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 them all 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.
|you||2nd person||plural||---||formal (Spain), both informal and informal (Latin America)|
|you||2nd person||plural||masculine||informal (Spain)|
|you||2nd person||plural||feminine||informal (Spain)|
A Closer Look
Let's learn some important tips about each of the above subject pronouns.
- It isn't necessary to capitalize yo in Spanish unless it is the first word in a sentence.
- When you are talking directly to a child, a relative, a friend, a peer, or a pet you should use tú, the informal singular second person.
- Vos is used instead of tú 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 tú and vos.
- In some countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, you will really only ever hear tú.
- 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 and ella are commonly used in place of a person's name.
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 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.
- 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 and ellas follow the same rules for gender as nosotros, nosotras, vosotros and vosotras.