SOIS: How and When to use ‘Sois’: Spanish verb Ser (to be)

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The Teide in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. A challenge  I was unable take on a few weeks ago while I was visiting! photo credit

But you could take on the challenge and get your head round the two differnt ways of saying “You’re” in Spanish.

 

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.

For example

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……                                        

                              SOIS  

                        (pronounced SOYS)

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)

 

 

 

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Student addressing friends in a group would use SOIS quite a lot!photo credit

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…

 

 

 

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