Grammar Summary

In this video you will learn vocabulary for basic descriptions, as well as what we call members of the family in Spanish. This is also your first lesson in conjugating a verb using the personal pronouns (I, you, she, him, they, we) … e.g. I am, you are, she is …

Now we’ll learn how to describe other people in your family.

First let’s learn basic family vocab:

hermano – brother
padres – parents
madre – mother
padre – father
abuelo – grandfather
tio – uncle
primo – cousin
niño – child
hijo – son

Now descriptive adjectives like:

joven – young
viejo – old
guapa – pretty
fea – ugly
alto – tal
baja – short
morena – brunette
rubia – blonde
pelirroja – redhead
gordo – fat
delgada – skinny

Just like we saw with colors, we have to match the adjective to the gender of the subject:

Ella es alta = She is tall
Él es alto = He is tall

And now our first verb conjugations!


In English, there are 6 possible personal pronouns
he / she

But in Spanish, there are 10 personal pronouns
yo = I
= you
usted = you (formal)
él / ella = he / she
nosotros = we
vosotros* = you plural (as in you all)
ustedes = you plural (formal)
ellos / ellas = they (masculine) / they (feminine)

*Vosotros is mostly used in Spain, and not in Latin America

For English speakers, a few of these Spanish personal pronouns do not have English equivalents:

In addition, in Spanish the pronoun ‘they’ depends on the gender of ‘they’:
ellos = ‘they’ that includes at least one male
ellas = ‘they’ that includes only females

Now, remember those phrases you learned in lesson 5’s introductions?

Yo soy = I am

Soy comes from the verb ser, which means ‘to be’ in English.
Here’s how that changes depending on the subject of the sentence:

Yo soy = I am

Tú eres
= you are

usted es = you (formal) are
él / ella es
= he / she is

nosotros somos
= we are

vosotros sois
= you (plural) are

ustedes son = you (plural) are
ellos / ellas son
= they are

So, in English, the verb ‘to be‘ only has 3 possible conjugations in the present tense that coincide with 6 different personal pronouns:



But in Spanish, the verb ser has 6 possible present tense conjugations in the present that coincide with 10 different personal pronouns:


Lastly, using the personal pronouns in Spanish is optional. So you can either say either:

yo soy de España
soy de España

Both would be correct

Are you ready for another verb?
Let’s try tener (which means ‘to have’)

Yo tengo = I have
tienes = you have

usted tiene = you (formal) has
él / ella tiene
= he / she has

nosotros tenemos
= we have
vosotros tenéis = you (plural) have

ustedes tienen = You (plural & formal) have
ellos ellas tienen
= They (masculine / feminine) have

Here is a summary of the 6 possible present tense conjugations of the verb tener:


Whew! That’s a big lesson, but once you get that down, you’re well on your way to start conjugating all sorts of verbs in Spanish, and speaking complete sentences!


5 New VOCAB to listen for in the podcast:

además = furthermore / in addition
suerte = luck
perfecto = perfect
pena = shame
novia(o) = girlfriend / boyfriend

Transcript & Translation

Spanish & English


-Hola, oye, muchas gracias por la comida en tu casa.

-De nada, gracias a ti por venir para celebrar mi cumpleaños con mi familia. Mi madre dice que tú eres muy simpática y además dice que eres muy guapa. Que tienes que volver otro día.

Y a ti… ¿Qué te parece mi familia?

-Bueno, tus padres son muy simpáticos educados. Y además  son muy jóvenes y modernos. Tienes mucha suerte.

-Sí… ¿y mi hermano, te gusta?

-Tienes un hermano  perfecto.
Él es altomorenodelgadoguapo
Es una pena que tenga novia.

-Bueno, tengo otro hermano que no tiene novia, aunque es más viejo… ¡Otro día te lo presento!

-Vale, en el próximo cumpleaños.

-Muy bien, de acuerdo…


Hello, listen, thank you very much for the meal  at your house

Your welcome, thanks to you for coming to celebrate my birthday with my family.  My mother dices that you are very nice and furthermore she says that you are very pretty. You have to come another day.

And to you,  what do you think of my family?

Well, your parents are very nice and educated.  And furthermore are very young and modern.  You are very lucky.

Yes, and my brother, do you like him?

You have a perfect brother.
He is tall, dark, thin, handsome …
It is a shame that he has a girlfriend.

Well, I have another brother that doesn’t have a girlfriend, although he is older.  Another day I will introduce you to him!

Okay, at the next birthday

Very well, agreed

QUIZ: Survival Spanish 6 - Characteristics, Family, Personal pronouns, Conjugations of SER (to be), TENER (to have)

Put your Spanish skills to the test. Try this free quiz based on everything you learned from the video.

Additional Material: Survival Spanish

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