2

I was reading this article about subject pronouns on FluentU.

It stated:

When asking questions, put the personal pronoun after the verb. For example:
¿Trabajas tú en la biblioteca? (Do you work in the library?) 

What would happen if I rewrote that question either:

¿Tú trabajas en la biblioteca?
¿Trabajas en la biblioteca?

1 Answer 1

3

Though correct, the question:

¿Trabajas tú en la biblioteca?

sounds unnatural in Spanish. The most natural thing will be for subject pronouns to be omitted, that is, to remain tacit. Unlike English, in Spanish the verb gives a clear clue as to who is the subject:

  • Trabajo en la biblioteca. (Yo)
  • ¿Trabajas en la biblioteca? (Tú)
  • ¿Trabaja en la biblioteca? (Él/Ella)

For emphasis, we would tend to use the affirmative order in questions:

  • ¿Tú trabajas en la biblioteca?
  • ¿Él trabaja en la biblioteca?

And to be even more emphatic, as though we were pointing to the person in question, we can make a pause after the subject:

  • Tú, ¿trabajas en la biblioteca?
  • Él, ¿trabaja en la biblioteca?
3
  • 2
    Great answer. Just for completeness, the article linked by OP was already mentioning that we don't really use those pronouns: "When talking or writing in Spanish, you almost never need to use personal pronouns unless you want to emphasize or specify. Spanish speakers will understand who you are talking about based on the conjugation of the verb."
    – RubioRic
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 7:19
  • 2
    It is interesting that the DLE when you click on conjugar shows the pronouns quite faint but the actual verb forms in bold as though to emphasise they are the important bit. Shame that is not more widespread in material directed at learners.
    – mdewey
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 15:43
  • Thanks so much. The reason I got so confused is I have never seen it written that way before! Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 20:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.