Usted (omission of the word)

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Jenny*

Member
England - English
Hi

I hope this is the right forum for this :eek: I have some very basic questions for you...

Firstly, when talking to someone would you actually say 'usted'? My teacher taught us

"¿Cómo está usted?"
and
"¿Cómo estás?"

But if you don't need the 'tú' in the second sentence why do you need the 'usted' in the first? Or was she saying it just to make it clear that we were using 'usted'?

And secondly, why do some people say 'oosted' and some say 'oosteth'?

Thank you!
 
  • Alundra

    Senior Member
    España - Castellano
    Hi Jenny.
    You don't need the "usted" in the first sentence, it isn't necessary. She was saying to make it clear, as you say.

    You can say:

    Hola, que tal, ¿cómo está?
    ó
    Hola, que tal ¿cómo está usted?

    I hope it help you.
    Alundra.
     
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    Enlasarenas

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish-Galician
    Jenny,

    The reason why is very simple yet not too many people know it...

    As you probably know, In Spanish you barely need to use the subject pronouns when you speak/write. This is because we have almost a different verb ending for each corresponding pronoun, whereas in English you always need to insert them in order to make yourself understood (otherwise it'll be an absolute chaos:confused: ).
    Well, what happens in "¿Cómo está usted? vs ¿Cómo estás (tú)? is that you're trying to avoid confusion between the 2nd person formal pronoun (usted) and the 3rd person singular pronouns (él, ella). Since they both share the same verb case (usted/ella/él está) you want to make sure that you're asking about the right person.

    As for the different pronunciations of "usted", I think you're referring to the typical pronunciation of words ending in -d that some Spanish politicians (and common people as well) tend to adopt to emphasize their speech. E.g. Soy de Madrith, tío! If you ever listen to our Spanish MP's on TV, you'll notice that for sure!!!
    Apart from those cases, the normal thing is to pronounce -d the same way as a regular "d"

    I hope I made myself clear...

    Saludos
     
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    Jenny*

    Member
    England - English
    Thank you everyone, I understand why you omit the 'usted' now. :)

    I found the 'd'/'th' thing very interesting as well. I was indeed talking about the people I see on the television and hear on the radio in contrast to listening to normal Spanish speakers.

    Enlasarenas said:
    Jenny,
    As for the different pronunciations of "usted", I think you're referring to the typical pronunciation of words ending in -d that some Spanish politicians (and common people as well) tend to adopt to emphasize their speech. E.g. Soy de Madrith, tío! If you ever listen to our Spanish MP's on TV, you'll notice that for sure!!!
    Apart from those cases, the normal thing is to pronounce -d the same way as a regular "d"
    Thanks again!
     

    asm

    Senior Member
    Mexico, Spanish
    Your teacher is right, the resaon is to avoid confusion.

    in "¿Cómo estás?"

    there is only one option, TU! You do not have (but you could) add the pronoun, however, in "¿Cómo está?" There are three options, USTED, ELLA and, EL. To be precise you need to add the pronoun.
    "¿Cómo está ella?" "¿Cómo está tu hermano?" "¿Cómo está usted?"

    Technically it is not correct, but it is ambiguous.

    Read this, you will understand this better:

    LA PEQUEÑA DIFERENCIA ENTRE TU Y USTED

    El director general de un banco se preocupa por un joven director
    estrella,que después de un periodo de trabajar a la par de él, sin parar
    nunca a almorzar, empieza a ausentarse al mediodía.
    Llama al detective privado del banco y le dice: Siga a López un día
    entero, no vaya a ser que ande en algo extraño.
    El detective cumple con el cometido, vuelve e informa: "López sale
    normalmente al mediodía, toma su auto, va a su casa a almorzar, luego le
    hace el amor a su mujer, se fuma uno de sus excelentes cigarros y vuelve a trabajar".
    Ah, bueno, menos mal, no hay nada malo en todo eso.
    Puedo tutearlo, señor?" Pregunta el detective.
    Si, como no", responde sorprendido el director.
    Repito: "López sale normalmente al mediodía, toma tu auto, va a tu casa a almorzar, luego le hace el amor a tu mujer, se fuma uno de tus excelentes cigarros y vuelve a trabajar".

    He ahí la diferencia entre el USTED y el TU.
     
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