Unit 7.1

Tonic Personal Pronouns

Contributors

Introduction

Pronouns [pronombres] are words that replace nouns (people, animals, facts or things) to avoid repetition.

Tonic personal pronouns [pronombres personales tónicos] can fulfil the same functions within a sentence as a noun, i.e. function as a subject, attribute or end of a preposition.

Form

Tonic personal pronouns have the following characteristics:

  • they can function as a subject ( sabrás), as an attribute (los culpables son ellos) or as the end of a preposition (mi hermano vendrá con nosotros);
  • they keep the person, number and gender of the noun they replace;
  • they can stand alone.

Tonic personal pronouns can be of two types: non-prepositional and prepositional:

Non-prepositional

A preposition does not accompany non-perpositional tonic personal pronouns.

They have the following forms:

PERSONA SINGULAR PLURAL
1.a Yo Nosotros/-as
2.a Vosotros/-as
3.a Él/Ella/Usted Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

Prepositional

The prepositional tonic personal pronouns:

  • are always accompanied by a preposition;
  • the specific forms of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular (ti y) are followed by prepositions (e.g., a, para…);
  • when the prepositional tonic pronoun and the unstressed pronoun appear simultaneously in the same sentence, a reduplication of pronouns occurs. In other words, the tonic pronouns cannot stand alone: A mí me gustan los perros. / A mí gustan los perros.

They have the following forms:

PERSONA SINGULAR PLURAL
1.a nosotros/as
2.a ti vosotros/as
3.a

NOTE: When the forms mí, ti and are preceded by the preposition con, they change to conmigo, contigo and consigo (amalgamated forms).

Example

Non-prepositional:

  • Yo soy una persona tranquila, adoro la lluvia;
  • siempre dices que tienes frío;
  • Ella se quedó mirando la Luna mientras él la observaba;
  • Pues nosotros estamos a punto de descubrir un planeta habitable;
  • ¿Vosotras nunca habéis volado por el cielo?
  • Ellos viven en un mundo completamente distinto.

Prepositional:

  • A me gusta la lluvia;
  • A ti el frío nunca te molestó. → Creo que me confundes contigo, yo odio el frío;
  • A ella la Luna le parecía preciosa;
  • Descubrir un planeta habitable sería algo muy importante para nosotros;
  • ¿Está Paco volando con vosotras por el cielo? Conmigo no está;
  • El mundo es de todos y, por supuesto, también de ellos.

Use

Tonic personal pronouns are used to refer to a person, animal or thing, known or mentioned. In the 1st and 2nd person, they have human referents, and their use differs according to their types:

  • non-prepositional tonic personal pronouns have an anaphoric value that places them before the verb as a resource for thematisation to stand out in the sentence (Con él me divierto). In other words, they refer to the antecedent of the sentence (person, thing, etc.) mentioned above;
  • prepositional tonic personal pronouns are used with the preposition a, have the value of IC and represent the experiencer  (Esto me pasa solo a .) or the addressee, target or goal (Te lo digo a ti.). They also help to express contrast (A ti te gusta la ópera, pero a me gustan más los musicales.).

Summary

Tonic personal pronouns can perform the same functions in a sentence as a noun, i.e. they can function as a subject, attribute or preposition term. In Spanish, they are divided into non-prepositional and prepositional.

The noun-prepositional tonic personal pronouns are: yo, tú, él/ella/usted, nosotros/-as, vosotros/-as, ellos/ellas/ustedes.

The prepositional tonic personal pronouns are: mí, ti, sí, nosotros/-as, vosotros/-as, sí. 

For example:
— «Yo tengo un perro y ella tiene dos gatos». = without prepositions;

The prepositional tonic personal pronouns are: , ti, , nosotros/-as, vosotros/-as, .

For example:

— «mí me gustan los perros y a ella los gatos». = With the preposition a;

NOTE: The forms , ti and , when preceded by the preposition con, change into conmigo, contigo, consigo.

For example:

— «Me gusta ir de vacaciones contigo». = With the preposition con (goes together in one word).

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Related

Pronouns are words that replace nouns (people, animals, facts or things) to avoid repetition. Tonic personal pronouns can fulfil the same functions within a sentence as a noun, i.e. function as the subject, attribute or end of the preposition.

Exercises


The exercises are not created yet. If you would like to get involve with their creation, be a contributor.



Translations

This book is available in:
Español (original) | français | Italiano | Polskie

Contributors

License