Spanish/Personal pronouns

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Spanish has six different type of pronouns, the 1./2./3. person singular and the 1./2./3. person plural:

1. singular yo I        
2. singular you (one person, informal) usted you (one person, formal)    
3. singular él he, it ella she, it    
1. plural nosotros we (at least one male) nosotras we (only females)    
2. plural vosotros you (several persons, at least one male, informal, only used in Spain) vosotras you (several persons, only females, informal, only used in Spain) ustedes you (several persons; in Spain it's formal, in Latin America ustedes is the only pronoun of second person plural).
3. plural ellos they (at least one male) ellas they (only female)    
  • It is normal in Spanish to omit the personal pronoun (i.e. you seldom say yo estoy bien but estoy bien, and you ask ¿Cómo se llama? instead of ¿Cómo se llama usted?) because the specific conjugation of a verb usually indicates which person is the subject. However, usted, él and ella all use the same verb form so if you choose to drop the pronoun in this case it must be clear in the situational context which pronoun is being referenced.
  • As indicated above, in most of Spain the vosotros form can be used to address a group of familiar people (e.g. friends), and ustedes is used with more formality (e.g. recent acquaintances). In all Latin American countries and parts of Spain ustedes is used also for a familiar group of people; in these countries the "vosotros" form is almost never used.

Exercise: Personal Pronouns


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