Personal Pronouns in Spanish Grammar (2023)

  • Overview of Spanish Personal Pronouns
  • How to use personal pronouns in Spanish
  • Subject pronouns
  • Direct object pronouns
  • Indirect object pronouns
  • Position of direct and indirect object pronouns
  • Prepositional pronouns
  • Online exercises to improve your Spanish
  • Lingolia Plus Spanish

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Personal pronouns, or los pronombres personales, identify the subject or object of a verb, whether they are people, animals or things. We can use them to replace a previously-mentioned noun, speak about ourselves, or address other people. The type of pronoun we use depends on the function of that noun in a sentence i.e. subject or object.

Learn how to use Spanish personal pronouns and the difference between prepositional, indirect and direct object pronouns with Lingolia. Then practise in the exercises.


Personal Pronouns in Spanish Grammar (1)

Yo tengo una novia. Ella es muy simpática y a me gusta mucho. Me encanta cantarle canciones con la guitarra. Quizás a ti no gustan, pero ella no las puede dejar de escuchar.

Eres mi sol y me haces feliz.

Para , eres el amor de mi vida.

y yo amaremos siempre, ¡oh, sí!

Overview of Spanish Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns identify the participants in a discussion. Use the first person to refer to the speaker, the second person to the listener, and the third person to someone outside the conversation.

Personal pronouns in Spanish can act as the subject or object of a verb (i.e. who performs the action, who receives it, etc.). Depending on their function, pronouns take on different forms. The table below provides an overview of Spanish personal pronouns. Note that the third person singular and all plural pronouns have different forms for masculine and feminine.

personsubjectdirect objectindirect objectprepositionalEnglish Translation
singular1st personyomeI, me
2nd persontetiyou (informal)
usted*lo/lale, seusted*you (formal)
3rd personélloélhe, him
ellalaellashe, her
plural1st personnosotrosnosnosotroswe, us (masculine)
nosotrasnosotraswe, us (feminine)
2nd personvosotrososvosotrosyou all (masculine)
vosotrasvosotrasyou all (feminine)
ustedes*los/lasles, seustedes*you all (formal)
3rd personelloslosellosthey, them

* Usted and ustedes are formal. They are used to show respect to a conversation partner in Spanish. They can be used in singular and plural together with a verb conjugated in the third person.


In many Latin-American countries, the pronoun vos is used with the conjugation of the 2nd person plural instead of the pronouns , vosotros and usted/ustedes. This phenomenon is known as voseo. There are different ways of conjugating the verb in different regions.

tú cantas → vos cantás
usted come → vos comés
(Video) Personal Pronouns in Spanish

How to use personal pronouns in Spanish

Subject pronouns

The Spanish subject pronouns, or los pronombres personales de sujeto, are summarized in the table below:

subject pronounsexample
singular1st personyoYo no tengo ni idea.I have no idea.
2nd person
¿Y tú qué necesitas?And what do you need?
Vos tenés razó are right.
3rd personél, ella,
Ella es la jefa.She’s the boss.
¿Usted necesita algo más?Do you anything else?
plural1st personnosotros, -asNosotras nos marchamos ya.We are leaving.
2nd personvosotros, -as
¿Vosotros sois de aquí?Are you from here?
3rd personellos, -as

Ellos no tienen las llaves.They don’t have the keys.

Ustedes esperen fuera, por favor.Please wait outside.

Sometimes personal pronouns can be used as an attribute as well as a subject in sentences with verbs like ser, estar and paracerbe, seem.

Yo soy yo.I am who I am. (yo = attribute)

Since the conjugated verb endings in Spanish grammar already indicate person and number, subject pronouns can be left out.

Yo tengo una novia./Tengo una novia.I have a girlfriend.

However, there are still some cases when it is necessary to use a subject pronoun:

  • to emphasise the subject
    Ella es la que es muy simpática.She is the one who’s very nice.
  • when a pronoun is used without a verb
    ¿Quién canta canciones? - Yo.Who sings songs? - Me.
  • in comparisons after que
    Mi novia es más alta que yo.My girlfriend is taller than me.
  • before certain words such as a, mismo, también, tampoco
    Yo mismo no puedo dejar de cantar mis canciones.I myself can’t stop singing my songs.

Direct object pronouns

The direct object, or complemento directo, is necessary to the meaning of a verb. Verbs that take a direct object are known as transitive verbs. Direct objects can be objects or people.

Direct Object Pronouns Example
Singular1st personme¿Me llamas mucho?Do you call me a lot?
2nd personteTe echo de menos.I miss you.
3rd personlo
¿Lo has visto?Have you seen it?
La venderé a finales del año.I will sell it at the end of the year.
Plural1st personnosNos quieren mucho.They love us a lot.
2nd personosOs colocan por grupos.They place you by groups.
3rd personlos
Los he invitado a todos.I have invited all of them.
Las renovarán este verano.They will renew them this summer.
(Video) Personal pronouns in Spanish in only a few minutes


The masculine form of the third person direct object pronoun is lo. However, le is also used in some regions of Spain when talking about a person. Many Latin American countries do not accept this usage.

A Javi no lo/le he invitado a la fiesta.I haven’t invited Javi to the party.

The following things can help you to identify the direct object in a sentence and help you to use the correct direct object pronoun:

  • Direct objects are always used with transitive verbs. These verbs require an object in order to make sense.

Me como una manzana. → Me la como.I eat an apple. → I eat it.
  • The direct object usually refers to objects that do not need a preposition. We use the preposition a in front of a direct object pronoun when the verb refers to a person or an animal.
Estoy esperando a mis padres. → Los estoy esperando.I’m waiting for my parents. → I’m waiting for them.
No encuentro a mi gato. → No lo encuentro.I can’t find my cat. → I can’t find him.
  • Common verbs that often take a person as their direct object are: echar de menos, esperar, invitar, llamar, querer, miss, to wait for, to invite, to call, to love
Echo mucho de menos a Marta. → La echo mucho de menos.I really miss Marta. → I really miss her.
¿Invitamos a Pablo también? → ¿Lo invitamos también?Shall we invite Pablo as well? → Shall we invite him as well?
  • The direct object of an active sentence becomes the subject when the sentence is in the passive.
    Me como la manzana. I eat an apple. (active)
    La manzana es comida por mí.The apple is eaten by me. (passive)

Indirect object pronouns

The indirect object, or the complemento indirecto, refers to the recipient of the action expressed by the verb, and is always a living thing.

Indirect Object Pronouns Example
Singular1st personmeMe han dado la beca.They’ve given me the scholarship.
2nd personteTe voy a contar algo.I’m going to tell you something.
3rd personle
Dile que no.Tell him no.
Se lo tienes que repetir.You have to repeat it to him.
Plural1st personnosNos dieron bottelas de agua.They gave us bottles of water.
2nd personosOs recomiendo visitar Asturias.I recommend that you visit Asturias.
3rd personles
Les he traído un regalo.I’ve brought you a present.
Ya se lo he dado.I’ve already given it to them.

*When a sentence includes a direct object pronoun (lo/la/les/las) and an indirect object pronoun (le/les), the indirect object pronoun is changed to se to avoid confusion.

Ya se la he dado. (not: Ya le la he dado.)I’ve already given it to them.
Ya les he dado la noticia.I’ve already given them the message.

Position of direct and indirect object pronouns

In Spanish, direct and indirect object pronouns have a specific place in sentences:

  • They come before the verb in all tenses.
    Susan me conoce desde hace años.Susan has known me for years. (direct object)
    Me encanta cantar canciones.I love singing songs. (indirect object)
    La guitarra me la regaló mi madre.My mother gave me the guitar. (indirect object, direct object)
  • If a sentence contains a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun, the indirect object pronoun always comes first.
    ¿Quién te ha regalado la guitarra? – Me la regaló mi madre.Who gave you the guitar? – My mother gave it to me.
  • In sentences that contain a gerund or an infinitive, the pronoun can come at the beginning or it can follow the gerund/infinitive. When the pronoun comes before the verb we call them enclitic pronouns.
    Quiero cantar otra canción. → La quiero cantar./Quiero cantarla.I want to sing another song. → I want to sing it.
    When the verb is placed at the end of the gerund or infinitive we sometimes have to add an accent to the verb to maintain the pronunciation.
    Estoy cantando canciones. → Las estoy cantando./Estoy cantándolas.I’m singing songs. → I’m singing them.
  • In imperative sentences, the personal pronoun comes after a positive imperative verb and before a negative imperative verb.
    ¡Canta las canciones otra vez! → ¡Cántalas otra vez!Sing the songs again! → Sing them again! (negative imperative)
  • Two pronouns that begin with l- cannot follow each other. If a sentence contains one of the direct object pronouns lo, las, los or las together with one of the indirect object pronouns le or les, the indirect object pronoun becomes se to avoid confusion.
    Canto canciones a mi novia. → Se las canto.I sing songs to my girlfriend. → I sing them to her. (not: Le las canto)
(Video) Spanish Subject Pronouns - Pronombres Personales | in 5 minutes

Prepositional pronouns

Personal pronouns are often used before a preposition. The table below provides an overview of the prepositional forms of the Spanish personal pronouns as well as example sentences.

Prepositional PronounExample
Singular1st personNo os marchéis sin mí.Don’t leave without me.
2nd personti
Todo eso es para ti.All of this is for you.
He venido por vos.I’ve come for you.
3rd personél, ella
El agua es para él.The water is for him.
Todos esperan por usted.Everyone is waiting because of you.
No cuentes con ello.Don’t trust him.
Marco solo piensa en sí mismo.Marco only thinks of himself.
Plural1st personnosotros, -asNo contéis con nosotras.Don’t trust us.
2nd personvosotros, -asPueden ir con vosotros?Can they go with you?
3rd personellos, -as
El aplauso es para ellas.The applause is for them.
Es un placer contar con ustedes.It’s a pleasure to count on you.
Están hablando entre sí.They are talking amongst themselves.

Prepositional pronouns are used in the following cases in Spanish grammar:

  • after a preposition (a, con, hacia, para, por, sobre, sin etc.).to, with, towards, for, on, without etc.
Escribo canciones para ella.I write songs for her.
Escribo canciones para tí.
  • after the preposition a to emphasise who the verb is referring to (direct or indirect object)
A mí me conoces muy bien.You know me really well. → «a mí» emphasises the direct object (me)
A mí me cantan canciones todas las mañanas.I sing songs every morning. → «a mí» emphasises the indirect object (me)

The pronouns and ti have special forms when used with the preposition con: conmigo and contigo.

Me encanta escuchar música contigo.I love listening to music with you.


The subject pronouns yo and tú are used after the following prepositions: entre, excpto. incluso, menos, salvo, según.

Entre tú y yo, no tengo ganas de ir a la fiesta.Between you and I, I don’t feel like going to the party.
Según tú, mañana lloverá.According to you it’s going to rain tomorrow.


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