Spanish Pronouns

This is a complete overview of Spanish pronouns. It can be used for reference, or for basic understanding of the different types of pronouns and their use in the language. Follow the links for more detailed explanation, rules, and examples for each group.

Different types of Spanish pronouns

There are five big groups of pronouns in Spanish. They are, in fact, quite similar to the English pronouns:

Spanish personal pronouns

Personal pronouns are the most important group and have several sub-types:

Subject pronouns

Personal subject pronouns are the most basic and easiest to learn. If you are a complete beginner, start with these. There are 12 subject pronouns in Spanish and they are so important that you should memorize them all:

yo = I
= you (familiar)
usted = you (formal)
él = he
elle = she

nosotros / nosotras = we
vosotros / vosotras = you (familiar)
ustedes = you (formal)
ellos / ellas = they

Like French or German, and unlike English, the Spanish language differentiates between familiar and formal form when talking to someone. You address your brother or friend as "tú", but when talking to a customer or someone you don't know, you say "usted". There are no hard and fast rules; the use of formal vs. informal form depends on region and culture. For instance, in Latin America, ustedes is commonly used also with friends and members of your family, while in Spain you address these people vosotros/vosotras.

Moreover, unlike the English we, you, they, the Spanish plural pronouns are different depending on gender of the group. If you are all girls, you say "nosotras", if all boys (or mixed) you say "nosotros". Same with vosotros/vosotras, depending on the group you are talking to.

When using personal subject pronouns in a sentence, it is often OK to omit them, because the person is usually clear from the context, especially the form (ending) of the verb. For example, in:

Yo hablo español.
I speak Spanish.

... you can omit the pronoun:

Hablo español.

... because it is clear from the verb ending that you are talking about yourself (first person singular).

Similarly, in:

Vamos a la playa.
We go to the beach.

... it is clear from the verb vamos (first person plural) that it is "we".

Nosotros vamos a la playa.

... would also be grammatically correct, but less commonly used, unless you want to specifically stress that it is your group going to the beach and not someone else.

Direct object pronouns

me = me
te = you
lo = him / it
la = her

nos = us
os = you
los / las = them


Te amo. = I love you. You are the direct object of my love.

Lo siento. = Commonly used as I am sorry, it literally means: I feel it.

Indirect object pronouns

me = me
te = you
le = him / her

nos = us
os = you (all)
les = them

At a first glance indirect object pronouns may look almost the same as direct object pronouns, but their use is very different.

We can explain the difference between the two types on the popular Spanish word:

Dámelo. = Give it to me.

It is not just a word, but a combination of three words made into one:

= give (command form of the verb dar = to give).
me = (to) me (indirect object pronoun).
lo = it (direct object pronoun it).

The act of giving is done to a direct object (the thing that is being given) and benefits/affects an indirect object (the person who receives what is being given). In English, indirect object pronouns are typically used with the prepositions to or for (to me, for me).

Prepositional object pronouns

These are personal pronouns used after prepositions, such as para mí = for me.

= me
ti = you
usted = you (formal)
él = him
ella = her

nosotros / nosotras = us
vosotros / vosotras = you
ustedes = you (formal)
ellos / ellas = them

Notice there is an accent in , but no accent in ti.

After the preposition con (with), the pronouns and ti are merged with the preposition into a new word:

con + = conmigo = with me
con + ti = contigo = with you

Spanish reflexive pronouns

me = myself
te = yourself
se = himself / hefself
nos = ourselves
os = yourselves
se = themselves

Spanish relative pronouns

que = who / whom / that / which
quien / quienes = who
cuyo / cuya = whose

Relative pronouns are the words used to link two clauses or sentences into one. Such as:

Leí el libro que compré ayer.

I read the book which I bought yesterday. = I read the book. + I bought it yesterday.

Spanish possessive pronouns

el mío / la mía / los míos / las mías = mine
el tuyo / la tuya / los tuyos / las tuyas = yours
el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas = his, hers, its
el nuestro / la nuestra / los nuestros / las nuestras = ours
el vuestro / la vuestra / los vuestros / las vuestras = yours
el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas = theirs

Spanish posessive pronouns are always used with the definite article "the" (el / la / los / las).

The article and the ending of the pronoun (e.g. elo / laa) relate to the gender of the thing that is in possession, while the beginning of the pronoun (el o, el tuyo) relates to the owner (me, you).

Spanish indefinite pronouns

algo = something
alguien = somebody, someone
alguno / alguna / algunos / algunas = some, one, any, a few
bastante / bastantes = enough
cada uno = each one
cualquiera = anyone, whoever
demasiado / demasiada / demasiados / demasiadas = too much, too many
mucho / mucha / muchos / muchas = much, many, a lot
nada = nothing
nadie = nobody, no one
ninguno / ninguna = none, any
otro / otra / otros / otras = another, other, others
poco / poca / pocos / pocas = little, few
tanto / tanta / tantos / tantas = so much, so many
todo / toda / todos / todas = all, everything, everyone
varios / varias = some, several

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