logo spanish programs

More Spanish, More Effective, Less Money

Become Conversational in Spanish

1. Watch Demo

level 1 spanish course demo

2. Try

trial download
Free 7-Day Trial
Instant Download
start download

3. Get Started

level 1 spanish course buy now
List Price: $199.99
Hard Copy: $149.99
Download: $99.99
order free trial

Question of the Week – Why don’t they use personal pronouns?

by Dave Clark

calendar image

December 19th, 2011

Pregunta de la semana/Question of the week:

Dear Dave i have a really important question for you
alot of times when i hear people speak spanish then dont add the word yo to quiero or yo to the word tengo …

alot of times i well hear

quiero ir ( i want to go ) or alot i hear this word
tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for you )

but in spanish i though you had to add the word yo following the word quiero or tengo or ect…beacuse i think wouldent it make more sense to say yo tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for u ) or yo quiero ir ( i want to go ) an now i could be wrong and thats why i am asking ..

also when i speak spanish here is one more example where somtimes i find my self in a sticky situation for example i say usted tiene/ tienes comida porque tengo hambre
but my friend will say tienes comida porque tnego hombre
…they say tienes mean ( you have ) but dont u have to add the usted or tu ..to the word tiene ? to make it say you have ?

i hope when your reading this ..,my message is not confuseing to you ..but im just wondering alot do i have to add the words …yo to quiero ..or add the word yo to tengo for i have …or usted to tienes ..like this is all confuseing to me cuz they just say quiero…tengo…tienes
ect ..ect.. .


In Spanish, personal pronouns (yo, tú, él, ella, etc.) are completely optional. I realize this is a complete paradigm shift from how we speak in English (or how they do it in French or other languages). Often, native Spanish speakers with talk to you and not use them and sometimes, when you are new to Spanish, it will leave you wondering whom they are talking about. After a while you get used to it and realize whom they are talking about.

Basically, here’s how they do it – for everyday conversation, they’ll usually leave the personal pronoun off. For example, if someone said to someone else, “¿Quiere ir?” it could mean, Do you want to go? (formal) or “Does he or she want to go?” The way to tell the difference is by their body language or the context of what they are talking about. If they they are looking directly at the person, it probably means “Do YOU want to go?” If they are motioning to someone else or were previously talking about someone else, they mean “Does he/she want to go?”

Also, the personal pronouns are used when you want to emphasize. For example, if someone asked a group of people, “Who wants to go?” (¿Quién quiere ir?) If I really wanted to go (and only a few people could go) I would say, “Yo quiero ir.” (I want to go.)

Hopefully all of that makes sense and answers your question.

¡Hasta luego!




Comments are closed.

home icon button home text button