If you’ve ever had lessons in any other European language –French during your school days, for example – then you probably already know that there are different forms of the English word “you” which change according to how well you know a person, amongst other factors.
Spanish is one of the many languages that has these different formal and informal, singular and plural forms of address, all of which translate to one simple English word, “you”. In several languages the formal and the plural form are the same, but in Spanish, there are four different ways to say “you”:
- Singular informal: tú
- Singular formal: usted
- Plural informal: vosotros
- Plural formal: ustedes
You will need to learn when to use the correct form, as using the informal tú when addressing, for example, a stranger, a person in authority or someone older than you is liable to make you appear rude or presumptuous. Tú is generally reserved for close friends, family, children or pets. It is not an appropriate way to address someone you’re not on first name terms with – you would use usted for those people.
It’s important to understand the different forms of “you” so that you can use the corresponding words for “your” and “yours”, and so that you can conjugate verbs correctly. Our native Spanish tutors can help you to learn when each form should be used so that you can communicate confidently – and politely! Our lessons are tailored to your needs and are available throughout the London area.