HomeQ&AWhen to use personal pronouns?

When to use personal pronouns?


I like it that personal pronouns (Yo, tú, ellas, etc.) are often not needed in Spanish. However, are there situations when their use is more common? I would guess that personal pronouns are used more often in writing than in speech.

For example, is their use more common in formal writing like in business letters or documents? Would a newspaper article use them more often than a personal letter? Would academic articles use them more? Would my lawyer use them more than my grocer?

My guess is that there are no easy generalizations that can be made about the use of personal pronouns. However, I would appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject.

updated MAR 20, 2010
posted by tvich

1 Answer


Good question. Sometimes you need to use the pronoun when the subject is not clear from the context, like in this sentence:

Esto no es lo que parece ser. La mujer está intentando estrangular a su marido, porque él le dijo que no le gustaba su nueva suegra.

In some tenses, the first and third person singular verb form is the same and again, if the context isn't obvious, you have to use the pronoun:

Cuando éramas niños, mi hermana y yo solíamos jugar mucho al aíre libre. Yo hacía castillos de arena y ella jugaba con sus muñecas.

As for the formal writing, I can't tell - let's wait for someone more experienced to answer your question.

updated MAR 20, 2010
posted by Issabela
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.