Prepositional pronouns let us do a lot of creative things in Spanish! Let’s learn how to say things like “with him”, “with her”, “for them”, and “from us” in Spanish.
Let’s blend prepositions with pronouns.
Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.
Today we have a big quiz to practice everything we’ve been learning on the podcast recently, including hacer, indirect objects, and our new adverbs.
First, though, there’s a specific type of pronoun that you haven’t learned how to use, and this involves just a little bit of grammar, but it’s pretty simple. To warm up, let’s do a little refresher on how to find the right pronoun in a sentence. So for starters, what pronoun would you use in this sentence: “He is eating.”
The word “he” here is a subject pronoun; he’s the one doing the action, so you’ll use a subject pronoun. Él.
Él está eating.
Él está comiendo.
Next, how do you translate the pronouns in this sentence: “I found him.”
We have two pronouns here. The first one is the subject, yo, and then the “him” there is from the hymn scene, so we have lo:
Yo lo found.
Yo lo encontré.
Now how about this one: “I was with him.”
This one is confusing! I mean, the subject pronoun is yo, so that’s fine… but what do we do with the “him” there? It isn’t the subject, because you wouldn’t say “he” in English, so it’s not in the sheep pasture scene… but it’s also not a direct object, because you can’t place this right before a verb in Spanish. What do you do with that word?
It turns out that there’s a whole category for pronouns that are put right after a preposition. They’re called prepositional pronouns. So all of our prepositions, con, de, para, por, and so on, can be followed by any kind of normal noun in general, such as en la casa, con el chico, por mi amigo, and so on. But when you use a pronoun after a preposition, in situations like “with him” or “for her”, we have to be careful what type of pronoun we use. And for our purposes, we’re going to think of these as a whole new category, so there’s a whole new memory palace scene to learn for prepositional pronouns.
But the good news is that this scene is actually very easy to learn if you’ve used our memory palaces already, because this scene is VERY much like the sheep pasture scene that we learned for subject pronouns.
So imagine that you and your friends are still at the sheep pastures that we used to learn yo, ella, tú, and so on, and you’ve been blocked by the strange shepherd who’s in your way, and you end up stuck here all the way until nightfall. After the sun sets and the moon comes out, something very strange happens. You look around you in the moonlight, and some things have changed. But other things haven’t.
On the left side, the female sheep is still hula hooping. So she’s still ella. Apparently she never sleeps. And to the right, the male sheep seems to have fallen asleep, but he’s still drinking his ale while sleeping, so his name is still él.
But then the weird shepherd with a beard… well, in the moonlight he’s transformed into something else. He’s shrunk to half his normal height, and his face has turned into a teapot. So his name at nighttime is now ti, spelled T-I. It’s a tiny little word, and it’s kind of like his name has kind of shrunk from tú or te to ti, almost just a little squeak.
Your name has shrunk as well, from yo or me to simply mí, which is M-I with an accent mark. Almost just a little squeak.
But then your friends still have oats in their noses, after all these hours, and their word is still nosotros.
The thing about these words is that they aren’t really part of the grammar of how a sentence is structured. They’re just special words that are placed after a preposition. So any time you see a personal pronoun after a preposition, you’ll use one of these words. You could basically use any preposition before any one of these.
So let’s practice them.
How would you say “it’s for us”?
…That’s Es para nosotros.
How about “it’s for me”?
…Es para mí.
It’s for you.
Es para ti.
It’s for him.
Es para él.
It’s for her.
Es para ella.
You can pick any preposition and try this out; for example, the preposition “a”, meaning “to”. We can say “the dog ran to us” by saying “the dog ran a nosotros”, and then we can interchange nosotros with anybody else in this moonlit scene. So we can say a mí, a ti, a él, and a ella.
There’s one exception though. Something weird happens with the preposition con. It’s the only preposition that doesn’t follow this rule perfectly.
You are allowed to say con él, con ella, and con nosotros. For example, “we were with him” is estábamos con él. Or “they were with us” is estaban con nosotros.
But the combinations con ti and con mí don’t work. And that’s because these combinations, “with me” and “with you”, are SO frequently used that they’ve actually been turned into their own words! So there are some unique words that you would use for this. The words are conmigo and contigo. So it’s pretty much like con mí and con ti, but with “go” at the end for some reason.
So in summary, remember this scene, with ti, mi, él, ella, and nosotros. Generally speaking, you can use any of these after a preposition. But the word con is the exception. Practice saying conmigo and contigo, and it will become natural very soon.
Let’s practice with a few examples.
Were you with me that day?
¿Estabas conmigo ese día?
This is for you.
Esto es para ti.
That was because of me.
Eso era por mí.
I have done it with you one time.
Lo he hecho contigo una vez.
Will he be with her?
¿Estará con ella?
Now let’s get some more practice with these, combined with everything else we’ve been learning recently, using this week’s final quiz.
Now I have to go to my friend’s(m) house.
Ahora I have to go a la casa de mi amigo.
Ahora tengo que ir a la casa de mi amigo.
The boys want to do that for me.
Los chicos want hacer eso para mí.
Los chicos quieren hacer eso para mí.
Yes, you(f, formal) are the one that is going to go to the house.
Sí, usted es la que is going to go a la casa.
Sí, usted es la que va a ir a la casa.
Yes, they are something good.
Sí, son algo bueno.
I was the one(m) that told them that.
Yo era el que les told eso.
Yo era el que les dijo eso.
We don’t have anything in the house.
Nosotros no have nada en la casa.
Nosotros no tenemos nada en la casa.
He told me that he did a favor because of you.
Me he told que he did un favor por ti.
Me dijo que hizo un favor por ti.
Please, WE want to be with her.
Por favor, nosotros want estar con ella.
Por favor, nosotros queremos estar con ella.
I want you to be good with me.
Quiero que seas bueno conmigo.
The good (thing) is that they haven’t done anything else.
Lo bueno es que no han hecho nada más.
I told her that I gave you the thing.
Le I told que te I gave la cosa.
Le dije que te di la cosa.
I saw you at the house with someone.
Te I saw en la casa con alguien.
Te vi en la casa con alguien.
I’m going to give you that one(f).
Te I’m going to give esa.
Te voy a dar esa.
That’s why it would be good to be in that house.
Por eso sería bueno estar en esa casa.
How mean! This boy isn’t very good.
¡Qué mean! Este chico no es muy bueno.
¡Qué malo! Este chico no es muy bueno.
Who did you go with?
¿Con who did you go?
¿Con quién fuiste?
She has done us many favors for a long time.
Nos ha hecho many favores por a long tiempo.
Nos ha hecho muchos favores por mucho tiempo.
I want that girl and he to be friends.
Quiero que esa chica y él sean amigos.
He wants me to be taller than her.
Él wants que yo sea más tall que ella.
Él quiere que yo sea más alto que ella.
My friends don’t want to have everything.
Mis amigos no want to have todo.
Mis amigos no quieren tener todo.
Our job(m) IS along that street(f).
Nuestro job sí está por esa street.
Nuestro trabajo sí está por esa calle.
He saw us here and said that that will be all.
Nos he saw aquí y said que eso será todo.
Nos vio aquí y dijo que eso será todo.
Nobody knows what to do.
Nadie knows qué hacer.
Nadie sabe qué hacer.
He told me that they(f) have been here with them(m).
Él me told que ellas han estado aquí con ellos.
Él me dijo que ellas han estado aquí con ellos.
We are doing them a favor because of them(f).
Les estamos haciendo un favor por ellas.
No, they(m) weren’t very good.
No, ellos no eran muy buenos.
No, he is the one that has to go with you.
No, él es el que has to go contigo.
No, él es el que tiene que ir contigo.
The problem is that you were the one(m) that had time.
The problem es que tú eras el que had tiempo.
El problema es que tú eras el que tenía tiempo.
Everyone is already at the place.
Todos ya están en el lugar.
For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/40.
Next week we’re going to learn a new action verb so that we can say things like “go”, “went”, “leave”, and “left” in Spanish — plus we’ll learn some super valuable hacks for forming more and more sentences entirely in Spanish.
This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was provided by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.