A subject is the person or thing that does the action of a verb. A subject pronoun is a word that takes the place of the subject.
Juan corre. → Él corre.
(John runs. → He runs.)
|Subject Pronoun||Translation||Sentence Example|
|tú||you (informal, singular)||Tú corres.
|usted||you (formal, singular)||Usted corre.
|nosotros (masculine), nosotras (feminine)||we||Nosotros corremos.
|vosotros (masculine), vosotras (feminine)
Used in Spain only
|you (informal, plural)||Vosotros corréis.
|ustedes||you (plural)||Ustedes corren.
|ellos (masculine), ellas (feminine)||they||Ellos corren.
Note: Unlike English, Spanish has formal and informal forms of "you." The more formal version would be used with people in a position of authority, such as teachers, police officers or your boss at work. It would also be used to show respect, such as with older people. The singular formal "you" form is "usted," while the singular informal "you" is "tú." In some Latin American countries, they use "vos" for the singular informal "you," instead of "tú." In Latin America, "ustedes" is the plural form of "you" in all situations (formal and informal). In Spain, however, they use "vosotros" or the feminine "vosotras" in informal situations.
You will notice that there are masculine and feminine forms of some pronouns. If you are referring to a group of all men or boys or a mixed group (men and women), you would use the masculine form (such as "nosotros" or "ellos"). If you are referring to a group of all women or girls, you would use the feminine form (such as "nosotras" or "ellas").
Possessive adjectives are used with a noun to identify who something belongs to ("mi libro" = "my book"). The possessive adjective has to agree in number (singular or plural) with the noun that it is used with ("mi libro" vs. "mis libros"). When using a possessive adjective that has different gender forms (masculine and feminine), the possessive adjective also has to agree in gender ("nuestro libro" vs. "nuestra casa").
|mi||mis||my||Es mi libro.
Son mis libros.
|tu||tus||your (informal singular)||Es tu libro.
Son tus libros.
|su||sus||your (formal singular, plural), his, her, their||Es su libro.
Son sus libros.
|nuestro, nuestra||nuestros, nuestras||our||Es nuestro libro.
Son nuestros libros.
|vuestro, vuestra||vuestros, vuestras||your (informal plural, used in Spain only)||Es vuestro libro.
Son vuestros libros.
Possessive pronouns describe who something belongs to. While possessive adjectives are used together with the noun ("my books"), possessive pronouns are not used with the noun ("mine"). They are used in contexts where the noun is already understood. For example, we already know that we are referring to books. The possessive pronoun needs to agree in number (singular vs. plural) and gender (masculine vs. feminine) with the noun that it is replacing (mis libros → míos, su casa → suya).
|mío, mía||míos, mías||mine||El libro es mío.
Los libros son míos.
|tuyo, tuya||tuyos, tuyas||yours (informal singular)||El libro es tuyo.
Los libros son tuyos.
|suyo, suya||suyos, suyas||yours (formal singular, plural), his, hers, theirs||El libro es suyo.
Los libros son suyos.
|nuestro, nuestra||nuestros, nuestras||ours||El libro es nuestro.
Los libros son nuestros.
|vuestro, vuestra||vuestros, vuestras||yours (informal plural, used in Spain only)||El libro es vuestro.
Los libros son vuestros.
Prepositional pronouns are pronouns that are used after a preposition. All of the prepositional pronouns in Spanish are identical to the subject pronouns except for two forms (in bold in the table below).
|Prepositional Pronoun||Translation||Sentence Example|
|mí||I||El regalo es para mí.
(The gift is for me.)
|ti||you (informal, singular)||El regalo es para ti.|
|usted||you (formal, singular)||El regalo es para usted.|
|él||him||El regalo es para él.|
|ella||her||El regalo es para ella.|
|nosotros (masculine), nosotras (feminine)||us||El regalo es para nosotros.|
|vosotros (masculine), vosotras (feminine)
Used in Spain only
|you (informal, plural)||El regalo es para vosotros.|
|ustedes||you (plural)||El regalo es para ustedes.|
|ellos (masculine), ellas (feminine)||them||El regalo es para ellos.|
Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and object of the verb are the same person or people. For example, if you say, "I hurt myself," you are the one doing the action of the verb (doing the hurting) and also receiving the action of the verb (getting hurt). These are the pronouns which end in -self or -selves in English. Spanish uses reflexive pronouns with more verbs than English. For example, with the verb "bañar" (bathe) and "despertar" (wake up), a reflexive pronoun is used in Spanish (but not in English).
(I bathed. -or- I took a bath.)
Me desperté a las 7:00.
(I woke up at 7:00.)
|Reflexive Pronoun||Translation||Sentence example|
(I hurt myself.)
|te||yourself (informal singular)||Te lastimaste.
(You hurt yourself.)
|se||himself, herself, yourself (formal), themselves, yourselves||Él se lastimó.
(He hurt himself.)
(We hurt ourselves.)
|os||yourselves (informal, used in Spain only)||Os lastimasteis.
(You hurt yourselves.)
Direct objects receive the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence "She threw the ball." The ball is receiving the action of the verb (throw). Direct object pronouns replace the direct object with a pronoun ("She threw it.") In Spanish direct object pronouns need to agree in gender (masculine vs. feminine) and number (singular vs. plural) with the noun that they are replacing. In Spanish direct object pronouns are generally placed before the verb.
Ella tiró la pelota. → Ella la tiró.
(She threw the ball. → She threw it.)
Ella recogió las flores. → Ella las recogió.
(She picked the flowers. → She picked them.)
Direct objects can instead (optionally) be attached to the end of present participles or infinitives. Present participles are verbs that end in -ando or -iendo in Spanish (-ing in English) such as "hablando" (speaking) or "corriendo" (running). Infinitives are verbs in their basic form. These verbs end in -ar, -er or -ir in Spanish, such as "hablar" (to speak), "correr" (to run) or "escribir" (to write). If the stress of the verb would change with the addition of the direct object, you must add an accent to retain the correct pronunciation of the verb.
Ella está recogiendo las flores. → Ella las está recogiendo. -or- Ella está recogiéndolas.
(She is picking the flowers. → She is picking them.)
With affirmative commands direct objects must be attached to the end of the verb. With negative commands, however, the direct object must go before the verb (after the "no").
Toma la medicina → Tómala
(Take the medicine. → Take it.)
No tomes la medicina. → No la tomes.
(Don't take the medicine. → Don't take it.)
|Direct Object Pronoun||Translation||Sentence example|
|me||me||Él me llamó.
(He called me.)
|te||you (informal singular)||Él te llamó.
(He called you.)
|lo, la||him, her, it||Él la llamó.
(He called her.)
|los, las||them||Él los llamó.
(He called them.)
|nos||us||Él nos llamó.
(He called us.)
|os||you (informal plural, used in Spain only)||Él os llamó.
(He called you.)
Indirect objects tell who received the action of the verb (the person or people). For example, in the sentence, "I gave her the flowers," "her" is the indirect object (the one receiving the flowers in this case). In Spanish the placement rules for indirect objects are the same as the rules described above for direct objects.
Indirect object pronouns go before the verb.
Él nos ayudó.
(He helped us.)
Indirect objects can instead (optionally) be attached to the end of present participles or infinitives.
Él nos está ayudando. -or- Él está ayudándonos.
(He is helping us.)
Él nos va a ayudar. -or- Él va a ayudárnos.
(He is going to help us.)
With affirmative commands indirect objects must be attached to the end of the verb. With negative commands the indirect object must go before the verb (after the "no").
No nos ayudes.
(Don't help us.)
Unlike English, in Spanish you must use an indirect object pronoun even if you specify the person (like "a ella" in the example below).
Él le dio a ella un regalo.
(He gave her a gift.)
|Indirect Object Pronoun||Translation||Sentence example|
|me||me (or "to me")||Él me dio un regalo.
(He gave me a gift.)
|te||you (or "to you") informal singular||Él te dio un regalo.|
|le||him, her, you (formal singular)
(or "to him," "to her,” “to you”)
|Él le dio un regalo.|
|les||them, you (plural)
(or "to them," "to you")
|Él les dio un regalo.|
|nos||us (or "to us")||Él nos dio un regalo.|
|os||you (or "to you") informal plural, used in Spain only||Él os dio un regalo.|
When you use both types of object pronouns together, the indirect object pronoun goes first and the direct object pronoun goes second.
Ella me lo dio.
(She gave it to me.)
When indirect and direct objects are used together, they can also be added to the end of present participles and infinitive verbs.
Ella me lo está dando. -or- Ella está dándomelo.
(She is giving it to me.)
Ella me lo va a dar. -or- Ella va a dármelo.
(She is going to give it to me.)
When the indirect object "le" or "les" is used together with a direct object, it changes to "se."
Ella se lo dio.
Ella va a dárselo.