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Spanish Pronouns: Subject, Object, Reflexive, and Prepositional Pronouns

Pronouns are traditionally defined as small words that take the place of nouns. Within the Spanish pronoun system, the six of the most frequently used pronouns include subject pronouns, direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, prepositional pronouns, and reflexive prepositional pronouns. The following sections outline these six types of Spanish pronouns that Spanish language learners must understand and master.

Spanish Subject Pronouns

The first category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the subject pronoun. Subject pronouns perform the grammatical functions of subject and subject complement. The Spanish subject pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – yo
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – tú
  • second person singular formal masculine/feminine – usted
  • third person singular masculine – él
  • third person singular feminine – ella
  • first person plural masculine – nosotros
  • first person plural feminine – nosotras
  • second person plural familiar masculine – vosostros
  • second person plural familiar feminine – vosotras
  • second person plural formal masculine/feminine – ustedes
  • third person plural masculine – ellos
  • third person plural feminine – ellas

Use the masculine forms nosotros, vosotros, and ellos for mixed groups of masculine and feminine antecedents. Subject pronouns translate into subject pronouns in English.

Spanish Direct Object Pronouns

The second category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the direct object pronoun. Direct object pronouns perform the grammatical function of direct object. The Spanish direct object pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – me
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – te
  • second person singular formal masculine – lo
  • second person singular formal feminine – la
  • third person singular masculine – lo
  • third person singular feminine – la
  • first person plural masculine/feminine – nos
  • second person plural familiar masculine/feminine – os
  • second person plural formal masculine – los
  • second person plural formal feminine – las
  • third person plural masculine – los
  • third person plural feminine – las

Direct object pronouns translate into object pronouns in English.

Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

The third category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the indirect object pronoun. Indirect object pronouns perform the grammatical function of indirect object. The Spanish indirect object pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – me
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – te
  • second person singular formal masculine/feminine – le
  • third person singular masculine/feminine – le
  • first person plural masculine/feminine – nos
  • second person plural familiar masculine/feminine – os
  • second person plural formal masculine/feminine – les
  • third person plural masculine/feminine – les

For sentences with both direct and indirect objects, the indirect object pronoun precedes the direct object pronoun. If both the direct object and indirect object in a sentence begin with the letter L, then the indirect object becomes se. Indirect object pronouns translate into object pronouns in English.

Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

The fourth category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the reflexive pronoun. Reflexive pronouns perform the grammatical functions of direct object and indirect object. The Spanish reflexive pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – me
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – te
  • second person singular formal masculine/feminine – se
  • third person singular masculine/feminine – se
  • first person plural masculine/feminine – nos
  • second person plural familiar masculine/feminine – os
  • second person plural formal masculine/feminine – se
  • third person plural masculine/feminine – se

Reflexive pronouns in Spanish translate into either reflexive or object pronouns in English.

Spanish Prepositional Pronouns

The fifth category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the prepositional pronoun. Prepositional pronouns perform the grammatical function of prepositional complement. The Spanish prepositional pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – mí
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – ti
  • second person singular formal masculine/feminine – usted
  • third person singular masculine – él
  • third person singular feminine – ella
  • first person plural masculine – nosotros
  • first person plural feminine – nosotras
  • second person plural familiar masculine – vosostros
  • second person plural familiar feminine – vosostras
  • second person plural formal masculine/feminine – ustedes
  • third person plural masculine – ellos
  • third person plural feminine – ellas

Prepositional pronouns translate into object pronouns in English.

Spanish Reflexive Prepositional Pronouns

The sixth category of personal pronouns in Spanish is the reflexive prepositional pronoun. Reflexive prepositional pronouns perform the grammatical function of prepositional complement. The Spanish reflexive prepositional pronouns are:

  • first person singular masculine/feminine – mí
  • second person singular familiar masculine/feminine – ti
  • second person singular formal masculine/feminine – sí
  • third person singular masculine/feminine – sí
  • first person plural masculine – nosotros
  • first person plural feminine – nosotras
  • second person plural familiar masculine – vosotros
  • second person plural familiar feminine – vosotras
  • second person plural formal masculine/feminine – sí
  • third person plural masculine/feminine – sí

Reflexive preposition pronouns in Spanish translate into either reflexive or object pronouns in English.

Personal pronouns in Spanish may be of one of six types: subject, direct object, indirect object, reflexive, prepositional, and reflexive prepositional. Students, both native speakers and Spanish language learners, must learn the types and functions of personal pronouns to fully and correctly use pronouns in both spoken and written Spanish.

Note: I have studied Spanish as a foreign language. Please feel free to correct any mistakes that I have made in my Spanish.

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