Subject Pronouns in Spanish

He Said, She Said

Telling a story can get tiring pretty quickly if you have to keep saying every person's name over and over. This is where personal pronouns like subject pronouns come in pretty handy. Subject pronouns replace a subject noun and can be classified several different ways: by person (1st, 2nd, 3rd person), number (singular, plural), gender (male, female), and formality (formal or informal). Luckily, we've provided a snazzy chart so you have the Spanish pronouns to refer to subjects in one place.

While subject pronouns can be used to replace a person's name, many native speakers of Spanish rarely use them at all since Spanish verb endings tell you who the subject is.

Subject Pronouns

FormEnglishPersonNumberGenderFormality
yo
 
I1st personsingular------
nosotros
 
we1st personpluralmasculine
nosotras
 
we1st personpluralfeminine
 
you2nd personsingular---informal
vos
 
you2nd personsingular---informal
usted
 
you2nd personsingular---formal
ustedes
 
you2nd personplural---formal (Spain), both informal and informal (Latin America)
vosotros
 
you2nd personpluralmasculineinformal (Spain)
vosotras
 
you2nd personpluralfeminineinformal (Spain)
él
 
he3rd personsingularmasculine---
ella
 
she3rd personsingularfeminine---
ellos
 
they3rd personpluralmasculine---
ellas
 
they3rd personpluralfeminine---

A Closer Look

Let's learn some important tips about each of the above subject pronouns.

Yo

  • It isn't necessary to capitalize yo in Spanish unless it is the first word in a sentence.
Mi mamá y yo fuimos a la tienda.
My mom and I went to the store.
 
Yo fui a la tienda solo.
I went to the store by myself.
 

  • When you are talking directly to a child, a relative, a friend, a peer, or a pet you should use , the informal singular second person.

is written with a tilde to distinguish it from the possessive adjective tu  (your).

Vos

  • Vos is used instead of in some countries, such as Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
  • In some countries, such as Bolivia, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, you may hear both and vos.
  • In some countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, you will really only ever hear .

Usted

  • Usted is used to directly address someone older, a person you do not know, a superior, or someone to whom you would like to show a lot of respect.

You can abbreviate usted as "Ud." in writing.

Él, ella

  • Él and ella are commonly used in place of a person's name.

Él is written with a tilde to differentiate it from the definite article el  (the).

Nosotros, nosotras

  • Use nosotros or nosotras when speaking about a group of which you are a part.

  • The difference between nosotros and nosotras is gender.

    • Nosotros is used to refer to a group of men only or a group made up of men and women. Even if there are ninety-nine women and only one man in a group, you still use nosotros.
    • Nosotras is feminine and is only used when the entire group is female.

Vosotros, vosotras

  • Vosotros and vosotras are used to speak directly to a group of people you are very familiar with.

  • Vosotros and vosotras follow the same rules for gender as nosotros and nosotras.

Vosotros and vosotras are used in Spain, but you won't hear them in Latin America.

Ustedes

  • In Latin America, ustedes is used to speak directly to a group of people in both formal and informal situations.
  • In Spain, ustedes is used when talking to a group of people in a formal situation.

You can abbreviate ustedes as "Uds." in writing.

Ellos, ellas

  • Ellos and ellas follow the same rules for gender as nosotros, nosotras, vosotros and vosotras.

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