Personal Pronouns

19.10.2016 |

Episode #6 of the course Spanish language basics by Nicole Joslin


Es el día número seis de este curso sobre los básicos del español. It’s day number 6 of this course about the basics of Spanish.

Today, we’re going to learn about personal pronouns.

First, let’s begin with explaining what personal pronouns are. In English, personal pronouns are the following: I, you, he, she, it, we, they. In English, we also use various terms for the plural “you” pronoun, like “you all,” “you guys,” “y’all,” etc.

In Spanish, the pronouns are the following. Make sure to pay attention to the order and the presentation of the pronouns. This will come in handy tomorrow when we learn about verb conjugation!

screenshot-2016-10-19-19-17-07*There is a special form of used in parts of Latin America (especially in Rioplatense Spanish) that is called vos. It is just like , except the verb conjugations that go with it are different. We’ll cover that more in two days with our verb conjugation lesson.

Now that you know the pronouns, let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

Notice that there are four ways to say “you” in Spanish. We’re going to examine that more tomorrow.

For today, I want you to notice that “nosotros,” “vosotros,” and “ellos” all end in -OS. They are plural personal pronouns. That means that they can change their endings if the gender of the people they are referring to changes.

For example, if you are a male with a group of men, you can say “nosotros” because you are all men. If you are talking directly to a group of men in Spain, regardless of your gender, you should use “vosotros.” Finally, if you are talking about a group of men, you should use “ellos.”

If you are referring to a group of females only, then you should use the feminine forms. If you are a female within a group of other women, you should use “nosotras.” If you are speaking directly to a group of women in Spain, regardless of your gender, you should use “vosotras,” and if you are talking about a group of women, then use “ellas.”

So what happens if there is a group of men and women? Then you should use the -OS ending. That’s just the way it is!

Another fact about the pronouns that I want you to notice is that there is no personal pronoun in Spanish for “it.” We’ll talk about this more in two days when we talk about verb conjugation, but if you want to say in Spanish something like “It is raining,” you cannot say “it.” You just use the verb like this: Llueve. Literally translated, it would say something like “rains,” which doesn’t make sense in English, but in Spanish we understand the pronoun “it” without having to state it!

The final fact that I want to point out to you is that the informal, second person plural form “vosotros” is only used in Spain to refer to a plural “you.” In Latin America, to refer to plural “you,” they only use the “ustedes” form, which means that there is no difference in formality for the “ustedes” form in Latin America, unlike in Spain where it is the formal version of “vosotros.” We’ll cover the differences between “ustedes” and “vosotros” in more depth in tomorrow’s lesson.

So now you know the basics of the personal pronouns in Spanish. Tomorrow, we will explore more about the personal pronouns and how they relate to formal and informal speech.

Hasta entonces,


Recommended book by Highbrow

“Dirty Spanish: Everyday Slang from “What’s Up?” to “F*%# Off!” by Juan Caballero


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