Spanish Formal Informal You Lesson

Spanish Formal Informal 'You' Lesson

In Spanish there are two different ways to say the word ‘You’.

If you know someone well and are friends you can use the informal version of ‘you’ which is Tú or Tu.
Tú means ‘You’ whereas ‘Tu’ means your. I will go into that in more detail in another lesson.

If you do not know someone very well or you are in a formal situation such as a business meeting the word for ‘You’ is Usted.

Just a little word on the pronunciation of Usted.

We emphasise the ‘e’ rather than the ‘u’, even though we do not write an accent over the ‘e’. More on that another day!

Examples of Spanish Formal Informal You

Spanish Informal You

OK, so we want to say a few things in informal Spanish.

For example, we want to say “You are nice”.

In Spanish that would be:

“Tú eres amable”.

Spanish Formal You

OK, so we want to say a few things in formal Spanish.

For example, we want to say: “You are nice”.

In Spanish that would be:

“Usted es amable”.

Spanish Formal Informal Grammar

I am going to explain the grammar in the examples above.

Please don’t be put off by the word ‘Grammar’.

Actually, all I am going to do is explain what is going on with the examples.

OK. so we have three things:

  1. You
  2. Are
  3. Nice

In English that is so easy.

It does not matter if we are being polite to a formal contact or just chatting with our best friend.

In both cases we can simply say:

“You are nice”

In Spanish it gets a little more complex.

The word for ‘nice’ stays the same in both cases.

(Please note that the word ‘amable’ can mean ‘nice’, ‘friendly’ or ‘kind’.)

However, we have to do something with ‘you’ and ‘are’.

We have already said that the word ‘You’ in the informal is Tú and in the formal it is Usted.

Now we also have to do something with the word for ‘are’.

If we are speaking informally, we will say “eres”.

However, if we are speaking formally, we will say “es”