spanish personal pronouns

Lesson 17: Spanish Personal Pronouns

(Spanish Personal Pronouns)  

Singular Plural
Yo (I ) Tu (You ) El-Ella-Usted*(He/She) Vos


Nosotros/as (We) Vosotros/as  (You) Ellos-Ellas-Ustedes* (They)——–


Use of “vos”

Spanish personal pronouns like “vos” are used in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and in some other regions. It is equivalent to the use of the personal pronoun “tu”; it is neither more formal nor more informal. Spanish personal pronouns like “vos” oppose to the formal Spanish personal pronouns like “usted”. “Vos” has a friendlier connotation”. It could be said that it is the most common form and that “usted” is used to keep distance, to indicate different hierarchies, to state respect or admiration for an older person, or as a trace of a past time when people dealt with each other more rigidly.

“Vos” is used in friendly situations, or to show familiarity, e.g. among young people even when there is no such a close relationship. Moreover, “vos” can be used in situations such as between teacher-student, employer- employee, seller-buyer, unless we want to stress asymmetry.

Use of “usted”

“Usted” is used in formal work relationships like in business meetings, an interview with a client, etc. and among the elderly, out of habit.

In an exchange, it is sometimes difficult to find the proper way to treat the other person; in this case, it is convenient to ask: “?Puedo tutearlo?” (Can I treat you informally?) or to say: “Podes tutearme” (You can treat me informally).

In both cases, an affirmative answer is expected and from then on, the dialogue between the individuals can be informal.

Use of “ustedes”


Spanish personal pronouns like “vosotros” are only used in Spain. It is an informal way of dealing with people in the second person plural. In the rest of the Spanish speaking countries, “ustedes” is used in formal and informal situations.


Singular Plural
Masculino (male) Femenino(female) Masculino (male) Femenino(female)
Este (this)Ese (that) Aquel (that) Esta (this) Esa (that) Aquella (that) Estos (these) Esos (those) Aquellos (tose) Estas (these) Esas (those) Aquellas (those)



    • Neutral demonstrative pronouns: Esto, eso, aquellos
    • Demonstrative pronouns mark gender and number in Spanish
    • They show space and time,


“Este” is nearer in time and space to the speaker;

“Ese” is farther in space and time from the listener

“Aquel” is father in space and time for both the speaker and the listener.


“Aquella pollera es mejor que esta” (That cake is better than this.)


“Eso no me gusta”. (I don´t like this.)


PRONOMBRES POSESIVOS (Possessive Pronouns)
Singular Plural
Masculino (male) Femenino(female) Masculino (male) Femenino(female)
(el) mio (mine) (el) tuyo(yours) (el) suyo (hers-his-its) (el) nuestro (ours)

(el) vuestro (yours)

(el) suyo(hers-his-its)

(la) mia (mine) (la) tuya (yours) (la) suya (hers-his-its) (la) nuestra (ours)

(la) vuestra (yours)

(la) suya (hers-his-its)

(los) mios (mine) (los) tuyos (yours) (los) suyos (theirs) (los) nuestros (ours)

(los) vuestros (yours)

(los) suyos (hers-his-its)

(las) mias (mine) (las) tuyas (yours) (las) suyas (theirs) (las) nuestras (ours)

(las) vuestras (yours)

(las) suyas (hers-his-its)


    • They replace the noun.
    • They show possession.
    • They show gender and number.
    • The articles are used when there is a choice between two objects:


tesis no fue aceptada; la nuestra si.”

(His thesis was rejected; our thesis was accepted.”)

Los mios son mas grandes que los tuyos.”

(Mine are bigger than yours.)


    • The neutral form: lo mio, lo tuyo, lo suyo, lo nuestro, lo nuestro and lo suyo express an idea or particular concept, i.e. what belongs to me, what concerns me.



“Lo mio es el futbol.”

(My best skill is football.”)

* It does not have a literal translation into English


Pronombres Objetivos

(Objective pronouns)


    • Object Pronouns replace a word or phrase that functions as a direct or indirect object within the sentence.


Singular Plural
Me (me) Te (you) Lo/la   (him/her/it) Lo/la   (him/her/it)


Nos (us) Os (you) Los/las (them) Lo/la   (him/her/it)


Pronombres Objeto Directo

(Direct Object Pronouns)

    • Direct Object Pronouns replace a word or phrase that functions as direct object in the sentence.



“Compramos el auto a un precio muy accesible” / “Lo compramos a un precio muy accesible”

(We bought the car at a very convenient price / We bought it at a very convenient price.)

    • They are placed before the verb:

la veo ( I see her)

quiero (I love you)

me ama (He loves me)


    • Except when they are used with the infinitive form


<![if !vml]><![endif]> Siempre voy a quererte. (I´ll always love you.)

Nunca voy a olvidarla.
(I´ll never forget her.)


    • And when they are used with the imperative.


?Mirame! (Look at me!)

Llamalo. (Call him.)  <![if !vml]><![endif]>

    • With the gerund form, they can be placed before or after the verbal phrase




Los estan investigando / Estan investigandolos.

(They are investigating them.)



Pronombres Objeto Indirecto

(Direct Object Pronouns)



Singular Plural
Me (me)Te (you) Le   (him/her/it)Le (him/her/it)


Nos (us) Os (you) Les (them) Les (them)




    • Indirect Object Pronouns replace a replace a word or phrase that functions as indirect object in the sentence.


Pregunto el nombre de la calle al policia / Le pregunto el nombre de la calle.

(He asked him the name of the street.)

Pidio colaboracion a las enfermeras / Les pidio colaboracion.

(He requested them to collaborate)

    • They are placed before the verb:



avisaron que el partido se suspendia.

(They told him the match was going to be put off.)

    • Except when they are used with the infinitive form.



Voy a contarte toda la verdad.

(I´ll tell you the whole truth.)



    • And when they are used with the imperative.

Prestale dinero, te lo devolvera. <![if !vml]><![endif]>

(Lend him some money, he´ll return it.)

    • With the gerund form, they can be placed before or after the verbal phrase




esta otorgando el premio por haber sido el mejor estudiante. Esta otorgandole el premio por haber sido el mejor estudiante.

(He is giving him a prize for having been the best student.)  <![if !vml]><![endif]>


Pronombres Reflexivos

(Reflexive Pronouns)


Singular Plural
Me (myself)Te (yoursefl)Se (himself/herself/itself)Se


Nos (ourselves)Os (yourselves)Se (themselves) Se




    • They transform certain verbs in reflexive verbs such as:

banarse (to have a bath)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>    secarse (to dry)

despertarse (to wake up)

morirse (to die)

vestirse (to get dressed)

maquillarse (to make up)  <![if !vml]><![endif]>

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  afeitarse (to shave)

sentarse (to sit) <![if !vml]><![endif]>

<![if !vml]><![endif]> pararse (to stand up) , etc.







A) Paraphrase the following sentences like in the example:

1)  Valentina tiene una casa muy linda — Su casa es muy linda.

(Valentina has a very nice house — Her house is very nice.)

2) Esteban tiene un skate nuevo —
Su skate es nuevo.

(Esteban has a new skate — His skate is new.)

3) Yo tengo un par de zapatos marrones — Mis zapatos son marrones.

(I have a pair of brown shoes — My shoes are brown.)

4) Los Rodriguez tienen un automovil ultimo modelo — Su automovil es ultimo modelo

(The Rodriguez´s have a brand new car — Their car is brand new.)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>

5) Tu tienes cuadros interesantes —
Tus cuadros son interesantes

(You have interesting pictures — Your pictures are very interesting.)

6) Nosotras tenemos unas blusas muy coloridas. Nuestras blusas son muy coloridas.

(We have very colorful blouses — Our blouses are very colorful.)

B) Choose the correct alternative

Esa — Esas flores son muy bonitas. (These flowers are very nice.)  <![if !vml]><![endif]>

Esta — Aquellas es la casa que alquilare.
(This is the house I´ll rent.)

— Esos
son las computadoras nuevas para el colegio. (These are the new computers for the school.)

Ese –  Aquella
pelicula es realmente divertida. (That film is really funny.)

Esos — Esas
caramelos son de chocolate. (Those are chocolate candies.)


<![if !vml]><![endif]>



C) Shorten the following sentences like in the example:

Example: Necesitas un auto. — Lo necesitas


Quiero que escribas un informe – Quiero que lo escribas.

(I want you to write a report — I want you to write it.)

?Tienes la direccion de la oficina? — ?La tienes?  <![if !vml]><![endif]>

(Do you have the address of the office? — Do you have it?)

Comprare ese escritorio — Lo comprare.

(I´ll buy that desk – I´ll buy it.)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  Cuidare los cachorros hasta Septiembre. Los cuidare hasta Septiembre.

(I´ll take care of the puppies until September. — I´ll take care of them until September.)

?Fuiste a ver la pelicula? — ?Fuiste a verla?

(Did you go to see the film? — Did you go to see it?)

D) Choose correct replacement.


1)   Ve a secarte el cabello (Go to dry your hair)

Ve a secartelo.

      Ve a te lo secar.

      Ve a secarlos.

      Ve a te los secas.


2) ?Quien se tomo todo el jugo?  (Who drank all the juice?)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> 

      ?Quien se tomo lo?

      ?Quien le se tomo?  

?Quien se lo tomo?

      ?Quien se le tomo?



3)   Quiero darle un lindo regalo de Navidad. (I want to give him a nice Christmas gift.)

Quiero darselo un lindo regalo de Navidad

       Quiero darlole.

 Quiero darselo.

       Quiero darlelo.

       Quiero darlose.

<![if !vml]><![endif]>


4)    Quiero prometerle que ire (I want to promise him I´ll go.)

  Quiero lo prometer se.

        Quiero prometerselo.

        Quiero se le prometer.

        Quiero se prometer lo.



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