7

I am curious to know the origin of "vámonos". Vámonos is formed from vamos + nos, instead of vayamos + nos. Why don't other verbs conjugate into both manners?

10

Probablemente en el pasado se decía "vámosnos", respetando la formación de la palabra, pero en la norma actual la s intermedia se pierde (me imagino que porque la repetición del sonido suena un poco feo, o porque se generalizó un error de pronunciación).

En el apartado 2.a de pronombres personales átonos del Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas se indica esta norma:

Delante del enclítico nos se pierde obligatoriamente la -s de la primera persona del plural del subjuntivo usado con valor de imperativo (subjuntivo exhortativo); así, dejemos + nos = dejémonos (no dejémosnos): «Dejémonos de cuentos» (LpzNavarro Clásicos [Chile 1996]).

  • Muchas gracias usted me explicó por que no hay un "s" en Vámonos que es muy interesante. También quiero saber por que el verbo conjuga con la forma presente del indicativo "vamos". Otros verbos conjugan con la forma imperativo por ejemplo dar-> démonos en vez de dámonos. – jonathan x Sep 30 '17 at 17:36
  • Sorry, I did not really realize that I answered in Spanish a question asked in English. – Rodrigo Sep 30 '17 at 22:52
  • Now, take your previous comment and pose it as a new question. That is the correct way to participate in this site. – Rodrigo Sep 30 '17 at 22:54
  • Lo más lógico a mi parecer, es que se haya acortado la frase y fusionado. Quitando la s, como dice Rodrigo, se pronuncia mejor. Me recuerda al caso de Vuestra merced -> Vuestred -> Vested -> Usted. – Lobo-Eze Oct 1 '17 at 1:25
2

Yes, it’s a euphony rule.

When the nos reflexive pronoun is appended to a 1st-person plural imperative form (which would end in -s due to it being plural), that -s is dropped before adding the pronoun: dejémonos de cuentos.

This is an early reference (Gramática de la lengua castellana, RAE, part II, chap. 16. p. 217)¹:

In front of enclitic nos, the s from the first-person plural form of the subjunctive imperative verb is dropped, due to the cacophony that entails pronouncing that syllable-ending s together with the final s of the pronoun […]. part II, chap. 16. p. 217

(Also described in this Google book)

However, this s-dropping phenomenon doesn’t happen when adding other enclitic pronouns to your verb: abandonémosles, andémoslo. I have a theory for that: in the nos case, it already denotes a plural subject and object (because nos is reflexive), so the pluralizing s can be dropped without changing the meaning, but that isn’t the case with my -le/-lo examples, where the subject is plural but the object may or may not be, so it’s important to maintain the s to denote that the subject is plural.


  1. It’s also described in the Nueva gramática (2009) but was too lazy to deal with the RAE website and find it.

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