|Pronombres sujetos - Spanish
The subject of a sentence is the person or thing which performs the
action. Subject pronouns
replace this person or thing. You must understand subject pronouns
before you begin conjugating Spanish
verbs, as the form of verbs changes for each one.
Spanish is what linguists call a "pro-drop" language, which simply means that
the pronoun can be dropped. It's not necessary for comprehension, the way it is
in English, because the subject of the verb is evident from the conjugated verb.
"I go" can be translated by "yo voy" or simply "voy" (from the verb
ir - to go).
Yo is only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence, unlike its
English counterpart I. It is pronounced differently in
There are four words for you
Vosotros is used only in Spain. In Latin America, Uds. is the
only plural "you," used to refer to both familiar and formal groups. The
formal "yous" are used to show respect or to indicate the the person is
unknown to the speaker. In Argentina and some other Spanish-speaking
countries, there is an additional pronoun:
In Latin America, since all Spanish
nouns are either masculine or feminine, the 3rd person subject pronouns
which correspond to the gender may sometimes be used. Thus él can
refer to a male (he) or a masculine noun (it) and ella
can refer to a female (she) or a feminine noun (it).*
Ud. and Uds. are short for
usted and ustedes, respectively, and may also be written
Vd. and Vds. Note that they use the third person conjugations.
Nosotras, vosotras, and
ellas means we, you, and they respectively when all of the
nouns (both people and things) referred to are feminine. If there are
any masculine nouns, the subject pronoun defaults to the masculine
vosotros, or ellos.
*Spanish also has a neuter subject pronoun (ello).