It’s a bit of a tricky one, this one, for the anglo-saxons of us reading.
But once you get the idea, it´s pretty simple really.
If all languages were so simple, then EVERYONE would be learning them, right?
” YOU’RE…or YOU’RE… “That is the question!
In a previous post, Patterns(2), we looked at how to say “You’re” in Spanish, when describing someone’s, nationality, personal character traits, or some other permanent quality of a person.
Eres inglesa You’re English
Eres española You’re Spanish
Eres inteligente You’re intelligent
Eres tonta You’re silly
However, eres can only be used when addressing, or speaking to, ONE PERSON.
The English language has evolved into using only one form “You’re ” for addressing ONE PERSON, TWO PEOPLE, OR A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE.
(Hint: Non-English speaking people LOVE this part of English Grammar)
Spanish and other latin-based languages,however, have maintained a plural form for YOU in verbs.
In Castillian Spanish (from Spain), the plural of the ‘YOU’ form in the verb SER is……
Looking at the examples above you can see that to speak to ONE PERSON and to say
“You’re Spanish” = Eres española
“You’re inteligent”= Eres inteligente
But speaking to two or a group of people, we have to use the PLURAL FORM of eres
“You’re Spanish” = SOIS españolas
“You’re intelligent” = SOIS inteligentes
IMPORTANT NOTE ON ADJECTIVES
Adjectives, when describing more than one person or object, have to be in the PLURAL FORM. This generally means adding an “S” to the singular form.
See above . Singular: española . Plural : españolas
Singular: inteligente Plural inteligentes
“ERES“ OR “SOIS” ?
In English we would look for other clues in a sentence or context to know if the speaker was addressing
ONLY ONE person (ERES), or
MORE THAN ONE PERSON ( SOIS)
EXAMPLE SENTENCES USING SOIS
- Imagine you are having coffee in a cafeteria and there are two ladies on the next table chatting.
You notice they are speaking what could be Spanish so you might ask them BOTH :
“Are you Spanish?” ¿SOIS ESPAÑOLAS?
- Imagine you’re with a group of friends in a restaurant, and you want to tell them all they’re not silly but great, intelligent people!
“You’re not silly. You’re intelligent! NO SOIS TONTAS. SOIS INTELIGENTES
More examples in a PLURAL context would be:
Sois bajas You’re short
Sois altas You’re tall
Sois trabajadoras You’re hard-working
Sois perezosas You’re lazy
Sois graciosas You’re funny
Sois simpáticas You’re nice
Sois mujeres You’re women
Sois hombres You’re men
NOW TAKE ACTION
Consider your OWN personal situation and try and imagine some contexts where you might find yourself using SOIS.
Make five relevant sentences using an online dictionary such as SpanishDict.com and memorize those sentences which are relevant to you, or at least could be relevant.
Repeat them as often as you can. Internalize them as much as possible.
Please ask any questions about the use of SOIS or any other question about Spanish grammar in the comments below.
I hope this helps…