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Spanish Pronouns: An Easy Guide For Beginners

Welcome to my Spanish pronouns "easy guide".

My aim in this guide is to give you a quick overview of pronouns in Spanish, together with a few rules to keep in mind when you use them.

Let's start from the basics: What on earth is a pronoun!?

The Webster online dictionary defines a pronoun as "A function word that is used in place of a noun or noun phrase.".

In other words, it is a word that substitutes the subject of a sentence.

In the English language, personal pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, you (plural), and they.

Language can be difficult without pronouns. Thus, their importance when you learn a new language... especially Spanish! wink

Here is a quick table with personal pronouns in Spanish, and their equivalent in English:

Spanish Pronouns English Equivalent
Yo
I
Tu
You (singular)
Vos
You (singular)**
Usted^^^
You (Singular, Formal/Respectful)
Él
He
Ella
She
Nosotros/Nosotras
We
Ustedes ***
You (Plural)***
Vosotros/Vosotras
You (Plural)^^
Ellos, Ellas
They


** "Vos" is a very informal/familiar way of saying "you" (or, in grammatical terms, when "referring to the 2nd person") in Spanish in some Central American countries, and Argentina.

I've checked out many Spanish courses and websites, and most of them omit mentioning the pronoun Vos. That's a shame, because it is widely used in some regions, and I think learning this Spanish pronoun is essential if you want to speak Spanish comfortably in any region.

Rather than reinventing the wheel (or plagiarising material, for that matter!), I include a link to voceo, in case you want to learn more about the usage of the pronoun vos

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^^^ The pronoun Usted, as explained somewhere else in this site, is the formal or respectful way of addressing a person in Spanish. It is also abreviated as Ud./Vd , which stands for Vuestra Merced, i.e. "Your Grace".

Whilst this pronoun may look "old fashioned" it is used widely, and you should learn to use it proficiently.

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*** The word "Ustedes" is equivalent to the word "you" in English. Although it's a derivative from the word usted, it is not considered a formal (or informal) word.

European Spanish still uses vosotros instead. But the vast majority of Spanish speaking countries uses "Ustedes".

By all means, learn both types... but I suggest you stick to "Ustedes" permanently.

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