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Recognizing Spanish Subject Pronouns

A subject pronoun takes the place of a subject noun in a sentence. Spanish subject pronouns aren’t used as frequently as in English because Spanish verb endings generally indicate the subject. However, you should still be able to recognize them in a sentence.

Just like in English, Spanish subject pronouns have a person (first, second, or third) and a number (singular or plural), as you can see in the following table.

Spanish Subject Pronouns
Person Singular Meaning Plural Meaning
1st person yo I nosotros (nosotras) we
2nd person informal
(familiar)
you vosotros (vosotras) you
2nd person formal
(polite)
usted (Ud.) you ustedes (Uds.) you
3rd person masculine él he ellos they
3rd person feminine ella she ellas they

Unlike the English subject pronoun I, which is always capitalized, the Spanish pronoun yo is capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence. You always write the abbreviations Ud. and Uds. with capital letters, even though you normally write the English equivalent (you) with a lowercase letter. When usted and ustedes aren’t abbreviated, they’re capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence. Here are some examples:

  • Yo me voy. (I’m leaving.)

  • Eduardo y yo salimos. (Edward and I are going out.)

  • ¿Busca Ud. (usted) algo? (Are you looking for something?)

  • ¿Uds. (ustedes) necesitan ayuda? (Do you all need help?)

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