This comprehensive guide will introduce you to the 9 types of Spanish pronouns, starting from subject pronouns to prepositional pronouns.
Personal pronouns are the easiest to learn of all of them. Spring Spanish (a project that I am a co-founder) made a great video explaining the basics of it. Check it out!
Now that we have gone over one of them, it’s time to explore the rest!
Empecemos! (Let’s go!)
1. What are Spanish Pronouns?
With 9 types of Spanish pronouns, each serving a unique purpose, we can refer to subjects, objects, locations, express possession, ask questions, and more!
Each type of pronoun serves a different purpose in Spanish sentences, and they are all equally important in communicating effectively.
Different types of pronouns in Spanish
There are 9 types of Spanish pronouns.
- Subject pronouns
- Direct object pronouns
- Indirect object pronouns
- Reflexive pronouns
- Possessive pronouns
- Demonstrative pronouns
- Relative pronouns
- Indefinite pronouns
- Prepositional pronouns
2. Subject pronouns (pronombres sujeto)
Subject pronouns in Spanish are used to indicate who is performing the action in a sentence.
They are often used to replace a person’s name after it has been mentioned once in order to avoid repetition.
TIP: An important characteristic of the Spanish language is that subject pronouns are often omitted in conversation and writing since the verb conjugations indicate who the subject is.
The Spanish subject pronouns are:
|Subject Pronoun||English Translation|
|Tú||You (informal singular)|
|Él/Ella/Usted||He/She/You (formal singular)|
|Vosotros/Vosotras||You (informal plural in Spain)|
|Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes||They/You (formal plural)|
Sure, let’s look at some examples using Spanish subject pronouns:
- Yo vivo en Madrid. (I live in Madrid.)
- Tú comes muchas frutas. (You eat a lot of fruit.)
- Ellos estudian para el examen. (They are studying for the exam.)
3. Direct Object Pronouns (pronobres de objeto director)
Direct object pronouns in Spanish are used to replace the direct object in a sentence, which is the noun that directly receives the action of the verb.
They help to provide more fluidity in speech and writing by avoiding unnecessary repetition.
TIP: The direct object pronoun is typically placed BEFORE the conjugated verb in the sentence.
The Spanish direct object pronouns are as follows:
|Direct Object Pronoun||English Translation|
|Te||You (informal singular)|
|Lo/La||Him/Her/It/You (formal singular)|
|Os||You (informal plural in Spain)|
|Los/Las||Them/You (formal plural)|
Let’s illustrate with some examples:
- Lo vi en el parque. (I saw him in the park.)
- La compro para mi madre. (I bought it for my mother.)
- Nos quieren mucho. (They love us a lot.)
4. Indirect Object Pronouns (Pronombres de objeto indirecto)
Indirect object pronouns in Spanish are used to replace the indirect object in a sentence, which is the person or thing that benefits from or is affected by the action of the verb.
TIP: The indirect object pronoun is placed BEFORE the conjugated verb in the sentence. In cases where both direct and indirect object pronouns are used, the indirect object pronoun ALWAYS precedes the direct object pronoun.
These Spanish pronouns help to streamline conversation and writing by avoiding unnecessary repetition.
HINT: It might be hard to spot the difference between direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish at first. Lucky for you, we made a nice overview article about how to recognize them!
Here are the Spanish indirect object pronouns:
|Indirect Object Pronoun||English|
|Te||To/For you (informal singular)|
|Le||To/For him/her/it/you (formal singular)|
|Os||To/For you (informal plural in Spain)|
|Les||To/For them/you (formal plural)|
Let’s look at some examples:
- Le escribo una carta. (I write a letter to him/her.)
- Nos dan los libros. (They give the books to us.)
- Te compraré un regalo. (I will buy a gift for you.)
5. Reflexive Pronouns (Pronombres reflexivos)
Reflexive pronouns in Spanish are used when the subject and the object of the sentence are the same. In other words: the subject is performing an action on itself!
TIP: The reflexive pronoun is placed BEFORE the conjugated verb in the sentence. For infinitive and gerund forms, it can either go before the conjugated verb or be attached to the end of the infinitive/gerund.
These Spanish pronouns often indicate actions that one does to oneself, such as personal care or daily routines.
Here are the Spanish reflexive pronouns:
|Te||Yourself (informal singular)|
|Se||Himself/Herself/Itself/Yourself (formal singular)|
|Os||Yourselves (informal plural in Spain)|
|Se||Themselves/Yourselves (formal plural)|
Let’s look at some examples:
- Me lavo las manos. (I wash my hands.)
- Nos despertamos temprano. (We wake up early.)
- Te ves bien. (You look good.)
6. Possessive Pronouns (Pronombres posesivos)
Possessive pronouns in Spanish are used to indicate ownership or possession.
They agree with the noun they replace in gender and number.
TIP: The possessive pronoun is used instead of the noun, once the context is clear. It MUST AGREE with the noun in gender and number.
Here are the Spanish possessive pronouns:
|Mío, Mía, Míos, Mías||Mine|
|Tuyo, Tuya, Tuyos, Tuyas||Yours (informal singular)|
|Suyo, Suya, Suyos, Suyas||His/Hers/Its/Yours (formal singular and plural)|
|Nuestro, Nuestra, Nuestros, Nuestras||Ours|
|Vuestro, Vuestra, Vuestros, Vuestras||Yours (informal plural in Spain)|
|Suyo, Suya, Suyos, Suyas||Theirs|
Let’s look at some examples:
- El libro es mío. (The book is mine.)
- ¿Dónde está tu casa? La mía está al lado. (Where is your house? Mine is next door.)
- Nuestros amigos llegaron tarde a la fiesta. (Our friends arrived late to the party.)
7. Demonstrative Pronouns (Pronombres demostrativos)
Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish are used to point out or indicate a specific item or items.
They must agree with the noun they replace in gender and number.
TIP: The demonstrative pronoun replaces a noun, once the context is clear, and it MUST AGREE with the noun in gender and number.
There are three sets of demonstrative pronouns in Spanish, which correspond with the English terms ‘this’ (for something close), ‘that’ (for something further away), and ‘that over there’ (for something at a distance).
Here are the Spanish demonstrative pronouns:
|Este, Esta, Estos, Estas||This, These|
|Ese, Esa, Esos, Esas||That, Those|
|Aquel, Aquella, Aquellos, Aquellas||That over there, Those over there|
Here are some examples:
- Quiero comprar esa camisa. (I want to buy that shirt.)
- Estos zapatos son muy cómodos. (These shoes are very comfortable.)
- Aquella casa es muy bonita. ( That house over there is very beautiful.)
8. Relative Pronouns (Pronombres relativos)
Relative pronouns in Spanish are used to relate a subordinate clause to a main clause, or to join two sentences together.
TIP: The relative pronoun MUST AGREE in gender and number with the noun it is referring to. The choice of relative pronoun also depends on the context of the sentence.
Here is a table with the most common relative pronouns in Spanish:
|que||that, who, which|
|el que/la que/los que/las que||the one who, the ones who|
|lo que||what, that which|
- La chica que está allí es mi hermana. (The girl who is there is my sister.)
- El libro que compré ayer es interesante. (The book that I bought yesterday is interesting.)
- La casa donde crecí está en España. (The house where I grew up is in Spain.)
9. Indefinite Pronouns (Pronombres indefinidos)
Indefinite Spanish pronouns refer to unspecified people or things, they are used when the exact identity is not important or unknown.
TIP: The usage of indefinite pronouns can often DEPEND ON THE CONTEXT of the sentence. Remember to consider the noun’s number and gender when choosing the correct indefinite pronoun.
They can refer to ONE, SOME, or ALL.
Here are some examples:
|nadie||no one, nobody|
|ninguno||none, not any|
- Alguien dejó su paraguas en la oficina. (Someone left their umbrella in the office.)
- No quiero nada para mi cumpleaños. (I don’t want anything for my birthday.)
- Todos están invitados a la fiesta. (Everyone is invited to the party.)
10. Prepositional Pronouns (Pronombres preposicionales)
Prepositional pronouns in Spanish are pronouns that typically follow prepositions to indicate who is involved in an action.
TIP: Remember that prepositional pronouns are always used AFTER prepositions, and the pronoun MUST MATCH the gender and number of the noun it replaces.
The prepositional pronouns in Spanish are similar to subject pronouns, but there are a few changes.
Let’s take a look!
|ti||you (singular, informal)|
|usted||you (singular, formal)|
|él, ella||him, her|
|vosotros, vosotras||you all (informal)|
|ustedes||you all (formal)|
- El libro es para mí. (The book is for me.)
- Voy a la tienda con ella. (I’m going to the store with her.)
11. Practice Worksheet for Spanish Pronouns
Now that we’ve gone through each type of Spanish pronoun, it’s time to practice!
Don’t worry if you make mistakes at first, practice makes perfect!
I. Complete the sentences below by choosing the correct Spanish pronoun:
This was just one of our great exercises for Spanish pronouns but you can gain access to a lot more if you click this big green button below!
12. Learn Spanish Pronouns with Conversation Based Chunking
Mastering Spanish pronouns can be effectively achieved through: Conversation Based Chunking method.
This technique involves grouping commonly used phrases or sentences that contain specific pronouns.
This approach allows for internalizing the pronoun’s context and nuances, enhancing your ability to communicate naturally and effortlessly in Spanish.
Sign up for our Conversation Based Chunking Starter Pack to gain access to full practice worksheets, a 12-in-12 week learning guide in different languages, and more chunks!