4

I have just started learning Spanish and in my reference book I saw a conversation that went like this:

  • Yo un poco cansado ¿y ustedes?

  • Yo muy bien.

I would think that you had to say: "Estoy poco cansado", and "estoy muy bien". Is there something here I've missed? Don't you need a verb?

12

ESPAÑOL - (English follows)

El verbo, como el sujeto, puede ser omitido en ciertas situaciones, sobre todo al responder a otra frase.

En tu ejemplo:

¿Cómo estás [tú]? - How are you?
[Yo] [estoy] un poco cansado. ¿Y ustedes? - [I] [am] a bit sleepy. ¿And you (plural)?


ENGLISH

The verb, like the subject, may be omitted in certain situations, especially when responding to another sentence.

In your example:

¿Cómo estás [tú]? - How are you?
[Yo] [estoy] un poco cansado. ¿Y ustedes? - [I] [am] a bit sleepy. ¿And you (plural)?

  • +1 for both language examples. – Ryan Jul 25 '15 at 3:47
3

I live in Spain and often hear this sort of statement. It's similar to the English,

  • How are you?

  • Me? Tired

You hear things like,

  • ¿Que quieres tomar?

  • Yo una caña

1

As a rule of thumb, in Spanish you only use the subject when (at least) one of these happens:

  • There is a change of subject.
  • There is an emphasis on the subject (i.e. it is that person, and not anyone else).

In your example it looks like you have a combination of both.

  • 4
    I think that the OP is asking about the absence of a verb, not about the absence of a subject. – Diego Jul 24 '15 at 16:34
1

In the Spanish language you can omit the verb in these constructions simply because it allows for faster, less "redundant" exchanges. It's not unlike English: --"Hey, how are you doing?" --"Good; how about you?" --"Alright."

1

I think that in those examples there's a comma missing. It's called elliptic comma (I guess, as it's "coma elíptica") in Spanish. http://www.gramaticas.net/2012/05/ejemplos-de-coma-eliptica.html

When you hear it spoken, there's a short pause, sort of equivalent to the one indicated by the question mark in English as @Andy said

0

There was a punctuation error. Which it is crucial for understanding the semantics in the context that wants to be expressed:

  1. One subject does not want to talk. The other answering subject (whether old or young) seems all right.

    • Yo. Un poco cansado. ¿Y usted?
    • Yo. Muy bien.
  2. One subject is distracted and does not want to talk. The other answering subject (whether old or young) seems all right.

    • Yo... Un poco cansado. ¿Y usted?
    • Yo. Muy bien.
  3. One subject is surprised that the other person is asking but does not want to talk. The other answering subject (whether old or young) seems all right.

    • ¡Yo! Un poco cansado. ¿Y usted?
    • Yo. Muy bien.
  4. First subject is distracted and surprised of the second subject's question but does not want to talk. The second subject answers with a surprise too and depending of the expressions/ relations it may be inferred a sarcasm of the second subject.

    • ¡Yo...! Un poco cansado. ¿Y usted?
    • Yo... Muy... bien.

To summarize, you may write with or without 'yo' and replace it for 'estoy'. However, punctuation is a key factor to express even the mood of a subject. There are many other punctuation ways that I did not mention.

NOTE: You made a mistake with the sentence structure and I quote:

  • Yo un poco cansado. ¿Y ustedes?
  • Yo muy bien

INSTEAD,

  • Yo un poco cansado. ¿Y USTEDES?
  • NOSOTROS muy bien

OR,

  • Yo un poco cansado. ¿Y USTED?
  • YO muy bien

OR

  • Yo un poco cansado. ¿Y USTEDES? [1ST SUBJECT]
  • YO muy bien [2ND SUBJECT]
  • YO muy bien [3RD SUBJECT]

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