///Spanish for Speaking with a Handymen- Translation Drills


In unit 4(4.21.1) the concept of person was discussed as it applies to the proper selection of verb forms, and person-number categories were illustrated by English pronouns. The same classification - that of first, second, and third categories, each occurring in both singular and plural forms, constituting a set of six categories for Spanish verbs - can be used to describe Spanish pronouns. In addition there are distinct gender forms in the 1 pl and 3 sg and pl categories and two 2nd person forms distinguishing formal and familiar.

This means that there are several areas of overlap between pronouns and verb patterns, as the charts bellow illustrates:

Note that the pattern discrepancies of Spanish, though they exists, are relatively minor compared to English.

As the chart shows, only the English pronouns which are marked for gender (he, she, it) require a verb form that is different form the name form or infinitive form which all other English pronouns occur with. The Spanish pronoun and verb patterns coincide except for a distinction between 2nd formal and 3rd person forms.

Since verbs in Spanish carry person-number distinction in their structure, pronouns that carry the same information are frequently considered redundant and unnecessary, and a student's tendency to translate all English pronouns into Spanish pronouns is very conspicuous to a Spanish speaker. Spanish pronouns are usually used only for emphasis or contrast as in 'I don't want it', 'And what are you drinking', 'I'm going, but he's staying', or when they are needed to distinguish forms, as between and with a verb form like .

The regional American 'you all' is often used in drills in this book to signal the distinction between and that 'you' alone does not show.

Very commonly used abbreviation of usted and ustedes are Ud. and Uds.

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