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A Pronoun in Spanish as well as in English is like a shortcut to refer to a noun, a word that stands for or represents a noun or noun phrase, a pronoun is identified only in the context of the sentence in which they are used. So you must have a prior idea about who "he or she" "él or ella" is. In English we find "me, her, what, that, his", In Spanish they're used pretty much the same way, the main difference is that in Spanish most pronouns have a gender, masculine or feminine and rarely neuter to unknown objects or ideas.

 

Types of pronouns include personal pronouns (refer to the persons speaking, the persons spoken to, or the persons or things spoken about), indefinite pronouns, relative pronouns (connect parts of sentences) and reciprocal or reflexive pronouns (in which the object of a verb is being acted on by verb's subject).

 

This table below shows examples of all pronouns categories in Spanish:

Spanish Pronouns

Type of Pronouns

Use

Examples in Spanish (English)

Subject

Replaces the subject of a sentence

Yo (I), (you), él (he), ella (she), nosotros (we), ellos (they), ellas (they)

Possessive

Refers to something owned or possessed by someone. usually preceded by el/la/los/las

Mío (mine), mía (mine), míos (mine), mías (mine), tuyo/a (yours), suyo/a (his, hers, theirs), nuestro/a (ours), Vuestro/a (yours)

Reflexive

Used when the direct object and indirect object of a verb refer to the same person. Used more often in Spanish.

Me (myself), te (yourself), se (himself, herself, themselves), nos (ourselves), os (yourselves)

Indefinite

Used to refer to nonspecific people or things

Algo (something), alguien (anybody), nadie (nobody), todo (all), todas (all), uno (one), unos (some), ninguno (none), mucho (many), poco (little)

Relative

Introduces a clause that gives more information about a noun or pronoun

Que (that, which, who, whom), quien (who, whom), el cual (which, that which) cuyo (whose), cuyas (whose), donde (where), el que (that, which)

Interrogative

Used in questions

Qué (what), quién (what), cuándo (when), cuánto (when)

Demonstrative

Replaces a noun while also pointing to it

Éste (this one), ésta (this one), ésa (that one), aquéllos (those ones), aquél (that one over there)

 

Prepositional

Function as the object of a verb or preposition, used after prepositions, often in order to emphasize the noun they replace

Mi (me), ti(you), él, nosotros, vosotros...(except mi and ti, the rest is the same as in subject pronouns)

Indirect Object Pronoun

They’re words that replace the indirect object, which is usually a person.

Me (me), te(you), le (him, her, you (formal), nos (us), vos (you), les (them) Me da gusto ( it gives me pleasure). Te quiero (I love you)

 

Subject pronouns:

Subject pronouns replace the subject of the sentence, they're very easy to use, and this is a complete list of them with their English equivalent:

Subject Pronoun in Spanish

Singular

yo - I , tú - you (familiar), él - he, ella - she, usted - you (formal),

 

Plural

nosotros We (masculine or mixed gender), nosotras we (feminine), vosotros you-all (familiar, Spain, masculine or mixed gender)
vosotras you-all (familiar, Spain, feminine), ellos they (masculine or mixed gender), ellas they (feminine)
ustedes you-all (formal in Spain, formal and familiar in Latin America)

 

Spanish Possessive Pronouns:

Possessive pronouns refer to something owned or possessed by someone. Usually preceded by el/la/los/las, used the same way in both languages:

Mine= el mío / la mía /los míos / las mías.

Yours (familiar) = el tuyo / la tuya /los tuyos / las tuyas.

Yours (formal), his, hers= el suyo / la suya /los suyos / las suyas.

Ours= el nuestro / la nuestra/ los nuestros / las nuestras.

Yours (familiar) = el vuestro / la vuestra / los vuestros / las vuestras.

Yours (formal), theirs= el suyo / la suya /los suyos / las suyas

 

 Possessive Pronouns in Spanish

Possessive pronouns

Masculine

Feminine

Mine

el (los) mío(s)

la(s) mía(s)

Yours (tú)

el (los) tuyo(s)

la(s) tuya(s)

His/hers/its
yours (Ud.)

el (los) suyo(s)

la(s) suya(s)

Ours

el (los) nuestro(s)

la(s) nuestra(s)

Yours (vosotros)

el (los) vuestro(s)

la(s) vuestra(s)

Theirs
yours (Uds.)

el (los) suyo(s)

la(s) suya(s)

 

Below, are examples of pronoun adjectives, compare them to the possessive pronoun shown on the table above,

mi(s)= my, mi coche (my car) mis amigas (my friends), tu(s)= your (singular) tu hermano (your brother) tus amigos, su(s)= his, her, your (formal), their
su dinero (his money), sus plumas
nuestro(-a, -os, -as)= our, nuestro plato (our plate), nuestras casas, vuestro(-a, -os, -as)= your (fam. pl.), vuestro radio, vuestras plumas .

Note: don’t confuse between the three forms of possessive:

Possessive adjective (short/unstressed form): mi, tu, su, nuestro/a, vuesto/a , nuestra casa (our house).

Possessive adjective (long/stressed form): mío, tuyo , es un amigo tuyo ( he is a friend of yours).

Possessive pronoun: el mío, el tuyo, es el mío (it’s mine)

 

Prepositional Pronouns in Spanish

 

Spanish prepositional pronouns are used after prepositions, often in order to emphasize the noun they replace. There are 11 forms of prepositional pronouns, the only difference between prepositional pronouns and subject pronouns is the first and second person in the singular, (mí and ti instead of yo and tú), plus we have a neuter form ello in the prepositional pronoun.

 

Prepositional Pronouns

Singular

 

Plural

 

Me

Us

nosotros

You

ti

You

vosotros

Him, it

él

Them

ellos

Her, it

ella

Them

ellas

You

Ud.

You

Uds.

It

ello

 

 

 

Examples:

 

A mi, no me gusta el carne de cerdo = me (to me), I don't like pork.

Quiero estudiar con ellos = I want to study with them.

Tengo un regalo para ti  = I have a gift for you.

But we also have ello which is for neuter, No tengo tiempo para ello = I don't have time for that.

estoy ocupado, y por ello no puedo ir al cine= I'm busy, that's why I can't go to the movies.

Exceptions: We use subject pronouns after the prepositions como (like), entre (between), excepto (except), incluso (including), menos (except), salvo (except), and según (according to). Example: Necesito un amigo como tú = I need a friend like you.

And also when paired with another pronoun: - para él y ella - por o yo.

 

Spanish Reflexive Pronouns:

 

Reflexive pronouns in Spanish are closely related to direct and indirect pronouns, by following the same rules of word order and using almost the same pronouns.

I wash myself: Me baño. What’s your name? (What do you call yourself?) Cómo te llamas. So all pronouns ending in -self (-selves) are considered reflexive pronouns, in Spanish there are (me, te, se, nos, os, se), see table below for more detail.

 

 

Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

Person

Spanish

English equivalent

Example

First-person singular

me

myself

Me baño, I wash myself.

Second-person singular familiar

te

yourself

Te bañas, you wash yourself.

Second-person singular formal,
third-person singular

se

yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself

Ella se baña, she washes herself.

First-person plural

nos

ourselves

Nos bañamos, we wash ourselves.

Second-person plural familiar

os

yourselves

Os bañais, you wash yourselves.

Second-person plural formal,
third-person plural

se

yourselves, themselves

Se bañan, they wash themselves.

 

Indefinite Pronouns in Spanish

 

Indefinite pronouns are those pronouns that typically refer to no particular person or thing. In Spanish as in English, most of the words used as indefinite pronouns sometimes they function as other parts of speech, often as adjectives and sometimes as adverbs. In Spanish, some of the indefinite pronouns exist in both masculine and feminine forms as well as singular and plural forms, so they must agree with the nouns they refer to.

Here is a list of the most common Spanish indefinite pronouns:

 

Spanish Indefinite Pronouns

Spanish

Examples

alguien (someone, somebody, anyone, anybody)

Necesito a alguien que pueda hablar inglés. (I need someone who can speak English.)

alguno, alguna, algunos, algunas

(one, some things or people)

Voy a salir  con algunas de las chicas. (I'm going out with one of the girls.) Algunos quieren bailar. (Some want to dance.) ¿Quieres alguno más? (Do you want some more?)

algo (something)

Busco algo grande y barato. (I’m looking for something big and cheap.) ¿Escuchaste algo esta tarde? (Did you hear something this afternoon?)

cualquiera (anybody, anyone)

Cualquiera puede jugar el fútbol. (Anyone can play soccer.)

mucho, mucha, muchos, muchas (much, many)

El sitio web tiene mucho que ofrecer. (The website has much to offer.) Hay muchos. (There are many problems.) Nos queda mucho por hacer. (We have much left to do.)

nada (nothing)

No tengo nada para ti. (I have nothing for you.) (When nada follows a verb, the part of the sentence preceding the verb typically is also put in negative form)

nadie (nobody, no one)

No conocemos a nadie. (We don't know anybody.) Nadie te crees. (No one believes you.) Note that when nadie follows a verb, the part of the sentence preceding the verb typically is also put in negative form.

ninguno, ninguna  (none, nobody, no one)

Ninguna de ellas tiene dinero. (None of them have money) (When ninguno follows a verb, the part of the sentence preceding the verb typically is also put in negative form.

Otro/a, otros/as (another, other one, another one, other ones, others)

Me puedes traer otro? (Can you bring me another one?) Los otros estan judando con el perro. (The others are playing with the dog). (Un otro and una otra are not used for "another one)

Poco/a, pocos/as (little, little bit, few, a few)

Tengo un poco de hambre. (I’m a little bit hungry.) Pocos van a la playa (A few are going to the beach.)

todo, todos, todas (everything, all, everyone)

Tú comes todo. (You eat everything.) Todos piensan en su futuro. (All are thinking about their future)

uno, una, unos/as (one, some)

Uno no puede creer sin ver. (One cannot believe without seeing.) Unos libros son aburridos. (Some books are boring.)

Tanto (as much)

Quiero ir contigo, pero no tengo tanto tiempo (I want to go with you but I don’t have much time)

 

Spanish Relative Pronouns

 

Relative pronouns are used to refer to another expression or concept that preceded it. In English we have (that, which, or who). In Spanish we find (que, quien, quienes, el que, el cual) Note that these pronouns are not accents like the interrogative ones. So relative pronouns are pronouns that are used to introduce a clause that provides more information about a noun. Thus in the sentence "The lady who is talking is my teacher," the relative pronoun is "who"; the clause "who is talking" provides more information about the sentence's subject, "the lady." In the Spanish equivalent, la mujer que habla es mi profesora, the relative pronoun is que.

 

Spanish Relative Pronouns

Pronouns

Examples

Que (who)

Me gusta la canción que estas cantando. (I like the song that you're singing) Que must be used when the relative pronoun comes immediately after the antecedent, when there is nothing between the two.

Quien, quienes (who, whom)

Conoces a Juan, quien habla ocho idiomas. (Do you know John, who speaks 8 languages.) Es la profesora de quien te dije. (She is the teacher I told you about.) Don’t confuse between Quien and Que. Quien is used after a preposition. Or separated by commas from the noun it describes,

el que, la que,

lo que, los que, las que (which, who, whom)

Mario es el muchacho con el que vas a estudiar. (Mario is the student with whom you will study) This pronoun must match the noun it refers to in both number and gender. It is often interchangeable with el cual but is somewhat more informal in usage.

el cual, la cual,

lo cual, los cuales, las cuales (which, who, whom)

Ese era el tema sobre el cual yo estaba hablando (This was the subject which I was talking about) This pronoun must match the noun it refers to in both number and gender. It is used in formal writing more often than in speech

cuyo, cuya,cuyos,

cuyas (whose)

Conozco personalmente a ese autor cuyos libros me brindan tanto placer (I know this author personally, whose books are a lot of fun) This pronoun must match the noun it modifies in both number and gender. It is used more in writing than in speech. Not used in questions, where de quién is used instead, as in ¿De quién es esta camiseta? (Whose shirt is this?)

Donde (where)

Voy a España donde se habla español. (I'm going to Spain where Spanish is spoken.)

 

Not only can we omit relative pronouns in English, but also in Spanish: I like the song (that) you’re singing, (that) is not necessary in this sentence, but in Spanish it cannot be omitted: Me gusta la canción que estas cantando.

Que = that, which, who.

Quien = who, or whom after a preposition.

El que = that, which, who, whom.

El cual = that, which, who, whom.

It seems that they all mean the same thing!! So how do we know which one in specific cases?  A general rule is the longer the distance between the antecedent and the relative pronoun, the longer is the relative pronoun to be used, knowing that the shortest one is (que) with three characters and longest is el cual (6 characters).

Que: must be used when the relative pronoun comes immediately after the antecedent, when there is nothing between the two.

Me gusta la casa que tienes. (I like the house that you have).

Quien: is used when the antecedent is a person and there is some distance between the antecedent and the relative pronoun (a comma or a short (one- or two-syllable) preposition):

Roberto es el hombre con quien salgo. (Robert is the person who I’m going out with).

 

El que and the other forms (la que, los que, las que): are typically used when there is some distance between the relative pronoun and the antecedent, for example after a comma or a one-word preposition. This includes one-syllable prepositions often used with que (like en) and especially those which que might cause confusion if used with que, for example:

El pueblo en el que nací (the village where I was born).

El cual and the accompanying forms la cual, los cuales, and las cuales, are used when there is greater distance between the antecedent and the relative pronoun. The most typical examples is after compound prepositions such as acerca de (about, concerning), al lado de (beside), antes de (before), cerca de (near), debajo de (underneath), delante de (in front of), dentro de (inside), después de (after), detrás de (behind), and por encima de (on top of). As with el que, the numerous forms for el cual make it useful to distinguish between more than one possible antecedent.

La violencia doméstica es un mal sobre el cual es difícil hablar.

 

Spanish Interrogative Pronouns

 

Interrogative pronouns are quién, qué, cuál, and cuánto . A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun, and interrogative means questioning, so interrogative pronouns are pronouns used to ask the questions like who, what, which, and how much/many. Note that all of these words have accents.

 

Spanish Interrogative Pronouns

Quién (who, whom) plural Quiénes.

¿Quién está aquí? Who is here? ¿Quién viene conmigo? Who's coming with me? ¿Quiénes han ganado? Who won?

Quién can also follow a preposition.

¿A quién habláis? To whom are you speaking? ¿De quién es este libro? Whose book is this?

Qué (what)

¿Qué quiere? What does he want? ¿Qué piensas del libro? What do you think of the book? ¿Qué es eso? What is this?

Cuál (what, which) plural cuáles

¿Cuál quieres - la pluma o el lápiz? Which do you want - the pen or the pencil? Hay muchas ideas. ¿Cuáles prefieres? There are a lot of ideas. Which ones do you prefer?

Cuánto (how much) plural cuántos (how many).

¿Tienes dinero? ¿Cuánto? Do you have any money? How much? ¿Cuántos están en el coche? How many are in the car?

 

Spanish Demonstrative Pronouns

 

Spanish has three demonstrative pronouns where English only has two. In English, we say "this" or "that" depending upon whether the object is close to us or not. In Spanish, we also say "this" and "that," but there is another extra word used to mean "that one over there." This form is used when the object is more than just a short distance away, for example, on the other side of the room. Here are the three forms for "this" "that" and "that one over there".

este (this) - ese (that) -aquel (that one over there).

Remember, the demonstrative pronouns are the same as the demonstrative adjectives, except that the pronouns have a written accent.

 

Spanish Demonstrative Pronouns

this (este: adjective) (éste: pronoun)
that (ese: adjective) (ése: pronoun)
that one over there (aquel: adjective) (aquél: pronoun)

ése (that one - masculine)
ésos (those ones - masculine)
ésa (that one - feminine)
ésas (those ones - feminine)

éste (this one - masculine)
éstos (these ones - masculine)
ésta (this one - feminine)
éstas (these ones - feminine)

aquél (that one over there - masc.)
aquéllos (those ones over there - masc.)
aquélla (that one over there - fem.)
aquéllas (those ones over there - fem.)

 

Each demonstrative pronoun also has a neuter form. They do not change for number or gender, they do not have a written accent, and they are used to refer to abstract ideas, or to an unknown object.

esto (this matter, this thing)
eso (that matter, that thing)
aquello (that matter/thing over there)

 

Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

 

Indirect object pronouns are words that replace the indirect object, which is usually a person.

The Spanish indirect object pronouns are as follows:

1st person

me

me

 

nos

us

2nd person

te

you

 

os

you

3rd person

le

him, her, you, it

 

les

them, you

 

Like direct object pronouns, Spanish indirect object pronouns are placed in front of the verb.

I'm telling you about him. - Te hablo de él.
She sings to them - Les canta.
We lend you people our car. - Os prestamos nuestro coche.
He asked us - Él nos preguntó.

Pronouns can get attached to the end in the case of infinitives, present participles, and affirmative commands:

Le voy a preguntar (or) Voy a preguntarle - I'm going to tell him.
Les quiero enviar una tarjeta (or) Quiero enviarles una tarjeta - I want to send them a letter.

 

Summary:

 

This is mainly what you need to remember about Pronouns in general:

 

Spanish Pronouns

Type of Pronouns

Use

Examples in Spanish (English)

Subject

Replaces the subject of a sentence

Yo (I), (you), él (he), ella (she), nosotros (we), ellos (they), ellas (they)

Possessive

Refers to something owned or possessed by someone. usually preceded by el/la/los/las

Mío (mine), mía (mine), míos (mine), mías (mine), tuyo/a (yours), suyo/a (his, hers, theirs), nuestro/a (ours), Vuestro/a (yours)

Reflexive

Used when the direct object and indirect object of a verb refer to the same person. Used more often in Spanish.

Me (myself), te (yourself), se (himself, herself, themselves), nos (ourselves), os (yourselves)

Indefinite

Used to refer to nonspecific people or things

Algo (something), alguien (anybody), nadie (nobody), todo (all), todas (all), uno (one), unos (some), ninguno (none), mucho (many), poco (little)

Relative

Introduces a clause that gives more information about a noun or pronoun

Que (that, which, who, whom), quien (who, whom), el cual (which, that which) cuyo (whose), cuyas (whose), donde (where), el que (that, which)

Interrogative

Used in questions

Qué (what), quién (what), cuándo (when), cuánto (when)

Demonstrative

Replaces a noun while also pointing to it

Éste (this one), ésta (this one), ésa (that one), aquéllos (those ones), aquél (that one over there)

 

Prepositional

Function as the object of a verb or preposition, used after prepositions, often in order to emphasize the noun they replace

Mi (me), ti(you), él, nosotros, vosotros...(except mi and ti, the rest is the same as in subject pronouns)

Indirect Object Pronoun

They’re words that replace the indirect object, which is usually a person.

Me (me), te(you), le (him, her, you (formal), nos (us), vos (you), les (them) Me da gusto ( it gives me pleasure). Te quiero (I love you)

 

 

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