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SER and SUBJECT PRONOUNS
Do you know what’s meant by 1 st person, 2 nd person, 3 rd person? 1 st person is the person who is speaking – I 2 nd is the person to whom one is speaking – you 3 rd is the person about whom one is speaking -- he, she, it I, you, he, she, it are all singular pronouns. Each refers to one person. But we also have plural pronouns: 1 st person plural = I + another person = we 2 nd person plural = you + another person = y’all 3 rd person plural = he/she/it + another person = they
These pronouns are called SUBJECT PRONOUNS: Iwe youy’all he, she, itthey What that means is that these pronouns are used as the SUBJECT of the sentence: I read a book. (Not *Me read a book.) You read a book. (Not *Your read a book.) He reads a book. (Not *Him reads a book.)
singular plural 1 st person Iwe 2 nd personyouy’all 3 rd personhe, she, itthey Pronouns are always, always, ALWAYS in this order. When you learn pronouns in any language, this is the order in which you’ll find them. When you learn the verbs that go with the pronouns, the verbs will always, always, ALWAYS be in this order.
singular plural 1 st person ___________ 2 nd person ___________ 3 rd person ___________ Question: How often are pronouns found in this order? Answer: Always, always, ALWAYS.
Click here to go to a brief practice exercise.here
Following are the Spanish subject pronouns: yonosotros túvosotros él, ellaellos They correspond to the English subject pronouns: Iwe youy’all he, shethey
Spanish has two additional pronouns: usted (Ud.) and ustedes (Uds.). “Ud.” means “you.” “Uds.” means “y’all.” “Ud.” is used with people to whom you should show respect, people who are older than you are or in a position of authority. It’s pretty safe to say that if you call the person Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss/Dr./Prof. + last name rather than by his first name, you should use “Ud.” rather than “tú.” If you call the person by his first name, you should probably use “tú” with him. “Uds.” is used in Spain to show respect just like Ud. is. However, “vosotros,” the familiar form you use with friends (people you address by their first name), doesn’t exist in Latin America, and they use “Uds.” no matter who they’re talking to.
In spite of the fact that “Ud.” means the same thing “tú” does (“you”), it’s treated like a third person pronoun: yonosotros túvosotros él, ella, Ud.ellos What that means is that anything that applies to the third person (like verb endings and OBJECT pronouns) also applies to “Ud.”
The same is true of “Uds.” Even though it means the same thing as “vosotros” (“y’all”), it goes with the 3 rd person plural: yonosotros túvosotros él, ella, Ud.ellos, Uds.
One more note about subject pronouns: the -os in three of them can change to –as if every member of the group is female: yonosotros, nosotras túvosotros, vosotras él, ella, Ud.ellos, ellas, Uds.
SER “Ser” means “to be.” It’s the most irregular verb there is in both English and Spanish. amareare isare soysomos eressois esson
Iweamare youy’allareare he, shetheyisare yonosotrossoysomos túvosotroseressois él, ellaellosesson Just as “I” takes the verb that’s in its position (“am”), “yo” takes the verb that’s in its position (“soy”). In other words, “yo soy” is “I am,” “tú eres” is “you are,” etc.
However, you don’t have to use the pronouns. Look at the Spanish forms of “ser”: soysomos eressois esson All of them are different. So “soy” all by itself means “I am.” “Soy alto” means “I am tall.” “Eres” all by itself means “you are.” “Soy” can never mean anything but “I am,” and “eres” can never mean anything but “you are.” You never have to use a subject pronoun in Spanish, because when you look at the verb, you know what the subject has to be. If you say “yo soy,” it doesn’t mean “I am”; it means “ I am.” In other words, it emphasizes the pronoun. However, you can say “él es” or “ella es” or “Ud. es” or “ellos son” or “Uds. son” to clarify the subject. That is, “soy” can mean only “I am,” so the only time you use “yo” is if you want to emphasize it, but “es” can mean “he is,” “she is,” or “you are,” so you can use the pronoun to show whether you mean “he,” “she,” or “you.”
In your homework, I’ll give you a subject and a blank. You’ll put in the correct form of “ser”: Ellos _______ Juan _______ (Note: “Juan” is the same as “él.”) Elena y yo ______ (Note: “Elena y yo” is the same as “nosotros.”) Ud. ___________ Tú ___________ son es somos es eres
Click here to go to your “ser” homework.here
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