Personal Pronouns and the Verb To Be

ser o estar


The personal pronouns in spanish are very similar to the english ones

I – Yo

You – Tu / Usted / Ustedes

He – El

She – Ella

It – Eso

We – Nosotros

They – Ellos

The pronoun you in english can be singular or plural, but in spanish we have a specific pronoun for each one, also we difference them if they are formal or informal.

Tu (informal)

Usted (formal)

Ustedes (plural formal and informal)

Vos (very informal)



The verb to be in english is used in many ways, however, in spanish, we have two verbs that can be translated as to be, this are used in different situations.


Yo soy

Tu eres

Usted es

El es

Ella es

Nosotros somos

Ellos son

Ustedes son

They are used to describe the following:

Origen / Origin – Las fresas son de Nariño / The strawberries are from Nariño

Destinación / Destination – Este regalo es para ti / This gift is for you

Propiedad / Property – La casa es de Manuel / The house belongs to Manuel

Composición / Composition – La mesa es de madera / The table is made from wood

Tiempo / Time – son las 10 de la mañana / it’s 10 in the morning 

Características / Characteristics – El carro es bonito / The car is pretty

Suceso social / Social event – La boda es en la iglesia / The wedding is at the church


Yo estoy

Tu estás

Usted está

El está

Ella está

Nosotros estamos

Ellos están

Ustedes están

They are used to describe the following:

Salud / Health – Martha está enferma hoy / Martha is sick today

Una condición / A condition – La cama está limpia / The bed is clean

Localización / Location – El restaurante está en la esquina / The restaurant is in the corner

Contrariedad / Setback – ¡La sopa está fria! / ¡The soup is cold!

Énfasis / Enphasis – ¡Tu hijo está muy alto! / ¡Your son is very tall!


Gender of Nouns


One of the most confusing things when we are learning spanish is to keep in mind that nouns have genders, this means that the treatment we give to places, things, animals and people is defined by a femenine or masculine gender. Most of the times, there are general rules to definie which word is which gender, in other situation we just have to learn each word by heart.

The definite article the, in english, is used to define the singularity of any word, however, in spanish, we have two articles depending on the gender of the word, la if it is feminine and el if it is masculine.

So let’s check those gender rules out.


Most of the masculine nouns will end in o

el carro / the car

el puerto / the port

el perro / the dog

el gato / the cat

el escritorio / the desk

There are others that doesn’t end in o, but they are masculine and we have to memorize them

el doctor / the doctor

el televisor / the tv

el estante / the shelf

el balón / the ball

el bus / the bus


Most of the feminine nouns will end in a

la cama / the bed

la pala / the shovel

la estrategia / the strategie

la taza / the cup

la tierra / the land

Nous ended in ción, sión, dad, tad or tud will be feminine

la extracción / the extraction

la diversión / the fun

la universidad / the university

la libertad / the liberty

la juventud / the youth

Just as the masculine nouns, there are some that don’t end in a, but they are feminine and we have to memorize them

la base / the base

la clase / the class

la serie / the serie

la labor / the labor

la crisis / the crisis


Sometimes, words that end in a will be masculine

el tema / the topic

el clima / the weather

el agua / the water

el idioma / the language

el planeta / the planet

Sometimes, words that end in o will be feminine

la mano / the hand

la moto/ the motorcycle

la radio / the radio

la foto / the picture


When nouns are plural, the article changes depending on the gender the noun is.

If it is masculine, the article will be los and if it is feminine the article will be las

los carros / the cars

los perros / the dogs

los estantes / the shelves

los temas / the topics

los telefonos / the topics

las casas / the houses

las ranas / the frogs

las mesas / the tables

las cartas / the letters

las series / the series

Pronunciation Guide


Pronunciation in spanish is really easy, letters have specific sounds and the words are pronounced by adding one sound after the other, so if we learn how to pronounce the letters, we will be able to read most of the words in spanish with the correct pronunciation, so let’s start…



a – as the a in apple

casa , pala , nadar , mandala , talar

e – as the e in café

elefante , esmeralda , empezar, este, verde

i – as the i in initial

iglesia , india , vivir , infringir , dificil

o – as the o in orange

oponer , coco, oso , ojo , ogro

u – as the u in rule

puro , suturar , untar , uno , usar

note: in gue and gui, u is not pronounced unless it is marked like this ü, güe, güi.

guitarra , guerra , guisante , manguera

pingüino , cigüeña , agüero , antigüedad



b – as the b in base

bote , abaro , barato , balon , bota

c – before a, o, and u, as the c in cut

caro , cocoa , culto , calor , cubo

before e and i, as the s in soil

cigarro , cerrar , cita , cena , vecino

ch – as the ch in chest

chorro , chocolate , chorizo , chicharron , chiste

d – as the d in dog

deber , domo , indio , donde , dedo

f – as the f in fork

facil , frente , foco , oficina, oferta

g – before a, o, and u, as the g in goat

gato , figura , gordo , ganar , guardia

before e and i, as the h in horse

genial , giro , gente , gigante , genuino

h – in spanish the h is silent

hombro , hermano , haber , hoyo , hacia

j – as the h in hair

jarra , junta , joya , jirafa , jerez

k – as the k in key

kilometro , kepis , kiosco , koala , kimono

l – as the l in lime

limon , loro , lastre , largo , pala

m – as the m in mother

maestro , moderno , mamá , termo , medio

n – as the n in nurse

nadie , nota , banana , nene , nunca

ñ – as the gn lasagna

mañana , araña , ñandú , niña , cañon

p – as the p in pear

perro , patio , puño , atrapar , puro

q – normally the q goes next to an u and it sounds as the k in kart

que , queso , quien , química , quemar

r – at the beginning of the word, as the r in rose

rosa , resto , ropa , río , rana

in the middle of the word, as the tt in matter

caro , loro , poro , duro , perdura

s – as the s in sun

solo , serio , sonido , peso , asar

t – as the t in tour

tarea , topo , tinto , tema , pato

v – the spanish v, in Latin America, is pronounced as the b in boat

veloz , vaso , viento , vuelo , uva

w – as the w in wonder

waflera , hawaiano , newton , watt , kiwi

x – as the x in expert

externo , proximo , maxima, xenon , exportar

y – as the y in york

ya , yo , yunke , yoyo , boya

note: y is normally used as the translation of and, in this case it is pronounced as the i in pink

z – the spanish z, in Latin America, is normally pronounced as the s in send

zorro , pozo , zapato , mozo , zanahoria