tú - in impersonal phrases

webmagnets

Member
English - United States
In another thread someone was saying that you can say tu sometimes when you are talking about yourself. Can someone tell me more about this?

En otro hilo alguien me dijo que a veces se puede usar tú cuando habla de sí mismo.
¿Me puede decir más de esto?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • JitterJive

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I've never heard of referring to oneself a "you" - not even in English (unless, of course, you have multiple personalities).

    What this person may have be referring to is the use of the impersonal tu. Much like it's use in English, it is often difficult to determine if the speaker is talking about you (specifically) or you (as in the plural sense). It's most often left up to the context in which the statement was made or the emotional content that is being conveyed in order for the listener to determine which of the two meanings are being expressed.

    I asked my Spanish teacher about this once and she told me that it is preferable to use the impersonal construction using se because there is little room for ambiguity.

    Hope this helps.
    JitterJive
     

    hypertweeky

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spain, Spanish
    Hey there!:)

    Maybe you took it the wrong way!, because "Tú" means you, if you talk about yourself you'll have to use "Yo";)
    You could say: Me puedo quedar a dormir en TU casa.. but that is a total different story, do you mind posting the link where you saw that??

    Take care!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    coc

    Banned
    Argentina.Spanish
    The use of "tú" as impersonal or to generalize is very usual. It is sometimes used as "uno".
    For example:

    ¡"(Tú) no te puedes descuidar que te roban la cartera"! = ¡"Uno no se puede descuidar que le roban la cartera"!
    Te miran como si (tú) tuvieras alguna enfermedad contagiosa! = ¡A uno lo miran como si uno tuviera una enfermedad contagiosa!
    Generally speaking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    JitterJive

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A//////// the personal pronouns have a deictical worth, it´s understood:

    1 pers.- the speaker
    2 pers.- the person who i´m talking to
    3 pers.- the rest (animals, objects, rest of people)

    ( the first and second pers. can be only humans, or animals and objects humanized, because only them are capable of speaking)

    so, we aren´t saying "usted" to anyone far from us, but a direct interlocutor

    B////// there is a phraseollogycal use for impersonals with "tú" (never "usted for this"): " cuando el mundo va mal, tú lo que debes hacer es desear que todo mejore"
    it means "tú" as a third person, "everybody"

    C//// a use with first person diluted in second one:
    (im studing)" cuando no te aprueban los exámenes, tienes que seguir intentándolo"
    it means "tú" as "yo"
    This is an example of the impersonal tu. I do not believe that it is equivilent in any way, shape or for to yo. If someone knows of a text book or book on grammar that states that in some cases tu = yo then I would like to see it.

    The impersonal tu in Spanish is roughly equivilent to how English uses the plural you. However, the passive se is the preferred construction.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    This was obviously a typo. The person meant "you" and forgot to type a "u." There is no way "tu" means "yo." You can tell the spelling wasn't exactly polished anyway by the fact that "I'm studying" is typed "I'm studing."

    Cheers.
     

    sergio11

    Senior Member
    Spanish (lunfardo)
    elroy said:
    This was obviously a typo. The person meant "you" and forgot to type a "u." There is no way "tu" means "yo." You can tell the spelling wasn't exactly polished anyway by the fact that "I'm studying" is typed "I'm studing."

    Cheers.
    Very likely: I agree with Elroy.

    However, as Coc says, "tu" is used often as an impersonal pronoun also very commonly, the same way that "you" is used in English as impersonal in everyday colloquial speech. In that case it may mean an indeterminate, indefinite, vague person, without exclusion of the speaker, that is "I," but this is kind of a far stretch. I think I favor more Elroy's explanation.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top