Pronouns are an indispensable part of the Spanish language, and their use is unavoidable in both Spanish and English. Pronouns are used to replace nouns, and can be a short cut to talking about nouns which have been previously referred to. In the sentence “Rob and Liz run Spanish Obsessed, and they have audios available on it for all levels” both “they” and “it” are pronouns, as they both refer to previously mentioned nouns (“they”: “Rob and Liz”; “it”: “Spanish Obsessed”). Try reading the sentence without using pronouns (ie, repeating “Rob and Liz” and “Spanish Obsessed”) and you soon see why these are used!

Spanish pronouns can be of various types:

  • Personal subject pronouns, which talk about people (“I”, “he”, “she”, “you”, etc), and are the subject of the sentence (or more accurately, the clause).
  • Object pronouns, of which there are two types: direct and indirect. These are pronouns which stand in for either the direct object or indirect object of the clause, for example “them”, “him”, etc.
  • Demonstrative pronouns, which are used to “demonstrate” things. In English, these are “this”, “these”, “those”, etc.
  • Possessive pronouns, which indicate possession (“his”, “hers”, “mine”, etc).
  • Reflexive pronouns. In English, reflexive pronouns are “himself”, “themselves”, etc. These are used when the object and subject of the sentence are the same – “I washed myself”. “I” and “myself”, subject and object respectively, both refer to the same thing – me!

And, once you’ve learnt about these pronouns, we have an article about how to combine Spanish pronouns.

Although there does seem to be a bewildering amount of both pronouns and rules governing their use, it’s actually pretty simple once you get used to it. It’s not an area (in Rob’s experience, at least) where English learners make a huge amount of mistakes. Take a look through our articles on pronouns, listen out for them, and you’ll soon find you are using them with ease!