Using "mismo" in Spanish

Using "mismo" in Spanish

This post is a clear and short explanation plus practice to solve a grammatical problem: when to use mismo.

There are four basic uses to look at:

1. Meaning "the same"

Two possiblities:

Mismo / misma / mismos / mismas- mean "the same"

They are undefined determiners (they go before a noun) or as pronouns (they replace the noun).
In both cases they agree with the noun in gender and number.
Check the post on undefined determiners and pronouns in Spanish here to help you understand this concept.


As determiners:
No quiero la misma comida otra vez - I don't want the same food again.
Me cuenta las mismas historias - He/she tells me the same stories.

As pronouns:
Mi hermana no es la misma desde el accidente - My sister is not the same since the accident.
Son los mismos que vimos ayer? - Are they the same we saw yesterday?

Lo mismo - means "the same thing"

It never changes its form.


Por favor, no me digas lo mismo - Please, don't tell me the same thing. Ser amable y ser buena persona no es lo mismo - To be kind and to be a good person is not the same.

2. As a connective

The expression por lo mismo means "for this reason" and it can be used in the middle of a sentence or at the beginning to link it with the previous one.


La ciudad está muy sucia y vieja. Por lo mismo, debemos crear planes de renovación
- The city is very dirty and old. For this reason, we should create renovation plans.

3. To express the idea of "self"

We can use mismo/misma/mismos/mismas to express myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.

You'll see it clearly with these examples:

Vivo en la capital misma - I live in the capital itself.
El mismo cantante firmó mi disco - The singer himself signed my album.
Es muy fácil, puedes hacerlo tú mismo - It's very easy, you can do it yourself.
Ella misma no puede abrir el paquete, no es suficientemente fuerte - She herslef can't open the paquet, she's not strong enough.

Also, following these pronombres átonos: mí, ti, sí, nosotros, vosotros, sí:

mí mismo/a - myself
ti mismo/a - yourself
sí mismo/a - himself or herself
nosotros/as mismos/as - ourselves (masc/fem)
vosotros/as mismos/as - yourselves (masc/fem)
ellos/as mismos/as - themselves (masc/fem)

Ex: Me río de mí misma - I laugh at myself.
Se miente a sí mismo - He lies to himself.

4. To emphasise another adverb

In this case we use mismo without ever altering it in gender or number, as it works as an adverb to give more intensity to another adverb of time and place (when are where the action happens). It can usually be translated by "right", "just"" or "for sure".

Let's see what that looks like.

Voy a ir ahora mismo - I'm going to go right now.
Mañana mismo compro un regalo para ella - Tomorrow for sure I'll buy a present for her.
Aquí mismo podemos comer - Right here we can eat.

We can also use it with así (this way) in the expression así mismo - just like that.

Y así mismo podemos contruír el resto de la mesa - And just like that we can build the rest of the table.

Now it's time to test yourself:

Fill in the gaps:

  • No quiero ir al __________ restaurante esta vez - I don't want to go to the same restaurant this time.

  • Así _________ puedes ganar dinero - Just like that you can earn money.

  • No soy la _________ desde que tuve hijos - I'm not the same since I had children.

  • Allí _________ compré este abrigo - Right there I bought this coat.

  • Nosotros ________ sabemos que estamos arruinando la fiesta - We ourselves know that we are ruining the party.

  • Por lo _________ estoy pensando en varias soluciones - For this reason I'm thinking of several solutions.

  • La __________Paula se confesó to the police delante de mí - Paula herself confessed to the police in front of me.

Solutions: mismo/mismo/misma/mismo/mismos/mismo/misma/