I just finished the first 5 lessons of SSi Spanish. I have a question about lesson 6 onwards

Firstly hello. I am new here. I just discovered SSi a few days ago and l’m loving the course. I’ve been learning Spanish for about 6 months now and it’s definitely my favourite learning resource I’ve discovered so far.

I’ve just completed the first 5 lessons of the Spanish course and I’m about to start lesson 6 but I’ve noticed something that’s thrown me off a little bit. Up until now I notice that personal pronouns have been omitted. For example ‘I learn’ is taught as ‘estudio’ rather than ‘yo estudio’. From what I gather personal pronouns are only used for emphasis and don’t need to be used the majority of the time.

However in lesson 6 onwards, where you’re now talking about other people rather than just about yourself, I’ve noticed that personal pronouns have been introduced. For example ‘you speak’ is taught as ‘usted habla’. And ‘you’re doing’ is translated as ‘usted esta haciendo’. I’m not completely sure why this is.

Am I wrong in thinking that ‘esta haciendo’ would be more natural in everyday speech than ‘usted esta haciendo’?

I’d be super grateful if someone could let me know since I can just omit the personal pronouns when learning if there’s no special reason for them being there.



Hi @Chris85 - Welcome. I’m just a little bit ahead of you (I’m on lesson 14) and really enjoying the course. The last couple of lessons really took it out of me, but I have learnt a lot.

I noticed the same thing (or more, my other half commented - I had assumed that usted was an exception or something). I’ve done the lessons with the pronoun in there to make sure I am aware of what position in the sentence it would theoretically take in case I am speaking to multiple people, and I do think it helped when third person pronouns were introduced, but when I’ve been practising outside of the lessons I have often omitted them.

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Hi Chris,

When you talk about yourself it is clear who the person doing the action is, therefore the pronoun is omitted. But when making an affirmative sentence using the second person singular (USTED,TU, VOS in ARG) you include pronoun. I couldn’t tell you why, but it is how it is used. When using USTED it can probably to differentiate USTED from HE, as these persons usually “share” the same verbal form (for ex, Usted quiere, El quiere). But in the cases of TU and VOS the verbal form is different, yet the pronoun has to be there (TU quieres tomar un vaso de agua). Although affirmative sentences with you are not that common, the pronoun is also included when we talk about EL, ELLA, etc.

Hope this helps!


Welcome to the forum, Chris, and great to hear you’re off to such a strong start - and thank you so much for your extremely kind words… :slight_smile:

What we’ve tried to do as much as possible is stick the most natural usage for any given phrase - which inevitably means some variations - ‘rules’ like ‘x never uses pronouns’ usually tend to be guidelines rather than accurate descriptions of exactly how native speakers operate.

Our aim is that you’ll get exposed to a good range of common usages, and from that and (in due course) exposure to enough of the spoken language, you’ll end up unconsciously mimicking most of the most natural forms… :slight_smile:

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