The following is ambiguous:

Mientras era feliz, eres cansado y era triste.

If you want to clarifiy speakers by adding pronouns to the verbs, would you have to do it to all them, or only until the ambiguity is gone? In this case, which of the following are correct fixes (or does it not matter)?

Mientras ella era feliz, tu eres cansado y yo era triste.

Mientras ella era feliz, eres cansado y yo era triste.

  • 3
    Cansado se está, y triste, normalmente, también. Sin embargo, feliz, es un poco especial y sí se puede usar así. Por tanto, la frase sería: Mientras ella era (o estaba) feliz, tú estabas cansado y yo estaba triste.
    – MikMik
    Jan 19, 2012 at 10:12
  • 1
    You have a typo in tu eres cansado. It should be tú (second person singular) eres cansado
    – Icarus
    Jan 19, 2012 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


You would certainly have to resolve the ambiguity between yo and ella, because the conjugation is the same. But you can omit the pronoun for tú:

Mientras ella estaba feliz, estabas cansado y yo estaba triste.

But it would sound weird, unless the previous sentences were speaking about .
It sounds better with the pronoun for , because later you specify yo.

Besides, if the sentence comes after one or more that speak about ella, you could omit the ella in this one:

Mientras (ella) estaba feliz, tú estabas cansado y yo estaba triste.

But, since it is an opposition between ella, tú y yo, it sounds best with all the pronouns.

That said, what I would omit is the verb for yo, because it is the same as for :

Mientras ella estaba feliz, tú estabas cansado y yo triste.


Note that if you use usted instead of , the three verbs are the same and you can't omit the pronouns, without making the sentence impossible to understand:

Mientras ella estaba feliz, usted estaba cansado y yo estaba triste.

  • Just what I wanted to know. Also reminded me to practice ser vs estar a bit more. Thanks!
    – Voriki
    Jan 19, 2012 at 10:58

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