Spanish subject pronouns: Interesting tips ~ Learn Spanish language fast | free memory tricks | Spanish vocabulary lessons.
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Monday, July 2, 2007

Spanish subject pronouns: Interesting tips


The most vital starting point in learning any grammar would invariably be the subject pronouns. So, here's a post dedicated to this very topic: Spanish subject pronouns.


Singular

yo I
you (familiar)
Usted or Ud. you (formal)
él he
ella she

Plural

nosotros we (masc.)
nosotras we (fem.)
vosotros you all (familiar-masc.)
vosotras you all (familiar-fem.)
Ustedes or Uds. you all (formal)
éllos they (masc.)
ellas they (fem.)

Now, the tricks to learn them: Always remember that a Spanish word ending in -a is mostly feminine and any ending in -o, masculine. So, this explains the nosotros-nosotras, the vosotros-vosotras, and the él-ella combos. Plurals are generally, like in English, made by adding -s or -es. But éls doesn't sound great to Spanish ears (Spanish rarely allows consonants together) so, we get a cleaner, ellos (remember, the -os makes it masculine) Same applies for ella-ellas too. rhymes so well with you that it's hard to forget its meaning.

Don't really bother about vosotros/-as unless you plan to learn European Spanish, because it is only used in Spain. Mnemonics:

yo (spells like you but means exactly the opposite!)
(rhymes with you)
nosotros (do you know this: we all have some hair in our nostrils!?)
él (He and él combine to become hell. Boys from hell!)
ella (rhymes with a feminine name, Stella)

Do these mnemonics work? If they don't for you, please suggest something better and I promise I'll incorporate them in my coming posts.

Tomas P said...

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I am myself not a native English speaker and learning Spanish via English is fun because I can use both my language and English in the process (we have gender verbs etc but English has a lot of similar to Spanish words). I will be traveling to America Sur in 3 months and am desperately looking for the fastest way to start speaking. I really liked your remark about the "machine gun" Spanish :)

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Overuse of subject pronouns — the equivalent of words such as "he," "she" and "they" — is common among English speakers learning Spanish. It's important to remember that in Spanish the verb forms often make subject pronouns unnecessary, and when that's the case the pronouns shouldn't be used unless there's a reason to.

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