Buy Spanish Language Tutorial as a PDF e-book! Spanish Language Tutorial includes a complete vocabulary and grammar review of the Spanish language (much more than what is available online), transcripts of authentic Spanish videos, and Spanish realia photos. The PDF e-book and mp3s - including nearly two hours of recordings by five native speakers from three countries - are available for immediate download with FREE lifetime updates. Thank you for supporting ielanguages.com! Download the first ten pages of Spanish Language Tutorial (including the table of contents).
you (informal / formal)
The various pronouns meaning you can be tricky to use correctly in Spanish. The informal forms are used to show familiarity with other people, while the formal forms indicate social distance. There are many factors that determine the familiarity or formality, such as gender, age, location, social class, etc. In general, informal you is used with family members, friends, children, animals, etc. while formal you is reserved for those to whom you wish to show respect. These rules are not steadfast though, and there is a lot of variation throughout the Spanish-speaking world. For example, usted is used among family members in Colombia, whereas most other Spanish speakers would use tú or vos. It is best simply to listen to which pronoun is used in the variety of Spanish that you are most interested in learning to figure out when to use each one.
The use of vos as a second person singular pronoun, either in addition to tú or in place of tú, is called voseo. Old Spanish used this pronoun in addition to tú, but it became somewhat stigmatized when the standardized language of Spain stopped using it. Various regions of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela use both tú and vos, while Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay (known together as the Río de la Plata region) and most of Central America use vos in place of tú. Although voseo rarely appears in Spanish textbooks, it is used in some form by a majority (about two-thirds) of the Spanish-speaking population.
Because every noun in Spanish has a gender, there are two ways to express it. If the noun is masculine, use él, which also means he. If the noun is feminine, use ella, which also means she.
Vosotros is the plural form of tú in northern and central Spain only, for informal you. Ustedes is the plural form of usted for formal you. Since vosotros is not used in the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries, Ustedes is both informal and formal plural you in these countries.
Usted can be abbreviated to Ud. or Vd. (from the phrase vuestra merced). Ustedes can also
be abbreviated to Uds. or Vds.
Nosotras and vosotras refer to a group of all females, as does ellas. If there is a group of people that is mixed (both male and female), use the masculine forms: nosotros, vosotros and ellos.
are often only used for emphasis or to avoid ambiguity when the verb conjugation is the same for different people (such as él and usted.)
If you enjoy the tutorials, then please consider buying French, Informal French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, or Dutch Language Tutorials as a PDF e-book with free mp3s and free lifetime updates.