Learn how to use Tú and Usted in Spanish

Welcome guys, to another episode of Spanish Ahora.

Today I have yet another Spanish tip for you.

Now, this is something with which learners struggle a lot. Especially English-speaking ones.

That is because they no longer make this distinction between formal and informal interlocutor trough a pronoun. So, stay with me for the next minutes and you’ll be able to master the use of these pronouns.

¿Listos? ¡Vamos a darle!

Let’s begin by acknowledging the existence of different pronouns. We use pronouns to talk about people. For instance, in English, we’ve got I, You, He, She, It, We, You and They. We use you to refer to the person with whom we are talking


In Spanish, we use 2 different pronouns for said task. Tú and Usted.

Usted is the formal way of saying you. You use this when you are talking to teachers, bosses, strangers, basically anyone that you would show respect to. Usted takes the same conjugation as él and ella.

For example, let's say that you’re talking to your teacher or your boss. You would say something like this.

  • Usted me pidió este reporte. You asked me for this report.

  • Usted recibirá mi correo mañana. You Will receive my mail tomorrow.

  • Usted escribe muy rápido. You write too fast.

Just remember that, in Spanish, given the conjugation of the verbs, we can usually omit the pronoun.

Since Usted shares the same conjugation, with él and ella, we can only omit the pronoun if the context is appropriate. So the previous sentences would look something like this.

  • Me pidió este reporte.

  • Recibirá mi correo mañana.

  • Escribe muy rápido.

is the informal way of saying you. You would use this whenever talking to friends or anyone that seems to be younger or the same age as you. You could also use this for someone older than you if they are really close to you.

For example, let's say that you are talking to your colleague or classmate. You would say something like this:

  • Tú me pediste este reporte.

  • Tú recibirás mi correo mañana.

  • Tú escribes muy rápido.

Since Tú shares no conjugation with any other pronoun. It is way more natural to omit the pronoun. So we say:

  • Me pediste este reporte.

  • Recibirás mi correo mañana.

  • Escribes muy rápido.

Is it clear? Well, then it´s time to spice it up.

In some regions of Latin America. People use Vos instead of Tú, to express informality. The most predominant country is Argentina, where is almost never used. The conjugation for vos is different than the Tú one in some tenses:

  • Vos me pediste este reporte.

  • Vos recibirás mi correo mañana.

  • Vos escribís muy rápido.

Although Vos replaces Tú to express informality, there are some regions where both coexist.

Also, keep in mind that all three are used for singular subjects. That is to say, we only use them when we are talking to a singular individual. In English, there is no difference between singular and plural, although some people say You all. However, in Spanish, when talking to a group of people we use ustedes regardless of formality or informality.

For example, if we are talking to a group of teachers or a couple of friends. We would say something like.

  • Ustedes me pidieron este reporte.

  • Ustedes recibirán mi correo mañana.

  • Ustedes escriben muy rápido.

Again, remember that we can drop the pronoun for extra naturality.

  • Me pidieron este reporte.

  • Recibirán mi correo mañana.

  • Escriben muy rápido.

It is important to highlight that Ustedes is used across all Spanish speaking countries.

Professor Cervantes

Alto ahí pillo. Recordad que en España además de Ustedes usamos Vosotros. Ustedes no es usado con tanta frecuencia, y su uso se restringe a un tono formal. Mientras que Vosotros es el pronombre predilecto. Así, vuestros ejemplos quedarían de la siguiente manera.
  • Vosotros me pedisteis este reporte.

  • Vosotros recibiréis mi correo mañana.

  • Vosotros escribís muy rápido.

Vaya, gracias rana Cervantes.

Now, español para llevar.

We use Tú, Vos, and Usted for a singular interlocutor.

For informality or familiarity, we may use Tú or Vos depending on the region.

For formality we use Usted. In every country, we use ustedes to talk to 2 or more people. And in Spain we also used Vosotros.

And that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the video, and if you did.

No olviden subscribirse y nos vemos en el siguiente video.

Hasta la próxima.

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