Spanish Pronouns: A Concise Guide
When we speak in English, we use pronouns all the time. For example, we say things like “she is mad”, “the cake is mine“, and “who is that?”. But, would you be able to say what a pronoun is, how many types of pronouns there are, and give a few examples? This is precisely what we are going to do today with Spanish pronouns.
If you’re learning Spanish and you’re tired of mixing up words like “me” (me) and “mío” (mine), this article will help you understand Spanish pronouns in no time.
Personal Spanish Pronouns
The first type of pronoun we are going to look at is the personal pronoun.
Personal pronouns are words that refer to the person who is speaking (1st person), the person being spoken to (2nd person), or a third party (3rd person).
Sometimes, we use these words when all the participants involved in a conversation know who we are talking about and there’s no need to repeat their name or say something like “the neighbour’s son”. Instead, we can just say “he”. Other times, we use them to avoid repetition or to keep things brief.
If you want to talk about you or other people in Spanish using Spanish pronouns, here is a full list of them:
|You||Tú / Vos (Arg,
Ustedes (Arg, Uru)
- Yo amo a mi país (I love my country)
- Él es mi mejor amigo (He is my best friend)
- Ellos son vegetarianos (They are vegetarian)
Possessive Spanish Pronouns
The second type of pronoun we will cover today is the possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns work like adjectives in the sense that they modify nouns and give us information about them, i.e., who has or owns something.
In English, we say things like: “don’t drink that! that drink is mine!” With just one word, we have managed to give ownership to the drink. In Spanish, we would say “esa bebida es mía“. But only if we were talking about one drink!
If it was two drinks, the right thing to say would be “esas bebidas son mías“.
Gender in possessive Spanish pronouns
As you may notice, we are using the letter A, which is indicative of feminine gender in Spanish grammar. This is because the noun used in these example, “bebida/s”, is feminine.
However, if we were talking about sandwiches, which are grammatically masculine in Spanish, we would say “ese sandwich es mío” or “esos sandwiches son míos“, using a masculine O.
|Mine||mío, míos; mía, mías|
|Yours||tuyo, tuyos; tuya, tuyas|
|His/Hers||suyo, suyos; suya, suyas|
|Ours||nuestro, nuestros; nuestra, nuestras|
- Ese juguete es mío (That toy is mine)
- Esta casa era suya, pero ahora es nuestra (This house was his, but now its ours)
Demonstrative Spanish Pronouns
Who’s that? What’s this?
Demonstrative pronouns are words used to point out items or people and ask questions about them, like in the sentences above. But they’re also used to establish the distance between the speaker and what they are pointing at.
In Spanish, we use different sets of demonstrative Spanish pronouns depending on how close or far away something is from us. Here’s a full list of them:
(masculine); estas (feminine)
|Esos (masculine); esas (feminine)|
- ¿Quién es esa? (Who is that?)
- Estos (libros) son míos. (These -books- are mine)
- Esos (asientos) son los mejores. (Those -seats- are the best)
Undefined Spanish pronouns
Sometimes, lack of information prevents us from being too precise about things. For example, we can say that “many” believe in the power of planets and stars to influence our lives, but we can’t say how many people these are – the information is undefined…
Similarly, we can say that we ate “some” (or “too many!”) grapes, but we couldn’t possibly say if they were 15, 20 or 50. That’s where the undefined Spanish pronouns come into play.
Here are some of the most common undefined pronouns in Spanish.
(masculine), algunas (feminine)
|A few||Unos pocos (masculine); (unas pocas)|
(masculine); muchas (feminine)
|Too many||Demasiados (masculine); demasiadas (feminine)|
- ¿Quién quiere ir? Cualquiera puede venir. (Who wants to go? Anybody can come)
- Algunos animales son más inteligentes que otros. (Some animals are smarter than others)
Where is the party? Who did you say was into me again? How much did we lose!!?
Some of the most crucial questions a person will ask in life contain interrogative pronouns!
In simple terms, interrogative pronouns are words that we use when we want to know something about a particular subject. As its name implies, the interrogative pronoun “interrogates” the listener by inviting them to make a statement.
Naturally, we use different Spanish pronouns depending on what type of information we are trying to get from the other speaker.
Here they are:
|Which||Cuál (singular); cuáles (plural)|
|How many||Cuántos (masculine); cuántas (feminine)|
- ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (When is your birthday?)
- Me gustaría saber dónde es (I’d like to know where it is)
- ¿Cuántos (sandwiches) compraste? (How many -sandwiches- did you buy?)
While we could go on (and on, and on) these are the most important Spanish pronouns that you need to know in order to communicate effectively.
Spanish pronouns may seem a bit daunting at first, but with a bit of practice and repetition, you will eventually get the hang of it!
Just remember that different types of pronouns expressed different kinds of relationships with other words in a sentence, get as much practice as you can (flashcards and word games can’t hurt), and you will be all right.
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