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Spanish Basics - tu, usted, ustedes, vosotros

In Spanish, there are 4 different ways to say “you.” Once you know the rules for them, you’ll always know which one to use. First, tu [with an accent mark] is for when you’re talking to one person who is a close friend, member of your family, or kids. It is the familiar form. Usted is the form you choose when you’re speaking to one person who does not fit into the categories for the familiar form. For example, you would use Usted for a person you don’t know well, someone much older than you, or for teachers. If you would address a person in English using Mr. or Ms., then you would choose Usted if speaking with them in Spanish. When you’re talking to more than one person, you use Ustedes. Ud. Is the abbreviation for Usted, and Uds. Is the abbreviation for Ustedes. If you’re not sure whether to use tu [with an accent] or Usted, then you should use Usted. The person you’re talking to may invite you to use the familiar form. In Spain, there’s yet another way to say “you,” which is vosotros. You use vosotros if you’re in Spain speaking to more than one person, and you could call those people tu [with an accent] if speaking to them individually. It’s the plural form of tu [with an accent]. “You all” or “you guys” would be the equivalent in English. Vosotros is not used in Latin America, so many Spanish courses consider learning vosotros as optional. If you know you’ll be going to Spain, however, you should learn it.