronoun is the object of an infinitive or gerund it must be added to the end of the verb to form one word

can you help us - puede ayudarnos; you will understand by doing it - hacerlo entenderás

(3) When instructing or ordering, the pronoun also joins onto the end of the verb

do it immediately - hacerlo en seguida

(4) When an infinitive comes after another verb, you can join the pronoun at the end of the infinitive or put it before the verb

they are going to do it - van hacerlo OR lo van a hacer

 

Personal-indirect object pronouns

These replace nouns which are the indirect object of the verb. They often express to whom or for whom the action is done and what...to or what...for

I gave him a drink - le di una bebida

To whom did I give a drink? - him (indirect object)

we bought some presents for them - les compramos unos regalos

For whom did we buy the presents? - them (indirect object)

Singular Plural
me, to me, for me me us, to us, for us nos
you, to you, for you te you, to you, for you os

him, to him, for him her, to her, for her, it, to it, for it

le    
them, to them, for them les
   

So, generally the pronouns above replace the prepositions 'a' and 'para' and a noun.

he is reading for his children - Está leyendo para sus ninos, becomes he is reading for them - les está leyendo

I sent a letter to a friend - Envié un carta a mi amigo

becomes

I sent a letter to him - Le envié una carta

Usage

(1) The indirect object pronouns come before the verb

I am coming to see you - estoy viniendo le ver

Have you visited them before - Les has visitado antes

They never visit us - Ellos nada nos visitan

(2) Indirect object pronouns can be found in some popular phrases which use reflexive verbs

I lost my mobile phone - Se me perdí el móvil

The object pronoun le can mean to him, to her, to you, and les can mean to them and to you. Also se can mean all of these. To clarify which is meant, a el, a ella or a usted can be added to the sentence

eg we speak to him from time to time - A el le hablamos de vez en cuando

(3) If a noun which is an object comes before the verb, then the related object pronoun must also be used and placed before the verb.

We often see your parents - A sus padres, los vemos al menudo

(4) In sentence constructions with definite articles and clothing or parts of the body, indirect object pronouns are often used when you might think a possessive adjective would be used.

my leg is painful - me duele el pie

his scarf was very long - La bufanda le estaba muy largo

Pronouns after prepositions

In Spanish the pronouns used with prepositions are based on the subject pronouns but with changes to the forms for: me, you, himself, herself, yourself, themselves, and yourselves.

Singular Plural
me us (masc) nosotros
you ti us (fem) nosotras
him él you (masc) vosotros
her ella you (fem) vosotras
you usted them (masc) ellos
himself them (fem) ellas
herself you ustedes
yourself themselves
    yourselves

These pronouns are used in expressions such as:- by her; for me; they walked towards him.

es para nosotros - it's for us

ella fue corrienda hacia mí - she was running towards me

Pienso en ella - I think about her

No hemos sabido nada de ellos - we have never heard from them

Ella regressará sin él - she will return without him

Usage

(1) In addition to their use with prepositions, these pronouns are used when emphasis is required

will she do it for you - va hacerló para ti?

they are visiting me not you - me hacen una visita, no a ti

(2) When used with the conjunction, con, the forms mí, ti and sé change to conmigo, contigo, and consigo

would you like to dance with me - le gustaría bailar conmigo

I hope to meet up with you tomorrow - espero reunir contigo mañana

he took it with him - lo cogió consigo

(3) A few prepositions take the subject pronouns yo and tú instead of the object pronouns mí and ti. These are: entre; hasta; menos; salvo and según.

según - according to eg según yo - according to me

menos - except eg todos menos - everybody except you

entre - among, between eg entre nosotros y ellos - between us and them

salvo - except eg todos salvo vosotras - everybody except you

hasta - even, including eg hasta ella puede ir - even she can go

Possessive Pronouns

These are pronouns which show belonging such as: mine, yours, his and hers, ours and yours

  Singular Plural
  Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
mine el mío la mía los míos las mías
yours el tuyo la tuya los tuyos las tuyas
his, hers, its, yours el suyo la suya los suyos las suyas
ours el nuestro la nuestra los nuestros las nuestras
yours el vuestro la vuestra los vuestros las vuestras
theirs, yours el suyo la suya los suyos las suyas

Examples:

your house is bigger than mine - tu casa es mas grande que la mía

they think the car is yours - piensen que el coche es el tuyo

your work was better than his - su trabaja fue mejor que el suyo

their journey was longer than ours - su viaje fue mucho tiempo que la nuestra

the bicycle is much more expensive than theirs - la bicicleta es muchisimo caro que la suya

our wines are better than theirs - nuestros vinos son mejor que los suyos

his dogs can run faster than mine - sus perros pueden correr mas rapido que los míos

Usage

(1) Possessive pronouns agree with what they are describing

la suya can mean: its; his; hers; yours and theirs

but can only be used to replace a feminine singular noun

(2) Often el suyo is replaced with el de usted

his car and yours - su coche y el de usted

The same applies to la suya, los suyos, las suyas

Indefinite Pronouns

There are only a few of these general pronouns. They refer to things and people in a non-specific way.

something, anything algo necessitamos comer algo
we need to eat something
somebody, anybody alguien alguien ha esto alla
has anybody been there
some, a few alguno necessitan alguna
they need some
each one, everybody cada uno cada uno disfrutaron la comida
everybody enjoyed the meal
any, anybody cualquiera el robaron sería cualquiera
the thief could be anybody
much, many mucho mucha de la gente era pobre
many of the people were poor
nothing, anything nada no vimos nada
we didn't see anything
nobody, anybody nadie no ayudaron a nadie
they didn't help anybody
none, any ninguno ninguno del personal había sido pagado
none of the staff had been paid
another one, others otro la mayoría de pelegrinos andaron pero otro conducieron
most pilgrims walked but others drove
little, few poco hay un poco quedado a comprar
there are a few left to buy
so much, so many tanto habia tanto a probar
there were so many to taste
all, everything todo limpiaron todo
they cleaned everything
one...the other uno...el otro uno fue muy amable pero el otro fue perozoso
one was very helpful but the other was lazy
some...the others unos...los otros unos le gusta el calor, los otros le prefieren fresco
some like it hot, the others prefer it cool
several varios habia varios que supe le respuesta
there were several who knew the answer

 

Relative Pronouns

These pronouns are related to a person or thing stated in the same sentence. The most familiar relative pronoun is que which can mean: that; which; who; and whom

el equipo que ganó el campeonato - the team that won the championship

la casa que compramos - the house which we are buying

la chica que consiguió el trabajo - the girl who got the job

In formal speech or writing, the pronouns change from the simple que to the following:-

  that, which, who whom
Singular Neuter lo que    
Masc. el cual or el que
Fem. la cual or la que
Plural Neuter lo que    
Masc. los cuales or los que
Fem. las cuales or las que

the city centre, which is usually very lively, is quiet this year - el centro el cual (el que) es normalmente muy vivo, es tranquilo este año

my daughter, the one who speaks Spanish, got married in Italy - mi hija, la cual (la que) habla espanol, se casó en Italia

the workmen who repaired the roof, were very polite - los trabajadores los cuales (los que) repararon el techo, estaban muy educado

the meals, which had been prepared too quickly, were not very tasty - las comidas, las cuales (las que) habian preparado demasiado rapido, no eran muy sabroso

*The neuter form, lo que, is used when referring to the whole of the previous part of the sentence or referring to something without gender, meaning 'what'. Todo está tranquilo, lo que me parece raro = Everything is quiet, which seems strange

Relative pronouns with prepositions

In sentences where the pronoun is the object of a preposition such as: con,de,por,en; the pronoun forms que and quien are used.

es la ciudad en que pensaba - it is the city which I was thinking about

son el equipo con que trabajo - they are the team with whom I work

Raphael es el chico a quien ella escribía - Raphael is the boy to whom she was writing

fue el emperor por quien los soldados fueron preparado a mourir - it was the emperor who the soldiers were prepared to die for

The Relative pronoun 'whose'

'Whose' is translated as: cuyo, cuya, cuyos and cuyas, depending on the noun it relates to. They all set up an ownership clause.

Maria, cuyo coche es muy grande, tiene un empleo importante -Maria whose car is very large, has an important job.

Miguel cuya madre es de Madrid, habla español excelente - Miguel whose mother is from Madrid, speaks excellent Spanish

el equipo cuyos aficionados estan loco, gaño el campeoneto - the team whose fans are crazy, won the championship

son los chicos cuyas madres estan muy amable - they are the boys whose mothers are very friendly

Interrogative pronouns

These are pronouns used in questions.

English meaning Singular Plural
     
what qué qué
why por qué por qué
what, which, which ones cual cuales
who quién quienes
whom a quién a quienes
whose de quién de quienes
how much cuánto(a) cuántos(es)

qué dicen - what are they saying

qué quiere a hacer - what do you want to do

por qué quieren a saber - why do they want to know

por qué tenemos que ir allí - why must we go there

cual de estos coches le gustaria alquilar - which of these cars would you like to hire

cuales son el mejor - which ones are the best

quién es el directora - who is the director

con quién va al partido - who are you going to the match with

a quién vas a darlo - to whom are you going to give it

a quién conoces - whom did you know

de quién es el libro - whose is the book

cuanto es el pan - how much is the bread

cuantos caminaron - how many were walking

Demonstrative pronouns

These pronouns are used to replace a noun with: this, that, these and those

    Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular this, this one éste ésta esto
that, that one(close) ése ésa eso
that, that one(further away) aquél aquélla aquello
         
Plural these, these ones éstos éstas  
those, those ones(close) ésos ésas  
those, those ones(further away) aquéllos aquéllas  

Usage

(1) The pronouns must agree with the noun they are representing

(2) Use ese/esa for things which are quite near, but aquel/aquella when they are further away

Examples

these cars and those over there - éstos coches y aquéllos ahí

that shirt is smarter than this one - esa camisa es más elegante que ésta

which wine do you prefer-this one here - qué vino prefieres-éste aqui

these children and those - estos ninos y aquéllos


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