Subject Pronouns in Spanish

As in English, subject pronouns in Spanish are used to replace a subject noun or name. Subject pronouns in Spanish are classified in several ways: person (1st, 2nd, 3rd), number (singular, plural), formality (formal or informal), and gender (male or female). While subject pronouns come in handy, native speakers of Spanish don't use them very often. This is because verb endings already indicate who the subject is. Review and listen to the Spanish subject pronouns below, then repeat each one out loud.

English
Spanish
I
1st person singular
yo
you
2nd person, singular, familiar
t
you
2nd person, singular, familiar
vos
you
2nd person, singular, formal
usted
he
3rd person, singular
l
she
3rd person, singular
ella
we
1st person, plural, masculine
nosotros
we
1st person, plural, feminine
nosotras
you
2nd person, plural, masculine
vosotros
you
2nd person, plural, feminine
vosotras
you
2nd person, plural, formal
ustedes
they
3rd person, plural, masculine
ellos
they
3rd person, plural, feminine
ellas

yo (I)

  • Unlike English, in Spanish you're not required to capitize "yo" – except when it appears at the beginning of a sentence.

t (you, singular informal)

  • In Spanish, people can be addressed either formally or informally. Children, friends, and peers are addressed information using "t".
  • The information "t" has a tilde over the "u" to distinguish it from the Spanish word "tu," meaning "your".

vos (you, singular informal)

  • "vos" means the same thing as "t".
  • It is not commonly used except in a few South American countries including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile

usted (you, singular formal)

  • Is the singular, formal form of the English word "you". It is used to address older people, those you are not familiar with, or a superior.
  • Usted is abbreviated with "Ud." The abbreviated form is always capitalized and followed by a period.

l, ella (he, she)

  • Used in place of a person's name.
  • Unlike the English he and she, can be used to denote it (masculine/feminine).
  • "l" has a tilde over the "e" to distinguish it from the word "el" which means "the."

nosotros, nosotras (we)

  • Nosotros(as) is used when speaking about a group of people to which you belong.
  • The masculine form is used when referring to a group of men or a mixed group of men and women which you are a part.
  • Nosotras is only used by women and when the entire group is female.

vosotros, vosotras (you, plural informal)

  • Most Spanish speaking countries do not use "vosotros" in everyday language.
  • It is the informal, or familiar, plural form of "you" used in Spain and in the Bible.
  • Use of "vosotros" follows the same rules used for "nosotros."

ustedes (you, plural formal)

  • Ustedes is used to speak to a group of people (of which you are not a part) both formally and informally.
  • Ustedes is abbreviated as "Uds." It is always capitalized and followed by a period.

ellos, ellas (they)

  • All men and mixed groups are referred to as "ellos". Groups of all women are referred to as "ellas".
  • Used to replace more than one person's name or when you're talking about a group of people of which you are not a part.
  • Can also be used to denote those (masculine/feminine).