Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions, Premium 3rd Edition (2016)

Part I. PRONOUNS

Chapter 7. Adjective pronouns

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It is said that human beings are efficient by nature. That efficiency is found in virtually all uses of pronouns: A pronoun replaces an understood noun, and use of a pronoun for an understood noun lightens the load, so to speak.

I see Martin, Daisy, Lily, and Kitty.
I see
 them.

Qualitative adjective pronouns

In Spanish, this same efficiency is seen when descriptive, or qualitative, adjectives become pronouns. In English, we generally add the word “one,” as in the sentence “He has the green apple, and I have the red one.” In Spanish, the adjective assumes the entire meaning of the noun: Él tiene la manzana verde y yo tengo la roja. The adjective retains the gender and number of the omitted noun, as well as the appropriate definite article (ellalos, or las). In the sentence, it also represents the full meaning of the noun.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1He buys new cars, but I always buy used ones.

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  2She prefers tall men, but I prefer short ones.

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  3They want the easy question, but we want the difficult one.

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  4She thinks that the blond (rubio) man is handsome, but I prefer the brown-haired (moreno) one.

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  5The blue pen is yours, but the green one is mine.

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  6Almost every client (el cliente) wants to buy a luxury (de lujo) car, but buys the compact one.

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  7More people buy the gray carpet (la alfombra), because the white (one) is always dirty (sucio).

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  8The two short dresses are beautiful, but the long (largo) one is more elegant.

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  9He puts the big lamps (la lámpara) in the living room and the small ones in the bedroom.

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10The big glass (la copa) is for the red wine, and the small one is for the white (wine).

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Quantitative adjective pronouns

Adjectives that are quantitative tell us the number or amount of the noun to which they refer. When a number is placed before a noun (for example, “two cats”), that number functions as an adjective. When the noun is understood and dropped, the adjective takes on the status of a pronoun, because it includes the meaning of the noun. (For a review of numbers used as pronouns, see Chapter 6.)

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Note that the number uno (“one”) takes gender.

Many quantitative adjectives are not actual numbers themselves. Instead, they refer to an amount, with an indirect way of revealing number. Most of these words can function as adjectives: algunos platos (“some plates”), todos los invitados (“all the guests”). When they stand alone or are used to refer to a noun or other antecedent, they function as pronouns: algunos (“some of them”), todos (“all of them”). Below are several commonly used quantitative adjectives.

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Traducción

  1Some people live in the city, and some (of them) live in the country (el campo).

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  2Seventy percent (el _______ por ciento) of the dentists use this toothbrush (el cepillo de dientes), and the rest (of them) use a stick (el palo).

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  3I can’t decide which is the better dishwasher (el lavaplatos). I like them both.

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  4I never go shopping (ir de compras) with her. She buys everything. It’s dangerous (peligroso).

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  5Diego likes parties. He’s always the last (one) to leave (en salir).

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  6My husband drinks milk all the time. Therefore (por eso), I buy a lot (of it) every week.

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  7I have several Spanish books. Do you want one?

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  8Esmeralda loves (encantar) shoes. She has lots (of them).

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  9In the meetings (la reunión), a few people talk all the time, and the majority (of them) suffer in silence.

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10Marcia receives all the presents, and poor little (pobrecita) Jan doesn’t receive a single one.

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11We have lots of salad. Do you want more (of it)?

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12Usually, thousands (miles) of people come to the ceremony, but this year there are obviously (obviamente) fewer.

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13The students are going on a field trip (de excursión). Each one has a backpack (la mochila).

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14Each girl (la chica) has a pencil, but several (of them) don’t have paper.

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15I’m going to order (pedir) another milkshake (el batido). Do you want another (one), too?

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Adjective pronouns that refer to unspecified people

When a pronoun replaces a known person, a subject pronoun is often used. Instead of “John,” we use “he”; for “John and Carlos,” we use “they,” and so on.

Frequently, however, we speak of people whose names we do not know, cannot know, or whose identity, considering the situation, is irrelevant. In these cases, use an appropriate pronoun. Below are several common adjective pronouns that refer to unspecified people.

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Traducción

  1Often (a menudo) the youngest [m.] wears used clothing.

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  2Everybody thinks that this is brilliant.

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  3Nobody is going to eat this. It’s moldy (mohoso)!

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  4Someone is in the kitchen with Dinah.

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  5Our favorite customer (la cliente), the one who spends (gastar) a lot of her money on cosmetics (los cosméticos) and clothing, is here today.

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  6In the books of Harry Potter, Hermione is the oldest and Harry is the youngest of the three main characters (el personaje).

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  7Those who work ten hours a day (al día) in these positions (el puesto) are well paid (remunerar).

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  8Many psychologists (el psicólogo) study the differences between the oldest (child) and the youngest (child) in the family.

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  9Oscar Wilde writes that a cynic (el cínico) is he who knows the price (el precio) of everything and the value (el valor) of nothing.

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10Everyone suffers from time to time (de vez en cuando), and the majority are stronger for (por) the experience.

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11Everybody is here, but some (of them) don’t know anybody.

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12Juan and Mateo live together, but neither (one) has a television set (el televisor).

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13Anybody can wear these pants.

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14Ramón gives advice (dar consejos) to anyone.

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15There is a party tonight. Any [pl.] of you can go with me.

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Adjective pronouns that refer to unspecified things

With things, as with people, when the name of the referent is either unknown or irrelevant, you need a nonspecific, gender-neutral pronoun.

Below are several common adjective pronouns that refer to unspecified things.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1Do you have anything for (para) me?

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  2Of all the things in the world, the best is love.

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  3It doesn’t matter (no importa) if I wear blue jeans (los blue-jeans). She always wears the same (thing).

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  4Which one do they want? Whatever. It doesn’t matter.

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  5It’s wonderful when you [pl., formal] dance. The best is when you dance the mambo.

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  6The service (el servicio) and the ambience (el ambiente) here are terrible. But the worst is the food.

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  7He never brings anything to a party, but he always eats and drinks everything.

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  8The worst (thing) in a relationship (la relación) is not to be able to trust (tener confianza en) the other person.

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  9Some people think that he’s very wise (sabio), but the truth is that he always says the same thing.

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10I don’t know anything about (acerca de) this.

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11Any one of these cars is good for (para) the winter.

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12These books are interesting. You can read any one of them.

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13Any one of these three is okay.

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14Any [pl.] of these are okay.

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Traducción

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This sign says, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” If this is true, then what is tomorrow? The second? I can’t believe everything that I read. No one can. Some (people) believe everything. Some people believe the ads in the backs of magazines. I suppose that some of these are true, but the majority of these ads are lies. Who are these hucksters? They promise everything and deliver nothing.

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