usted - third person?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by webmagnets, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. webmagnets Member

    Fayetteville Arkansas
    English - United States
    I have a theory that "usted" is polite because it is like using third person with a king. For example "you highness" is third person even though you are talking directly to the king.

    I am not saying that you should use "usted" with a king. I am just giving an example of using third person when talking directly to a person.

    What do you think?
     
  2. qqqq Member

    The verbs with "usted" are conjugated as third person, even you are talking directly to somebody. Yeah, "usted" is a polite way of "tú", but you can use it for example with strangers, people who you don't know.

    Usted es muy amable. (conjugated as él, ella)
    Querrían ustedes decirme la hora, por favor? (conjugated as ellos, ellas)
    Etc, etc.


    Espero que te sirva. No tiene ningún problema, lo complicado es el explicarlo.
     
  3. atignirgal Senior Member

    England
    UK English
    "Usted" comes from the old "vuestra merced", meaning "your worship" - so you're not far wrong in your theory. (Incidentally, I think that may also explain why usted is sometimes abbreviated to Vd. instead of Ud., but that's just my own theory...could anyone please tell me it's right or not?)

    If it helps to imagine you're talking to a king, that's fine. Whatever, as long as it makes you remember that usted is 3rd person.
     
  4. Delirium Member

    Panama City
    Panama, Spanish
    Oh! I never knew that! I've been wondering all my life where the "Vd." came from! Thank you! :)

    You know, it's also weird that I thought "usted" was 2nd. person, since it has the same meaning as "tú", which is 2nd., but now that you've made me think about it, it IS 3rd. person, by the way the verb is conjugated!! *slaps forehead* That goes to show that when it comes to your native language, you don't really pay much attention to it ;)

    ~*Tess*~
     
  5. Mary Solari Senior Member

    Spain
    Argentine living in Spain Spanish
    I had not thought about the third person,either. The thing is that the formula coincides with the third person, but it is not a third person, it is a respectful second person. Something similar happens in German, believe it or not, with the verb forms for a singular person and a plural, I don't remember which.
    There used to be two pronouns in English, too. You and thou.
    I translate romantic novels from English into Spanish and it is very tricky to find the moment when the boss and the secretary or the doctor and the nurse switch from usted to tú. Is it after the first kiss? Is it before? :confused:
    In Japanese there are more than four pronouns, depending on the degree of familiarity!!! :eek:
     
  6. atignirgal Senior Member

    England
    UK English
    Sorry, yes, I should have said it takes the 3rd person.

    Yes, rather strangely they use the same personal pronoun - sie - for 3rd person feminine singular + plural, AND 3rd person formal you singular + plural. (And that's just about all the German I can remember from school :rolleyes: )
     
  7. webmagnets Member

    Fayetteville Arkansas
    English - United States
    Could it be similar to what Mary Solari said, but the opposite?

    Could it be that instead of it being 2nd person using 3rd person verbs, that it is actually 3rd person being used as 2nd person?
     
  8. kamatae New Member

    Spain-spanish
    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"
     
  9. webmagnets Member

    Fayetteville Arkansas
    English - United States
    Tell me more about this using tu when talking about myself.
     
  10. Lisa New Member

    New York City
    USA/English
    So I just saw the movie Maria Full of Grace (Maria, llena eres de gracia) and was really struck by how all the teenagers (best friends, a boyfriend and girlfriend, siblings) were speaking to one another in "usted" (until they got into a fight, when "tu puta madre" and similar things came out). I've never been to Colombia but I guess this is the norm there?

    Veering slightly off track (but still related):

    1) Here in New York, as a non-native Spanish speaker who nonetheless uses Spanish frequently, I'm often uncomfortable deciding between and usted with people I'm just meeting who are my own age, especially in places like delis/corner shops. In general I find its best to follow their lead and switch to "tú" when they do, but I know I stumble. Sometimes I find myself using both in the same breath! (which means "in the same sentence"). But you never know for sure! Spanish-speakers here are from so many different places ... and then add that we're all in New York, with its own language norms and varieties ... ay.

    2) I never learned "vosotros" and mis amigos madrileños laugh at me when I speak to them in "Uds" ... I wonder, if I ever move to Spain, will I have to learn it? Will I pick it up naturally? Will people forgive me and know I learned my Spanish on this side of the Atlantic?
     
  11. Mary Solari Senior Member

    Spain
    Argentine living in Spain Spanish
    Don't worry, Lisa, I had never used vosotros in my life and have adopted it very easily since living in Spain.
     
  12. Delirium Member

    Panama City
    Panama, Spanish
    Well, Lisa, I can see how it's confusing to you, as it is confusing to me, and it IS my native language! :p

    Well, yes, in Colombia is very common to use "usted" even among friends. I don't know if it's true for other parts of Latin America, but it's not in my own native Panama.

    About the "vosotros", it's standard in Spain, but in Latin America we use "ustedes" for the second person plural.

    However, there are places (for example, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Uruguay, I believe, those from those parts, please correct me if I'm wrong), where people use "vos" instead of "tú". And the conjugation of verbs changes slightly.

    Confused you even more, huh? Sorry :(
     
  13. webmagnets Member

    Fayetteville Arkansas
    English - United States
    I have a Honduran friend who uses "vos" with her sisters.
     
  14. JitterJive Senior Member

    Bremerton, Washington
    USA English
    Use "tu" when talking to yourself (internal dialog) but not about yourself.

    JitterJive
     
  15. coc Banned

    Germany
    Argentina.Spanish
    Yes, that´s not just your theory, it is right.

    The king example is OK, when you talk to a king you would say "su alteza" (your highness), and "su" is possessive for "Usted".
    Usted nowadays is just a polite form that you use to talk to someone you do not know, to someone who is much older than you, to talk to someone showing respect. If you want to go one step farther, you can ask "puedo tutearlo?", and if the person agrees, you can start using "tú".

    You should have, it is part of the language. If you´ve never been taught how to use it, then get a new teacher. In Latin America you´ll have to use "Ustedes" both as polite and familiar form when you use third person plural. "Vosotros" can also be used and it will be perfectly understood, but the norm in Latin America is to use "ustedes" instead.
    When you talk to people your own age, it will sound awkward if you use "usted", you can say "tú" straight away and nobody will feel offended. In any case, just wait and see what pronoun they use when they talk to you, as you have so far, that´s OK. In some countries like Bolivia, I´ve heard sons and daughters call their own parents "usted", but that´s very unusual and very regional I think.
    If you say "ustedes" in Spain, it should be tolerated, and in my experience only ignorant people tend to laugh at that. After all, the majority of the Spanish speaking world uses "ustedes" and not "vosotros".
    Coc
     
  16. cucales New Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Usted is a natural derivation of "Vuestra Merced", it changed to "Vuesa Merced", which moved to "Usarced", and finally our target, "usted", curious, isn't it?
     
  17. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    I noticed this among Venezuelan acquaintances, and in novelas from Venevision. ¿Por qué los padres, amigos, hermanos, novios, etc. se hablan de "Usted" en Colombia y Venezuela? ¿Qué significado cultural tiene? ¿Qué piensan Ustedes cuando se hablan así?

    Saludos a todos.
     
  18. jacinta Senior Member

    California
    USA English
    This is funny to me. I can't get used to doing it. I once asked someone this, "¿Puedo tutearle?" and she said "Sí, como no" but then continued to use the usted form with me! I was very confused, so I now use only the usted form with her :eek: . I don´t ask anymore, I just use "usted" until someone tells me otherwise! (except with friends, of course)
     
  19. Maeron Senior Member

    Mexico City
    Canada, English
    I asked some Spanish friends about this, and they said it doesn't sound so strange to them that we call them Uds. because they are acquainted with it from watching Latin American telenovelas. There was a certain period in the 1980's when it was even in vogue to affect a Venezuelan accent because that showed that you had satellite TV (because at that time the telenovela "Cristal" was only available in Spain by satellite).
     
  20. odelotj Senior Member

    Southern California, USA
    El Salvador, Spanish
    We also use vos in El Salvador. But also, we tend to use usted longer than normal. I even use it with people my own age. Maybe it's the manners I was taught by my parents specifically. I´ve been chided at times b/c I continue to use usted when people say tu to me. Tu doesn't offend me, even from small children. I think it's different depending on the country, as Lisa mentioned.
     
  21. Reili Banned

    ESPAÑOL México
    You missed the last link "usté" :p
     
  22. beatrizg Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Colombia, Spanish
    Hola fenixpollo!
    En algunas regiones de Colombia la gente crece hablando exclusivamente de "usted", sin hacer distinciones. Es simplemente una costumbre, como la de usar el "vos" en Argentina. Así sucede en mi región.

    La verdad es que esta costumbre luego pesa, porque mucha gente te siente distante o te cosidera muy formal. Y por lo general tienes que entrar a explicar que se trata de una costumbre regional y nada más. ;)
     
  23. Yael Senior Member

    US
    Argentina, Spanish
    That's perfectly normal, it just means that she won't feel offended if you do. There are many situations where only one person uses usted and the other one says tú (or vos). For example: a young boy talking to an old person, the boy will say usted and the old person tú; a boss to his/her subordinate, the boss might say tú but the subordinates will normally say usted.

    If you find it very strange and even uncomfortable that she says usted even if you say tu then you could ask her to "tutearte": Tutéame, por favor.

    And remember, even though usted is more formal and respectful, that doesn't make tú rude. People wouldn't normally feel offended if you say tú and they were expecting usted.
     
  24. jacinta Senior Member

    California
    USA English
    Thank you, Yael. This is very helpful to me because I continue to work with this person. I'll heed your advice. :)
     
  25. ulaulaula New Member

    DC
    USA-English/Polski/Castellano/Italiano/Russki
    Hey everyone, I thought I'd join in the fray since I love this kind of stuff, even though it's frustrating too!

    In any case, from what I've heard, in certain parts of Colombia, the tu and usted ideas are reversed. You use 'tu' with strangers and 'ud' with family and friends, I guess to show how much you respect them. Even G.G. Marquez mentions it in his memoir, Vivir Para Contarla.

    As for vos, it is used in quite a few different parts of South and Central America and for the most part, as far as I can tell, it corresponds more or less to 'tu.'

    And as for vosotros in Spain...let 'em deal with Ustedes. :p Probably it's something you pick up when you hear it all the time but everyone will understand Uds. and if that is what you've been taught, then it's not a big deal. Especially since they will hear you're not using the thetheo.

    Lastly...who to use Uds with and who tu? I speak 3 other languages that use polite forms (Russian, Polish and Italian) and from what I can tell, it's a pretty foggy playing field out there. If you're not sure, it's best to stick with the polite form although occasionally the formal form can seem offensive (because for ex., you might be reminding the person of their age if you are younger). For the most part, however, if you are American and/or not a native speaker of the language, people will forgive you for using the 'tu' form since they know that in English, everyone is YOU. (Back in the day 'you' and 'thou' had different means but with the death of thou, we've turned into a rather egalitarian language.)
     
  26. JESUS MARIA

    JESUS MARIA Senior Member

    LEON-Spain
    SPAIN@ESPAÑOL
    Para el amigo de Arkansas,en principio, le tengo que tratar de Ud. porque no tenemos todavía el gusto de conocernos, pero si nos tratamos un poco más le puedo tratar de tú.En España, por desgracia, quizás, todavía se emplea mucho, y algunas veces tiene intencionalidad, marcando diferencias económicas, o sociales. En el Sur de España se usa todavía más que en el Norte.

    Yo, de pequeño, a personas mayores, todavía les escuchaba las oraciones en la fase anterior del término: Vos o Vosted.
     
  27. josama Senior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Spanish
    I'm sorry for suscribing to this thread so late...

    But I have something to share:

    I'm Colombian and this is a magnificently diverse and dynamic country. every region in the country seems to have its own culture, the Spanish we speak is very different among ourselves, the clothing varies a lot, because of the different kinds of weather, of course, and so on.

    I some parts of the Country: Antioquia (where I was born), the "Eje Cafetero" ("Coffee axis or corridor"?) and the Pacific Coast (Chocó, Valle, Cauca, Nariño) they use mainly "vos" for adressing close people and relatives and "tú" and "usted" for people they merely know. In Bogotá and close cities, you use "usted" for speaking to the people you don't know or, in the case of males, to your male friends (well some people use usted to adress their soulmates and their parents, and their children, and their female friends). And you use "tú" for some of your close friends. I live in Bogotá, and call my male friends "usted" and use the "tú" pronoun with my female friends (some of them) and with my family.

    What happens is that there is a mixture of customs because Bogotá is the capital, and she hosts people from all the country with different uses of the language.

    I think it's very difficult to explain even to Spanish speakers because it's so jumbled in here. For the men living in Bogotá is a little weird to be called "tú" by a costeño (a guy who comes from the north coast) because you don't know how to answer: "tú" :confused: ? hehe
     
  28. Rayines

    Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano/Argentina
    Hola: En Argentina, es cada vez más pareja la cosa: "Vos" a todo el mundo!... Pero por supuesto para el que no es de acá no es fácil darse cuenta. Yo aconsejo un "usted", y, luego, según siga la conversación, cambiar a "vos". Por supuesto que si se trata de trabajo, o alguna jerarquía, tratar de Usted, hasta "tantear" el ambiente. Pero ahora hasta a los profesionales, sobre todo si son jóvenes, también se los tutea. (Recuerden, lamentablemente "vos", con sus conjugaciones correspondientes). Igualmente, queda simpático escuchar a alguien con pronunciación extranjera, equivocarse. Siempre se le perdona!:thumbsup:
     
  29. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / Spanish
    ¿ En qué parte de España has oído eso ?
     
  30. PSIONMAN

    PSIONMAN Senior Member

    Nottingham, UK
    Br English
    Something similar made me feel awkward

    I was told never to use tu with someone who could not use tu back - e.g. a waiter or a shop assistant

    When I was on holiday I was practising my Spanish with a waitress in the hotel. One morning she smiled and asked how I was. And I replied ¿Y tú?

    And I felt so embarrassed. I felt that I was being over familiar with her. Was I wrong? :eek:
     
  31. josama Senior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Spanish
    In NO way, PSION, sometimes (at least in Colombia) you can adress a -how to say that- lower-profile person? (I don't feel comfortable with that expression) saying "tú" and she/he will answer back with "Ud.": If you're like the boss and he/she is the secretary or a clerk, the conversation will follow like that (tú/usted) without this making any of you feel akward.
     
  32. chaval_gringo Member

    Barcelona
    Native of Antwerp, Native Flemish/Dutch, Fluent English, Spanish. Spoken but rusted: French & German
    Talking to the king/queen in third person, could be an act of modestness, in that way you "couldn't" speak in a direct way.
    I'd like to throw in another specialty. In Flemish/Dutch, when the king/queen him/herself is speaking, he/she doesn't say "I declare" but "we declare", refering to only him/herself.
    This I think has the same reason, the King more than just a person. (can be extended to any Lordship)
    I'd like to know if the king also speaks of himself in 1st pers plural in Spanish (if I'm right, it's not the way in English).
     
  33. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    I think that the old fashion for the king (or the queen) was to speak in third person singular ("el rey declara bla, bla...") but "el Juanca", the current king, says "la reina y yo" most times when speaking to the whole nation as a kind of "plural de modestia".
     
  34. Residente Calle 13 Senior Member

    New York City
    That's the next-to-last link! The last link is "u'té"
     
  35. SpiceMan Senior Member

    Osaka 大阪
    Castellano, Argentina
    Spanish has 2 levels of respect in speech, but we just talk in the friendlier spanish almost always. Always tú/vos/usted(where informal), unless business or an otherwise cold situation :D.

    Also keep in mind that we rarely say Usted in Latin América. Ustedes (which is used as Spaniards' vosotros by most Spanish speaking Latin America) is largely colloquial, and not formal. Spaniards are also surprised when they get to hear "ustedes" to adress dogs or kids in Argentina, because in Spain ustedes is al formal as usted. While in Latin America is just plural, not a different level of respect. (vosotros' social function is filled by ustedes. The old respectful meaning of ustedes is vanished)

    That's maybe also another reason Spaniards might think Argentina's castellano is archaic. We have lot of "old stuff" from a Spaniard point of view. We seem talking all the time with respect, maybe? speaking of ustedes and vos. Formal and archaic? You can think of it as friendly too :D. We have no respect for groups, only for individuals :D! It has no plural formal level of speech!
     
  36. grumpus Senior Member

    San Diego, CA
    English U.S.
    Hi SpiceMan et al.,

    your comments are interesting with regards to uds., but I don't think I agree
    that Usted is not used in Latin America. I learned to really speak Spanish in Spain and I never heard or used ud or uds. When I came in contact with Latin Americans (again),
    I found it very difficult not to use tu with everyone. In Mexico and Central America the use of ud is required when the other person is older or "unknown" even if the same age (may not be true of really young people). In rural areas, sometimes the kids even say ud. to address eachother.

    If you watch Colombian movies or tevenovelas (they dominate U.S. market now, I think I know why) everyone uses ud.
    The only Latin American country other than Argentina that I have been to that is a bit freer with the use of tu is Venezuela (but probably not true in rural areas).

    Sorry for the essay,
    Grumpus
     
  37. Hello Chaval Gringo,

    HM Queen Elizabeth usually speaks of herself as 'one' in conversation. When making addresses to parliament or the people she says 'my government', 'my loyal subjects' or 'I wish to thank you all for your kind messages of support during these difficult times for my family.'

    When including Prince Phillip she says 'My husband and I'.

    Queen Victoria always used the royal 'we'. 'We are not amused' being perhaps her most quoted phrase. When disagreeing with her ministers she would say 'The Queen will not be spoken to in this way.'

    I hasten to add that, contrary to popular belief, Queen Victoria had a wonderful sense of humour and was known to burst into gales of un-regal laughter. She was very fond of whisky, given to her in generous amounts by her highland companion (some say lover) John Brown, after the death of Prince Albert. She enjoyed nothing more than going out with him on the moors around Balmoral. They would boil a pot of potatoes to eat and wash them down with glasses of whisky. My kind of lady! :)

    La Reine V ;)
     
  38. Gustavoang Senior Member

    Venezuela / Castilian
    Hi, Fenixpollo.

    Por Venezuela, es normal que un hijo a un padre lo trate de "usted"... Del resto (un padre a un hijo, entre novios o hermanos), siempre se tutea, salvo muy raras excepciones...

    De hecho, yo toda la vida he tuteado a mis padres. A mi abuela y mi bisabuela es que a veces las trato de "usted", pero lo normal es que las tutee.

    Y en cuanto al significado cultural, yo pienso que es para "mantener el respeto" incluso hasta con personas con las que compartes mucho tiempo, lo cual considero arcaico. No creo que sea necesario tratar de "usted" a mi padres para demostrarles mi respeto; es más, ¿cuantos irrespetuosos no tratarán a la gente de "usted"?

    ¡Saludos!
     
  39. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    Gustavo, muchísimas gracias por leer con tanto cuidado y responder a mi pregunta escondida en este hilo. :D
    Entonces las "raras excepciones" son situaciones donde la gente está usando una forma arcaica para algún fin social...
    Tal vez las novelas a las que me refiero son viejas (de los noventas) y ya no se habla así... aunque en los últimos tres años, he escuchado a personas Venezolanas hablarles a sus amigos, o papás Venezolanos hablarles a sus hijos, de Usted.

    Gracias de todas formas porque has aclarado el asunto un poco. :)

    Saludos.
     
  40. Gustavoang Senior Member

    Venezuela / Castilian
    Hola, Fenixpollo.

    De nada. Para eso estamos. :)

    Otra de las razones por las cuales en las novelas pudieran haber usado "usted" es porque los personajes son de la clase alta y sumamente formales, por lo que se refieren a todo el mundo como "usted".

    Ahora, en el caso de los venezolanos que has escuchado, pudiera ser:
    • Son venezolanos andinos. Ellos hablan bastante similar a los colombianos, y esto incluye que raramente tutean, sino que tratan de "usted".
    • Los has oído discutiendo. Normalmente cuando se discute, se suele usar "usted" incluso con personas a las que siempre tuteamos.
    • Es una costumbre familiar.

    Pero insisto en que lo más común es tutear, a menos que:
    • Estés hablando con un desconocido.
    • Estés hablando con un conocido, pero quieres demostrarle que le tienes mucho respeto. Por ejemplo, tu padre, un tío, un cliente, tu jefe...
    • Quieres mantener cierta distancia de la persona con la que estás hablando (usualmente con alguien que te cae mal o simplemente si están discutiendo).

    ¡Saludos!
     
  41. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    Gracias por la explicación tan detallada, Gustavo! :)
     
  42. Gustavoang Senior Member

    Venezuela / Castilian
    De nada! :D
     
  43. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    That is actually what we do all the time in Indonesian.
    I would never adress my parents, not even my sister, with a pronoun.
    I use a pronoun only when I talk to my peers or someone younger than me.
    The only difference is that the verb doesn't change according to person, so it's like saying "Mamá querer tomar qué?" instead of "Qué querés (vos) tomar?".

    In European languages, including Spanish, it's quite necessary to use either vos, , or usted and its verb forms.
    O hay hispanohablantes que dicen "Qué querer tomar Abuela?" con "Abuela" como subjeto y no "usted" ni "vos"?
     
  44. Taitafalcon New Member

    Edinburgh, Scotland
    English - England
    Hi All

    I have just joined this forum having just started to learn Spanish and being confused at my nightclass last night that the formal 'usted' is conjugated in the third person. With my Mr Spock logical hat on this didn't seem to make any sense - speaking to someone directly yet referring to them in the third person. I'm glad to say that some of the above postings are helping me however - particularly those that point out that the term 'usted' derives from a former regal address. The similarities with German were also referred to at our nightclass by a Polish member. We are a happy band of Scots, English, Irish, Poles and Lithuanians by the way! Two potentially further interesting points strike me however. Firstly the differences from French where the informal/formal is conjugated in the second person singular and plural respectively i.e. voudrais tu and voudrais vous for example. Secondly how the use of the third person can be regarded as inconsiderate or even rude. Picture the scene where a doctor and a parent are discussing a handicapped offspring in their presence in the doctor's surgery. Instead of addressing the handicapped individual directly the doctor and parent talk about and over them in the third person/in the abstract. All that person really wants is to be addressed directly in the second person!

    Thanks for bearing with me!
     
  45. Alma de cántaro

    Alma de cántaro Senior Member

    Una villa cerca de Madrid
    Español ibérico

    Hello and wellcome to the forum.

    I would like to let you know that you are right about the use of usted as inconsiderate in certain contexts, especially if the person who speaks is older than the person who listen to.
    Anyway, you should know that the use of usted/ustedes is less common nowadays in Spain than it was in the past.

    Saludos
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  46. josama Senior Member

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Colombia, Spanish
    Well, it's not inconsiderate, nor even rude. It depends greatly on the context.

    I'm Colombian and in some parts of the country friends (and even couples!) address each other with "Usted".

    I would expect a doctor to use 'Usted' instead of 'tú', and I would expect the same from a bank teller or from a sales person. That's in Bogotá, at least.

    When you speak to someone you are very familiar with (your grilfriend/boyfriend, for example) you usee "tú". But you would use "usted" if you're mad at him/her, to show you're upset. Again, that's in Colombia, but it changes depending on the country.
     
  47. JorgeHoracio Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina

    That is simply not an adequate way of describing it. One should simply say that the verb forms are identical for the formal 2nd person and the 3rd person (forget for a moment how this came to happen, nowadays that's all there is to it ). It shouldn't be that strange for English speakers. After all in english all persons except the 3rd singular use the same form!
     
  48. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Chicago
    Spanish - Uruguay
    OK, everybody is right.
    - Ud. is a second person using the third person verb.

    - Yes, it comes from Vuestra Merced, therefore 'Vd.' On top of that, the currents U/V used to be just V all over.

    - Yes, in Central America, many people use 'Ud.' with their parents (sometimes only to grandparents). They even may use '' usted' with a girlfriend, when they get serious. (therefore, it's not 'respect', as many were taught in school, I guess, but 'solidarity'. (Tons of doctoral dissertations about this).

    - Yes, there is a third option, which is 'vos' (there are links to these). Spoken from Central America, thru a thin line going South, crossing countries, and reappears in full force in Argentina and Uruguay (Chile, complicated...). It uses a modified form of the originally 'vosotros' verb form.

    -'Vosotros' exists only in some areas of Spain, never in Latinamerica. And yes, it'll be easy to learn if you go to those areas. They also understand 'ustedes', of course.

    - If you want to ask someone whether you can use 'tú' instead of 'Ud.', the first step is 'puedo tutearlo"? (you are asking with the Ud. form of the verb). If you're pretty sure the answer will be 'yes', you may ask 'puedo tutearte'? - already using the 'tú' form of the verb. Sometimes, we don't know enough, so we'll wait till the older person starts using the 'tú' with us. And yes, sometimes, you'll be uncomfortable, and not know what to use. In case of real doubt, keep using 'ud'. until told not to be stupid (or s'thing like it...)

    -Have fun! (can you imagine if you try to speak Korean? they have 13 forms of address).
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  49. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Senior Member

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Señores:
    El tema del no es sobre el uso de "vosotros" para dirigirse a un único interlocutor. Estoy pasando las notas publicadas a un hilo aparte. Les ruego que esperen a que termine de hacerlo. Ya lo encontrarán en su lista de temas suscritos.
    M.S.

    ————————————————————————
    ¡Listo! Helo aquí: Vosotros para dirigirse al rey antiguamente. (Disculpen la demora)
    ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010

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