Language Guide
Pronouns
Subject Pronouns in Spanish

Subject Pronouns in Spanish

Quick Answer

Subject pronouns are pronouns that identify who or what is performing the action of a verb.

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 handy. Subject pronouns often replace a subject noun and can be classified several different ways: by person (first, second, or third person), number (singular or plural), gender (male or female), and formality (formal or informal). Luckily, we've provided a snazzy chart so you have all the Spanish subject pronouns 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. This is because Spanish verb endings tell you who the subject is.

Spanish Subject Pronouns

SpanishEnglishPersonNumberGenderFormality
yo
 
IFirst personsingular------
nosotros
 
weFirst personpluralmasculine---
nosotras
 
weFirst personpluralfeminine---
 
youSecond personsingular---informal
vos
 
youSecond personsingular---informal
usted
 
youSecond personsingular---formal
ustedes
 
youSecond personplural---formal (Spain), both informal and informal (Latin America)
vosotros
 
youSecond personpluralmasculineinformal (Spain)
vosotras
 
youSecond personpluralfeminineinformal (Spain)
él
 
heThird personsingularmasculine---
ella
 
sheThird personsingularfeminine---
ellos
 
theyThird personpluralmasculine---
ellas
 
theyThird 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 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 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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