13 Capítulo 2: Sección 1: Orígenes

Section Goal

In this section, students will learn:

  • how to express someone’s origin
  • the subject pronouns
  • the conjugation of the verb ser
  • the uses of the verb ser

Gramática: Los pronombres personales

Before we start working with verbs and constructing full sentences, we need to begin with personal pronouns. These pronouns tell us who is doing the action in the sentence.

Chart of Los Pronombres personales













Personal Pronouns

Pronomber personales

I Yo
You Tú (informal you)
She/He/They (nonbinary) Él, Ella, Usted (formal you), Elle
We (all, mixed group) Nosotros/Nosotras (mujeres)
You all Vosotros (Spain) / Vosotras (Spain, only women)
They / You all

Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes (Latin America) / Elles (nonbinary)

Cheerful multiethnic students having high five with teacher
“Cheerful multiethnic students having high five with teacher” by Kampus Production is under a Pexels content license

Actividad 1. ¿Qué pronombre?

Instructions: Given the following situations, decide which personal pronoun you will use to refer to that person.

Modelo: If you are in Latin America and talking directly to a group of people, use ustedes.

  1. If you are talking directly to a friend, use _________.
  2. If you are talking about a male friend, use_________.
  3. If you are talking directly to a judge, use _________.
  4. If you are talking about yourself, use _________.
  5. If you are talking about two people, male and female, use _________.
  6. If you are talking about yourself and your mom, use _________.
  7. If you are in Spain and talking directly to a group of friends, use _________.
  8. If you are talking directly to a child, use _________.
  9. If you are talking about two people, both females, use  _________.
  10. If you are talking about yourself and your brother, use _________.
  11. If you are talking about your parents, use _________.

Actividad 2. Suma de pronombres

Instructions: Which personal pronoun will you use when you add one person to the pronouns below? For those that have two or more options, discuss the different scenarios with a partner.

ModeloElla + 1 = Ellas -o- Ellos

  1. Yo + 1 = _________-o- _________
  2. Tú + 1 = _________-o- _________(España)  _________ (Latinoamérica)
  3. Él + 1 = _________
  4. Mi madre + 1 = _________-o- _________
  5. Mis padres viven en Idaho, pero originalmente _________ son de California.

Actividad 3. ¡A sustituir!

Instructions: Read the following sentences that use names, then decide what pronoun you will use to replace the names as the conversation continues.

Modelo: Tú y yo corremos por el parque. Nosotros corremos por el parque.

  1. Mi hermano canta mucho. _________ es músico.
  2. Señora Londoño es profesora _________ es muy inteligente.
  3. Antonia y María son mis amigas. _________ son simpáticas.
  4. Jorge y yo vamos al cine. _________ somos novios.

El verbo ser

The verb ser in Spanish means “to be.” In English and in Spanish, this verb is irregular, meaning it does not follow a pattern. We will look at how to conjugate it and then how to use it. 


Subject pronoun (singular) Verb conjugation Subject pronoun (plural) Verb conjugation
Yo soy




Él/Ella/Elle es Ellos/Ellas/Elles son
Usted es Ustedes son


POP is a mnemonic device to help you remember when to use ser. Mnemonic devices are a great memory technique for language learning.

  • Personality and physical characteristics
  • Origin (ser followed by de)
  • Profession

 Ser/to be conjugation chart


  • Personality and physical characteristics: Yo soy reservada y tranquila. También soy morena. Mi hermana es extrovertida y sociable. Ella es rubia.
  • Origin: ¿De dónde eres?…Soy de Idaho. ¿De dónde son tus padres?…Mis padres son de California.
  • Profession: Yo soy profesora de español. Mi padre es consejero. Mi hermana es trabajadora social.

*We will see more uses for ser in the future, especially after learning about the verb estar.  However, these three uses are extremely common and are a very good place to start.

Why are the pronouns in parentheses?

Personal pronouns are optional in Spanish because there is so much variation in how the verb changes. Because there is only one person in the world that “soy” can refer to, the “yo” is optional, etc. It’s not always so clear, like with “es” or “son,” but as long as it’s clear by context, you do not have to use the pronouns.

Actividad 4. ¿Cómo es?

Instructions: Use clues in the sentence to fill in the blank with the correct form of ser.

 Modelo: Yo soy profesora.

  1. Mi novia _____________ muy bonita.
  2. Alejandro y Mateo _____________ inteligentes.
  3. Mi esposo y yo _____________ del estado de Iowa.
  4. Yo _____________ alto y amable.
  5. Tú _____________ muy aventurero.
  6. Ustedes _____________ de los Estados Unidos, ¿no?
  7. Vosotros _____________ de los Estados Unidos, ¿no?
  8. Marta y Francesca _____________ mis mejores amigas.

Actividad 5. El origen

Instructions: Answer the questions below about where these people are from. Remember to use de after ser when discussing origin.

Modelo: ¿De dónde es Carlos? Él es de México.

  1. ¿De dónde eres? _____________
  2. ¿De dónde es tu padre? ______________
  3. ¿De dónde son tus abuelos (grandparents)? _______________


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Libro Libre: An Introduction to Spanish I and II Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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